Multiple sources are reporting that the Knicks have the outline of a deal done with PG Ray Felton, most recently of Charlotte.
Early speculation is that the deal is for 3 years at $7 million per (h/t to Knickerblogger’s own Robert Silverman). Update: The Post is now reporting that that the deal is for two years at $15.8 million. Felton is the top-rated FA point guard according to Kevin Pelton at Basketball Prospectus. He writes:
Felton substantially improved his stock while playing for the Bobcats’ qualifying offer last season. The difference was almost entirely in terms of shooting the ball better, and if you trace it using Hoopdata.com’s shot location data, you see Felton’s percentages shot up in two opposite but crucial areas–at the rim and beyond the arc. There’s reason to be concerned Felton will regress, but he is also very talented and just entering his prime, so his development is not entirely inexplicable.
Felton’s reputation is as an outstanding defensive point guard. Of course, we should take reputations for perimeter players with a grain of salt. Such reputations can be very dependent on having a shot-blocker available to erase mistakes. Still, this is the kind of gamble NY should be taking on a young player with upside.
The deal, if it is in fact a 3-year deal for reasonable money, is a pretty nice haul for Walsh. One thing seems clear. Walsh may be remaking the roster to D’Antoni’s liking, but in his own image. He seems to be making a point of not indulging the coach’s worst excesses. Walsh is acquiring players who bring at least something to the table on the defensive end. He’s putting a team on the floor that can play a modified SSOL, but also has a shot at the top half of the league on defense.