The New York Knicks made a brilliant move in re-acquiring point guard Raymond Felton from the Portland Trail Blazers in a sign-and-trade deal. It also means that the Knicks are not likely to be matching the 3-year deal worth just over $25 million from the Houston Rockets for Jeremy Lin.
Felton only played in 54 games in the 2010-2011 season for the Knicks and yet during his time with the Knicks he put up the best numbers of his career. He averaged 17.1 points, 9 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals on 42.3 percent shooting, 32.8 percent from three and 86.7 percent from the free throw line. Though he did average over 38 minutes per game, that won’t happen now with Jason Kidd being signed earlier in the offseason.
This past season was a struggle for Felton with the Trail Blazers as he was in a system that slowed the tempo down and his numbers dropped dramatically. The 11.4 points per game was the worst of his career, the 6.5 assists per game was his second lowest per game average and his shooting numbers were on part with his career averages.
By signing a 3-year deal worth $10 million he comes with a cheaper contract than Lin and he has more experience as a starting point guard than Lin. Felton will be entering his eighth season as a starter and Lin it will be his first full season as a starter. In the 25 starts for the Knicks he did show that he could play the position averaging 18.2 points, 7.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 2 steals, on 44.5 percent from the field, 34.3 percent from three and 79.6 percent from the free throw line.
25 games is a small sample size to making such a big commitment to keep Lin and it was also a brilliant move by the Knicks not to give into the “Linsanity” movement. Even though Felton struggled with the Trail Blazers he’s entering his eighth season as a starter while Lin will be entering his first full year as a starting point guard. Lin also isn’t that strong defensively and Felton is a very good defensive point guard.
With the Knicks look for Felton to bounce back as he will be in a system that is better suited for him and with Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler his numbers across the board should be improved from this past season. Felton will be able to push the tempo with the Knicks, he comes at a much better price than Lin, he has the experience as a starter and he’s a much better defensive player.