Should NY Knicks Ditch Raymond Felton at All Costs This Offseason?

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Should NY Knicks Ditch Raymond Felton at All Costs This Offseason?
Associated Press
Despite his ineffectiveness, Raymond Felton continues to be NY's main facilitator.

The New York Knicks are an organization filled with distractions, and its most recent distractor needs to be removed from the team by any means necessary. 

It's never right to throw shade on someone experiencing turmoil, but the Knicks, a tumultuous franchise that looses more often than it wins, needs to move past the shady characters who limit success. 

According to the New York Daily News' Rocco Parascandola, Barbara Ross and Larry Mcshane:

Busted Knicks point guard Raymond Felton grew increasingly erratic over the last several months—"aggressively" holding a handgun during a Valentine’s Day clash with his wife as their 19-month marriage crumbled.

One may sympathize with Felton and his wife as their lives undergo drastic changes, but from a basketball perspective, the risk of keeping Felton aboard outweighs the reward of his abilities. 

 

Inefficient Offense

Part of Felton's saving grace has been his pick-and-roll prowess with Tyson Chandler. Recently, however, teams are biting less often because they know, as Bleacher Report's Dylan Murphy puts it:

When Chandler runs the pick-and-roll, everyone knows where he's going: The rim. Without a pick-and-pop game, the big defending Chandler will often drop back to corral both the ball-handler and the rolling Chandler. 

This often leads to Felton forcing a bad shot or an alley-oop to Chandler that gets deflected or intercepted.

The other facets of Felton's game dwindle daily. He's not fast or explosive enough to get into the paint and carve defenders like an elite guard could, and his erratic shooting takes New York out of more games than it keeps them in. He's shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 29.6 percent from behind the arc while attempting only 1.7 free throws per game. 

To put things in perspective some more, Toure' Murry—who has appeared in only 33 games and averages 7.4 MPG—has a PER of 11.04, compared to Felton's 12.74 over 32.8 MPG.  

 

Defensive Liability

Felton's matador defense is part of the reason it feels like someone scores a new career high against the Knicks almost every game. His inability to stay in front of his man often leads to switching and poor defensive rotations. 

Against the Milwaukee Bucks (Feb. 3), in the closing seconds, Felton allowed Brandon Knight to rise and drain a game-winning three-pointer, as can be seen in the adjacent video. 

According to Yahoo! Sports' Eric Freeman, "In his postgame interview with the Bucks TV crew, Knight said that he wanted to isolate Felton so that he could avoid a defensive switch and shoot over a shorter defender."

New York can't trust Felton to lock in and play the tough defense necessary to win games, and it's only a matter of time before a competent defender with potential like Murry cuts into Felton's minutes. 

For the Knicks to succeed and be taken seriously around the NBAand the world for that matterthe roster needs to be overhauled. Players with defensive tenacity and offensive wherewithal need to be favored over the sporadic losers who have dug New York into this mess.  

 

Stats are accurate as of Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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