Saturday, December 15, 2012

Raymond Felton, New York Knicks, Point Guard 2.0

  In the 2010-11 NBA Season Raymond Felton left Charlotte, via free agency to join the Knicks, for the bright lights of Broadway and Madison Square Garden. For the first time in his life he made his home somewhere other than the Carolinas. Felton, who grew up in South Carolina and played high school ball for a small high school in Latta, he played his college ball in Chapel Hill and was drafted in 2005 by the Charlotte Bobcats.

  In his first season with the Knicks Felton was averaging a career high in points and assists at 17.1 and 9.0 respectively. He looked very comfortable in New York and looked like the same floor general he was in Chapel Hill.

  After 54 games in New York, the Knicks made a blockbuster trade with the Denver Nuggets landing perrinial All-Star, Carmelo Anthony. It was a chance for the Knicks to build their own big three with Carmelo, Amare Stoudamire and another free agent in the next two off seasons. The trade shipped Felton to Denver to backup former Tar Heel, Ty Lawson. Felton said of the trade, "I was sick. I never wanted to leave New York. At the same time, I had to do my job." Felton, was a team player and finished the season with decent play coming off the bench in Denver.

  On the night of the 2011 draft Felton was traded again, this time to the Portland Trailblazers. This seemed like a great opportunity as Felton was a starter again and Portland had decent talent around him. As New York was experiencing Lin-Sanity, Felton was experiencing the worst season of his basketball career. He finished the season with a career low, 11.4 points per game.

  Felton entered another off season, but this time his NBA future was in question. But then the Houston Rockets made an offer to the Knicks point guard, Jeremy Lin, who was restricted free agent, that the Knicks front office felt they could not match and had to let their point guard of the future walk. The Knicks needed to find a new starting point guard and worked out a sign and trade with the Portland Trailblazers to bring Felton back to New York.

This season Felton looks like he never left New York. He is averaging almost 16 points and 7 assist per game. He is back to being a leader and has helped the Knicks to an Eastern Conference best 17-5 record.

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