Via Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders, there are only two players in the entire league that have a PER below 13, yet average more than 32 minutes per game: Raymond Felton and JR Smith (another Knicks guard).
All told, the Knicks are a dumpster fire at the moment.
With talented youngsters Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jeremy Tyler losing playing time to inefficient options like Raymond Felton, JR Smith, Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani, the Knicks are not putting their best product out on the floor.
The man who leads that unappealing crew is one Raymond Felton.
It’s not that he is the only problem, but he’s a problem that could be easily and inexpensively fixed. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, New York would only have to part ways with SG Iman Shumpert, who has worn out his welcome with Knicks ownership, and who can be replaced (at least offensively) with Tim Hardaway Jr.
The move would bring in a PG in Jeff Teague, who’s scoring more than Felton per game and getting to the free throw line six times per contest. To avoid Jared Dubin’s bar of “better than Raymond Felton,” Teague ranks 24th in PER, and would be fifth best guard in the Atlantic Division, where the Knicks currently sit third at 20-32.
His contract will be up in three years, which would hurt the Knicks’ chances at a big free agent in the summer of 2015 or 2016. It may be worth it, however, to acquire an average ball distributor in Teague. It’d be best for the Knicks to trash an ineffective play initiator in Felton, who’s doing nothing more at this point than hitting three of every 10 three pointers, missing floaters and turning the ball over in big spots, like in the team’s most recent game against Sacramento.
So, it’s come time to say goodbye to Raymond Felton. It may not be time for him to leave the Knicks, with the lack of trade pieces they have, but it’s time to kiss his days of being a suitor to Jeremy Lin goodbye. Knicks fans had better hope Thursday is the day they can no longer stress over which player Raymond Felton will allow to score a career-high, as Jimmer Fredette did last Wednesday. They’d also better hope it’s the day they can no longer worry about whether or not his patented and seldom successful floater will go in. They have to hope it’s the day they can call Jeff Teague their starting point guard.
— Kenny Ducey