In a story first broken by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, the Portland Trail Blazers will be sending Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas to the New York Knicks in exchange for Jared Jeffries and Dan Gadzuric.
New York will also receive the rights to 2 players currently playing overseas in Europe from Portland. The Knicks will send the Blazers a 2016 2nd-round pick as well.
Felton last played for the Knicks back in 2010-11 where he averaged career-highs in points (17.1) and assists (9.0). He averaged 11.1 points and 6.5 assists in 60 games for Portland last season. He will get either a 3 or 4 year deal worth between $10-18 million dollars from New York.
Grade for Knicks: C +
Fans should temper their expectations greatly as far as what to expect from their former point guard Felton.
Odds are, he won’t be recreating the magic of 2010 when he averaged 17 and 9 in Mike D’Antoni’s guard-friendly system. Felton has also noticeably added weight and has been ridiculed in the past for being out of shape.
On the bright side, he and Amare Stoudemire developed a solid chemistry in the pick-and-roll offense when they last played together. Felton is probably a better fit along side Amare and teammate Carmelo Anthony than a certain “global phenomenon” was anyways.
It will be interesting to see what kind of impact Felton has on this team with Mike Woodson calling the shots. How much of Raymond’s past success in New York was on him and how much of it was the system?
At 39 years old, Kurt Thomas offers not much more than six hard fouls a game. He will ride the bench for the majority of the season as the third-string center behind Tyson Chandler and Marcus Camby.
Grade for Blazers: C
Felton’s fate in Portland was pretty much sealed when the franchise selected Damian Lillard out of Weber St. with the #6 overall pick in the recent NBA Draft.
It made more sense to deal Raymond now while he still had a little value left in him and to just hand Lillard the keys as the new starting point guard.
Jared Jeffries and Dan Gadzuric are both veteran journeymen who will provide solid defense off the bench at the 4 and 5 spots, but that’s about all their good for at this point in their respective careers.
Does this trade signify the end of Jeremy Lin and Lin-Sanity in New York City?
I don’t see any scenario playing out in which Jeremy Lin remains a New York Knick.
Why pull off this deal to acquire Felton if matching the Rockets offer for Lin is a given? This team doesn’t need 3 point guards on the roster (Lin, Felton, Jason Kidd).
The only reason I could see the Knicks matching is because of the cultural and emotional impact Lin has on this team. Even then, you can’t pay a guy that kind of money just because the fans love him.
The Knicks front office made it clear in the past that regardless of the offer presented to Lin, they were going to match it. Unfortunately, the Houston Rockets backloaded the deal ($5 million in the first 2 years, $14 million in the third) they proposed to Lin which immediately became a red flag for management.
If they matched the offer, New York would have $87 million dollars wrapped up in just 8 players come 2014-15. The luxury tax and salary cap hit they would incur down the road wouldn’t be worth it financially.
Felton might not be the more talented player, but he’s more of a sure thing. He has a track record and you know what you will get out of him on the court in the immediate future. Lin had an AMAZING streak of solid play that surely even surprised him in 2012, but that’s about it. No one really knows if his success was a fluke or if he truly is a star in the making.
The risk-reward added on to the financial risk will ultimately lead to the end of Jeremy Lin’s tenure playing in Madison Square Garden.
It was fun while it lasted.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports