Updates from Wednesday, July 23
Dallas Mavericks point guard Raymond Felton pleaded guilty Wednesday in a New York gun case, taking a plea deal that involved admitting a felony but spares him jail.
Felton pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm. He admitted he knowingly had a large-capacity ammunition magazine and a pistol without a license.
'Are those charges true?'' Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Larry Stephen asked.
'Yes, sir,' Felton said, later adding in a soft voice, 'I apologize.'
He was immediately sentenced to 500 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Rebold said Felton will be allowed to do the service outside New York.
If he complies, the case will be closed without jail time or probation.
New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton will plead guilty to charges of criminal possession of a weapon and will be subjected to a $5,000 fine and 500 community service hours.
"We thank the [Manhattan] district attorney for focusing on the facts, and only the facts," said Walden.
Back in February, Felton turned himself in and was hit with three gun charges, but that was reduced to two by the time his case was heard, per The Wall Street Journal's Chris Herring:
According to the complaint, Felton was officially arraigned on two charges -- down from the three he was arrested on.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) February 25, 2014
Mazzeo provided a summary of Felton's plea:
Felton will avoid jail time #nyk— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzESPN) June 23, 2014
Under an agreement reached today Felton will have to plead guilty to a felony, serve community service and pay a fine #nyk— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzESPN) June 23, 2014
Overall, it appears the legal outcome could have been far worse for Felton. His former wife, Ariane Raymondo-Felton, asserted that Felton threatened her with a gun and then reportedly brought Felton's illegally possessed, semi-automatic pistol to New York City police, which led to the charges.
Whether Felton will face discipline from the NBA remains to be seen, though a felony conviction figures to at least warrant consideration for some sort of punishment. This also doesn't help his chances of being New York's long-term answer at the point guard position, if he even had a chance to be the solution in the first place.
New team president Phil Jackson will be seeking to assemble a championship contender, though the big push to do so likely won't happen until next offseason. That could buy Felton some valuable time if he remains with the Knicks and performs well for what figures to be a struggling squad in 2014-15.
Considering he averaged just 9.7 points per game this last season, Felton's value is in question moving forward. Going through a divorce and gun charges had to have distracted Felton, but he has generally not lived up to the hype as a top-five draft pick since entering the NBA in 2005.
Felton must use this offseason to focus on how to improve on the court. Otherwise, his days in the Big Apple could be numbered.