Raymond Felton to the Knicks; Fantasy Owners Rejoice
Felton does have holes in his game. First, he can't shoot the ball. He's a career 41-percent shooter from the floor. But, to his credit, he improved his efficiency last season by shooting a career-best 45.9 percent from the field. A pretty drastic improvement. It was the first time in his five-year career that he shot over 41 percent from the floor. It had a lot to do with the fact that he became more selective in his shots. Last season he took a career-low two 3-point attempts per game. Good decision.
The true value in Felton's game comes through his assists. Over his career he is averaging 6.4 assists per game, and that's considering the fact he's played on a Charlotte team that in recent years has fallen to the bottom five in the league in both Pace and Offensive Efficiency. You can imagine what he might be able to do if he were to find himself on a team with a coach who emphasizes possessions. Oh wait, isn't Mike D'Antoni's offense all about pushing the ball and maximizing possessions?
It's possible that we can see Felton average 8-9 assists per game with the Knicks. I mean, two years ago Chris Duhon averaged 7.2 assists per game under D'Antoni and we all know that he really is a backup point, not a starter. With a speedy, competent point guard like Felton you'll see the Knicks push the ball more often, utilizing the speed and athletic ability of their new acquisitions -- Amar'e Stoudemire, Anthony Randolph and Kelenna Azubuike -- three guys who came from teams that finished in the Top 5 in Pace last season.
The other thing you like about Felton is that he can penetrate the lane and finish at the basket. Felton made 58.8 percent of his shot attempts at the rim -- 3.9 attempts per game. And not only is he able to finish, but he can even drop a 3-pointer per game and steal 1.5 balls. More value to love!
I think Felton is going to fall into that third tier of point guards come draft day. He's certainly not at the Chris Paul/Deron Williams level, and not quite at the Derrick Rose level. But I might take him over someone like Jameer Nelson. He's probably an 8th-round draft pick right now, though you could argue taking him a round or two earlier.