The New York Knicks have what they hope to be a helpful facilitator in newcomer Raymond Felton. He won't be asked to shoot to the extent that Jeremy Lin was allowed to last season.
His role will be to just get the ball into the hands of Knick scorers.
A New York Times article gave an "optimistic" assessment of Felton, proposing that "Felton would serve as a better binding agent than the enigmatic Lin."
The Knicks have every right to be optimistic about Felton's prospects after watching Lin bounce to Houston.
However, they'll have to get familiar with the reality that Felton is a mid-level point guard at best and has largely made his hay on poor teams, such as the woebegone Charlotte Bobcats, where he spent his first five years, and last season's Portland Trail Blazers.
Felton has generally posted above-average numbers. He's averaged between 11 and 15 points per game in six of seven seasons and 6.5 or more assists in five of seven seasons.
However, he isn't exactly an efficient player. He has shot 41 percent or better in just three of seven seasons. His career assist-to-turnover rate is a middling 2.54.
Some may hope that his 54 games in New York in 2010-11 figured to be a defining stretch in his career. During that time, he averaged 17.1 points and nine assists per game.
As productive as that period might have seemed, it was an anomaly. In the upcoming campaign, Felton won't score nearly as much as he did in that stint, deferring instead to New York's primary scorers, Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, as well as other shooters like J.R. Smith and Steve Novak.
This is supposed to be a winning environment. To be a playoff team, the Knicks need Felton to be a facilitator for others, not someone who looks to pad his scoring numbers.
Having said that, while Felton might have some success banging it in to Stoudemire and Anthony, he'll need to cut down on turnovers that hinder an offense.
If Felton were average and efficient, then the Knicks wouldn't have any problem climbing the ladder in the Eastern Conference. However, with Felton playing inefficiently, the Knicks won't make significant strides.