When the New York Knicks completed a sign-and-trade for Raymond Felton in the midst of the Jeremy Lin free agency fiasco this past off-season, it was clear who would be running the point for the Knicks this season.
The Knicks declined to match the Houston Rockets’ ridiculous $25+ million offer to Lin, who was a restricted free agent, and instead brought in Felton, who was coming off of the worst season of his eight year career with the Portland Trailblazers.
The Knicks will go as far as Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith can take them, and last season the offense lived and died with “Linsanity.” Despite not being the main attraction, Felton has orchestrated New York’s offense perfectly this season, with the team committing the the fourth fewest turnovers per game in the NBA with 12 per game. He ran pick-and-rolls with Tyson Chandler, put Anthony and Smith in positions to score, and thrived in a two-guard offense along Jason Kidd or Pablo Prigioni.
Statistically, Felton and Lin were nearly parallel. Felton averaged 13.9 points along with 5.5 assists per game, while Lin put up 13.4 points and 6.1 assists per night. One of the main reasons why this was the right move for New York is that Felton did it for $3,480,453, while Lin cost the Rockets $8,374,646 this season.
Lin had a great run with the Knicks, and definitely earned the contract and the money that he got from Houston. Even so, Felton is the better choice for New York, and will be the team’s concrete ball-handler for the foreseeable future.