Not Everyone Loves Raymond (Felton)

Raymond Felton's coming back to the Garden -- and there's a good chance Jeremy Lin is not.

felton.jpg
He's baaaaack!

Sifting through the blizzard of Lin-literature that surrounds the Knicks' upcoming decision, the most lucid analysis I've found is Ian O'Connor on ESPN.com: "On the verge of firing Jeremy Lin just like the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets had done before, the Knicks threw him out there and watched one of the most improbable basketball stories ever told unfold on their watch. And now they're prepared to give Lin away for nothing."

Any successful business, O'Connor convincingly argues, needs to protect its prime assets, and the Knicks aren't protecting one of their own. Does anyone in the front office really think that Lin, by signing the Rockets offer sheet, was doing anything less than looking after his own best interests? Or do the Knicks feel that Lin has somehow betrayed them by trying to get the best deal he can?

If so, they need a refresher course in basic contract negotiations as well as basketball.

Does Jimmy Dolan really think that by saving a little money on point guard Raymond Felton - Knicks fans will remember that this is Felton's second stint at the Garden, and that the first was undistinguished - that the Knicks will come out ahead on the court? Could he think that the headlines this January are going to proclaim "Felton-mania!"? Don't the bean counters know that whatever the dollar difference between Felton's and Lin's salaries , they'll get it back ten-fold in ticket and jersey sales if they keep Lin?

Surely, someone in a position of influence understands that Lin was a better point guard than Felton in 2011-12 and that since Lin is four years younger, he is likely be a better player than Felton again this year.

Or could they possibly believe that Felton, who has never been much better than mediocre, fits in with their "Win Now" philosophy?

What seems to be happening here as we wait until Tuesday night to see if the Knicks will match Houston's offer, is that Dolan's ego is once again overwhelmed common sense and is pushing Knicks policy. I really think Dolan thinks by signing Felton he's showing Lin what a tough guy he is and that he's not going to give in to any strong arm tactics from a player - that's what owners call it when a player has leverage in a deal.

So if Jeremy Lin becomes a Rocket, it's just the latest example of Dolan's Knicks taking one step forward and two steps back.

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8 comments
josephtomeo
josephtomeo

How bout Now? Seems to be Felton-Mania already?....and you guys get paid for this O'Connor?

Vincent
Vincent

@yahoo-Q3IGQN77OEI7Y62PNTP46LXN4Y:disqus, while your scenario is valid, Carmelo Anthony is already the recipient of a contract that, up to this point, he hasn't earned.  JR Smith could have gotten paid much more than the contract he's accepted, but he wanted to stay with the Knicks for reasons that are, to be honest, unbeknownst to me.   Neither of those guys should even be worried about the money that Lin is getting offered.  He's actually worth more than JR Smith in pure basketball and marketing terms.  At least Anthony has the potential to be a game changing player --- if he would buck a lifetime trend of not playing defense and not being a complete two way player. As for Felton, I always had high hopes for him.  But he's always been an incredibly inefficient volume scorer.  It's no coincidence that both his and Lin's best stats came under a PG driven offense under Mike D'Antoni.  Also recognize that Felton had a healthy Amare and the rest of the Denver others.  His assist numbers would be naturally inflated and probably depressed when having to deal with the iso-driven Carmelo Anthony. I think that Felton is actually a better fit if Woodson proves to be a coach that is incapable of adjusting a system to fit his teams talents.  But Lin and Felton to me are functionally equivalent in terms of impact on the court, but with enormous differences in potential, age, and marketing off the court. If there are chemistry problems as the result of Lin, it's because of bad seed pickups like JR Smith and letting good kids go like Jeffries and Fields.  Don't get me wrong.  I think that JR Smith is a good pickup if you're trying to swing for the fences.  But I also believe that unless Stoudemire picks his game up considerably, you're just not going to win with JR Smith as a 2nd scoring option.  We've seen this team in Denver already (re: Carmelo and JR), and it's debatable whether the talent and coaching is better this time around. I wish Lin luck in Houston.  But I think that NY is making a big mistake here unless Felton REALLY goes against type this year.  (Which is entirely possible).

PDX Fan
PDX Fan

Felton was a complete bust in Portland last season.  He arrived looking like he had spent the off-season doing nothing but playing video games and eating chicken nuggets.  Good riddance Mr Felton!

BarryL
BarryL

I'm sure Lin is praying that Dolan doesn't match the Houston offer - why would anyone want to play on this Knicks team? Honestly, has there ever been a team as dysfunctional?

real
real

do you believe there is jealousy. Lets just say you were a police officer for about 12 years and had an excellent employment record. now some wet behind the ears kid comes in and after serving just 6 months as an officer gets a promotion that pays him more then you. would you feel slighted, would you think it is unfair that you've been busting your ass trying to make a name for yourself, putting in your time, getting spit on by punks in the street and you were never even considered for that job that will pay you more money. The senerio is the same as with lin but in a more real life situation. would you have animosity towards that kid that just took a position that you have put in the time to have. of course you would so for melo and jr it is not much diferent. it is all about the money and always will be. Lin has proved nothing while these guys have proved there market vaalue. if Lin excelled at his position for 3 to 4 years then by all means he has the right to earn a big payday but all he has is 10 GAMES of very exciting play and an additional 16 games of good play as a starter. other teams didn't know what he may have been capable of and didn't take him that seriously but as the league adjusted and realized they have to keep a man on him he didn't excel. I loke him and am intrigued by his potential but not at that price and not at the cost of him being a cancer on the team. One more thing, the knicks are built to win now. they are strapped by big contracts and they do not suceed there is no ability to move players as you eluded to. that is why they sucked for so long. they gave big contracts to players that never met there potential. If you don't learn a lesson from past mistakes then you deserve the consequences

real
real

LUCY, do you believe there is jealousy. Lets just say you were a police officer for about 12 years and had an excellent employment record. now some wet behind the ears kid comes in and after serving just 6 months as an officer gets a promotion that pays him more then you. would you feel slighted, would you think it is unfair that you've been busting your ass trying to make a name for yourself, putting in your time, getting spit on by punks in the street and you were never even considered for that job that will pay you more money. The senerio is the same as with lin but in a more real life situation. would you have animosity towards that kid that just took a position that you have put in the time to have. of course you would so for melo and jr it is not much diferent. it is all about the money and always will be. Lin has proved nothing while these guys have proved there market vaalue. if Lin excelled at his position for 3 to 4 years then by all means he has the right to earn a big payday but all he has is 10 GAMES of very exciting play and an additional 16 games of good play as a starter. other teams didn't know what he may have been capable of and didn't take him that seriously but as the league adjusted and realized they have to keep a man on him he didn't excel. I like him and am intrigued by his potential but not at that price and not at the cost of him being a cancer on the team. One more thing, the knicks are built to win now. they are strapped by big contracts and they do not suceed there is no ability to move players as you eluded to. that is why they sucked for so long. they gave big contracts to players that never met there potential. If you don't learn a lesson from past mistakes then you deserve the consequences

real
real

Mr Barra. you either have no knowledge of team sports or you are fooling yourself. Lin may very well turn out to be a very good player but as of now he is an unknown commodity. there have been hundreds of sports figures who started there career much like lin only to be labeled a failure. Lin never impressed anyone with his game and that is why he was cut several times and barely stayed on the knicks roster. he is just a guy that had a great stretch but hasen't proved anything yet. He is however a great marketing tool for both the knicks and rockets because both of these geographic locations have a large contingency of the same ethnic backround.However, ray felton while not great can be a very good point guard in the right situation. he has played extremely well with amare and is not concerned about his own numbers. he is the consumate point guard with the ability to conform to his surroundings. He has chemistry which Lin did not. He doesn't turn the ball over which Lin did quite often. He has experience and has proven abilities which Lin lacks both. Most of all if Lin gets this contract with the knicks there will be immediate animosity among the other players on the team. No experience, an unproven talent not even a high draft pick with a superstar contract. That will spell disease on the knick team. Players will have immediate distain for him and rightfully so. Also, because of the money issue there will be a tremendous demand on his success. It just makes for a really bad senerio. the only reason he was offered that kind of money is because of his marketability and the fact that houston has nobody. They imploded there own team and believe that with lin they have a better shot at Howard. that in itself is a fools dream but you never know. Did you see any other team looking to give Lin a big payday. NOT ONE other team is stupid enough to hand there team over to such a risky comodity. if he fails houston will be a B league team and the laugh of the league. if he succeeds they will be considered genius. The knicks are in a different position and not so desperate at one position to bet the house on one player. It is just not worth the risk. Yes he will make money for either team because of his ethnicity not because of his play making abilities but for the knicks he will be a locker room cancer which can decinate a team and have star players heading for the exits. You have obviously never played or been part of team sports or you would understand the implications involved.

Lucy
Lucy

Whether Jeremy Lin is good or not, we will all find out next season. Why let him go now and lose all the potential for nothing? If it does not work out, figure out a way to move the pieces then. Money shouldn't be a problem for Dolan. Lin's offcourt appeals and the markets he can move will compensate for his costs. If Lin getting a big contract hurts Dolan's feelings, he really does not deserve Lin's service. Now the well is posioned, Lin's feelings would be hurt among all these as well. Teammates Melo and JR's comments are horrible by any standard, pure jealousy-driven. So better set Jeremy Lin free now.

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