Sunday, July 15, 2012
Knicks To Acquire Raymond Felton. Is Jeremy Lin Out Or in?
After being informed the Rockets' poison pill (re: Jeremy Lin) became that much more deadly with the altered terms, the Knicks took to the phones. Working feverishly to seek out other potential alternatives, the team didn't have to look very far. With that, a former Knick and rumored offseason target will be returning to the Big Apple.
The Knicks agreed to a sign & trade deal with the Blazers for Raymond Felton, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Though details regarding Felton's contract are yet to be officially released, it seems Felton will be returning, along with Kurt Thomas (another fan-favorite).
In return, the Knicks will sign & trade Jared Jeffries and ship him to Portland along with center Dan Gadzuric. Sources tell Berman New York is now NOT expected to match Lin's offer sheet.
Despite Lin being a favorite to return to the Knicks all summer, due to all the "Linsanity," there's still been a Lin vs. Felton debate amongst the media and fans this offseason. While Felton is a more proven player who would likely cost less, the impact Lin had on New York City this past season is undeniable. He helped bring the electricity back to the Garden in the most shocking of ways. His popularity rose, and his still growing fame stands to make the Knicks a lot of money going forward. The team took a chance on him once, and were widely expected to take another one by allowing him to play out a full season as a starting floor general.
There's no denying how well Lin played during his exciting outburst, but given the small sample size, it's difficult to know which Lin the Knicks would truly get if they re-signed him. Would it be the one who rose to fame (and apparently, fortune) all due to "Linsanity?" Or is it perhaps the Lin who struggled to break through against contending teams like the Miami Heat? A more likely scenario would appear to be the Lin who, although he took time, was beginning to find his rhythm amongst the Knicks' stars.
With little certain, however, it's possible the Knicks would rather not bite the bullet and take the risk.
While Felton may not be a star, he's a consistent player who has experience playing with Knicks players like Amar'e Stoudemire, J.R. Smith, and Tyson Chandler. For those solely comparing Felton and Lin in regard to individual talent, consider this: Stoudemire was playing at an M.V.P. level with Felton running the show in 2010-11.
If STAT is able to return to star form alongside Felton, isn't adding the former Knick in lieu of Lin worth the swap?
Of course, there's always the outside possibility that New York retains Lin anyway. Financially, the ability to bring Lin back is not affected by the acquisition of Felton, as the team owns Lin's Bird Rights. They can go over the cap to sign him, if so desired.
With a glaring void at the shooting guard position (with Landry Fields officially now a Raptor), perhaps the Knicks are gearing up to play two point guards at once. They'd certainly have enough tandems to choose from, should Jason Kidd, Felton, Lin, and Pablo Prigioni all be in the fold.
The And-One: Though Felton is obviously the headliner of this deal, fans seem to be "upset" over the fact that the Knicks are losing Jeffries. Keep in mind the team is not "wronging" the forward in any way, shape, or form. Jeffries is not going to Portland against his will. As a free agent, Jeffries NEEDS to agree to a deal with the Blazers in order for the trade to go through. Obviously it appears as though he's done this.
What's more, Jeffries would have probably earned the veteran's minimum playing in New York or probably anywhere else for that matter. He now stands to earn a bit more of a lucrative contract due to all the salaries needing to match up between the two teams.