NBA Roundtable

Knicks Re-Acquire Raymond Felton, Kurt Thomas

In Free Agency, Trade Talk on July 15, 2012 at 10:24 am

ESPN reports

The New York Knicks have agreed to a sign-and-trade deal with the Portland Trail Blazers that will bring point guard Raymond Felton and center Kurt Thomas to New York in exchange for center Dan Gadzuric and forward Jared Jeffries, league sources confirmed Saturday night.

The deal, for three years and $10 million according to USA Today, raises the possibility the Knicks will not match the offer sheet Jeremy Lin signed with the Houston Rockets earlier this week. They could pass after signing Jason Kidd and acquiring Felton.

Analysis

Raymond Felton

Raymond Felton had a good run in New York the last time around but he’ll be nowhere near as valuable this time due to the changes in player personnel (Melo, Tyson, Shumpert over Gallo, W.Chandler, L.Fields), coaching personnel (Woodson instead of D’Antoni) and offensive system (iso-ball vs SSOL). So Knicks fans shouldn’t expect anywhere near the same success Felton had there in the past.

$10 million over three years is a good contract for Felton. About what he is worth.

Felton has choked twice now in the playoffs and looks to be too limited from a physical + skill standpoint to play a key role (as a solid starter or 6th man) on a playoff team. Still, Felton is a quality backup PG and can give the Knicks some good service.

Kurt Thomas

Quality backup big man in a limited role. Minutes and games limited at this point in his career. His best role is as a third string center but he could do some primary backup center if required also.

Kurt Thomas is still a knock-down mid-range jump shooter. Sets terrific screens off the ball and is a solid passer. A quality offensive player for a backup center. Thomas is also a strong defensive rebounder and a decent defensive player overall. A limited mobility wise but strong, tough and intelligent. He works around his lack of quickness well and he defends players bigger than him well too.

A quality player.

Jeremy Lin

Shocked that the Knicks are going to let Lin go.

He was always going to be a risky signing but the combination of (1) the talent he showed last season, plus, (2) the commercial advantages of having such a popular player, and finally, (3) the Knicks ability to have a major payroll and live with the more-expensive luxury tax payments … I thought the combination of those three factors would have kept Lin in New York.

I made a comment about Felton being nowhere near as effective in New York this time round than he was under D’Antoni and I believe the same is true of Jeremy Lin. At least in the short term. I think there was some long term hope there for Lin as he rounded out and develop his game. In contrast to Felton who have no real hope for.

Anyway, I am happy Houston will be getting Jeremy Lin.

Jason Kidd, Starting PG

Jason Kidd should be the Knicks starting PG. He is still the best man for the job. I would imagine the best minutes distribution would be something like 26-28mpg for Kidd with Felton getting 26-32mpg off the bench with Kidd/Felton spending some time playing together in a two-guard backcourt.

However, I do not expect that to happen. I expect Felton to start and get 30-35 minutes a night and Kidd to play 20mpg off the bench. At least to begin the season. I still have hope that Mike Woodson will figure out Kidd is the superior option to start at some point during the season.

Kidd + Lin/Felton, Changing of the Guard

What has really been lost here in the switch from Jeremy Lin to Raymond Felton is the lost someone who could be their future PG. Someone who Jason Kidd can mentor and be ready to take over the keys to the team in the near-future for a long time to come. Clearly, I don’t believe Felton is equipped to handle that.

I think that is a major loss for New York.

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