Knicks and Raymond Felton Agree to a Deal in Principle

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’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.

Liked it? Take a second to support DCrockett17 on Patreon!


Part-time blogger on the Knicks at and Seahawks at In my free time I hang out at the University of South Carolina and occasionally fill thirsty young minds with knowledge about various and sundry things related to consumer behavior and marketing.

125 thoughts to “Knicks and Raymond Felton Agree to a Deal in Principle”

  1. Great deal. He brings much more to the table than just offense. Hes a willing defender and at that price it doesnt take us away from being buyers in next years FA class. Now lets hope our young’ns develop into studs.

  2. With Felton and the three players coming over from the Golden State deal, we have greatly improved our defense. Felton and Randolph aren’t terribly efficient offensively, but we do have some guys who are quite efficient scorers. If this is the team on opening day, it’s the most balanced squad we’ve had since the end of the Ewing era. We actually seem to have players whose skillsets complement each others. Keep this team together and add a quality slasher/scorer (Carmelo?) and we could be in business.

  3. Ill say this, D’Antoni has a chance to show how good a coach he really is because this looks like a tailor-made team for him to coach. Granted it will be an extremely young team to coach with Amar’e as the only real proven, playoff-tested player but as you all know I am a big fan of D’Antoni so I am cautiously optimistic that D’Antoni can coach this team to 40-45 wins barring any injuries of course. Problem is the East is suddenly extremely strong top-heavy and really the first 6 spots in the playoffs should be locked up already with all of those teams capable of winning 50 games (assuming the Bulls and Bucks take the next step and the Hawks maintain where they are).

  4. “Felton and Randolph aren’t terribly efficient offensively”

    Yes and Eddy Curry was just a tad over his ideal BMI in 2009.

    Felton for 3 at 21-25 million is waaaaaaay better than Johnson at 5 for 110. Its coming into focus now. And is anyone else worried about the outside shooting of a Felton, Chandler back court? I surely am. So Felton, Chandler, Gallanari, Stoudamire, and insert body X.

    That leaves Walker, Randolph, Azibu..Azebu..that guy, and Douglas making up a very young but interesting reserve core.

  5. Id rather have Azibuike or Walker starting at SG. Have a feeling Chandler will start at PF with Amar’e at C. Although Amar’e at PF and Turiaf starting at C and playing 15-20 mins would be ideal I think. Of course if Randolph and Amar’e start together that could be great to see not just for now but for next few years.

  6. I think its safe to say only guaranteed starters are Felton, Gallo and Amar’e.

  7. I’d go (and as always, I assume MD’A is scouring KB, just waiting for my opinion on any and all Nix-related topics):

    numbers below are MPG)
    PG Felton 32 Douglas 16
    SG Walker 20 Azubuike 20 Douglas 4
    SF Gallo 32 Chandler 10 Walker 6
    PF Randolph 32 Chandler 16
    C Stoudamire 36 Turiaf 12

  8. @9,

    Agreed, but I do think Wilson Chandler and Anthony Randolph have a leg up over the rest of the guys to get into the starting line-up. I would expect to see Felton/Chandler/Gallo/Randolph/Stoudemire.

  9. Depth as I see it:
    PG – Felton, Douglas
    SG – Walker, Azubuike, Rautins
    SF – Gallinari, Chandler, Fields
    PF – Randolph, Jordan (Yes, until he puts some weight on)
    C – Stoudemire, Turiaf, Curry

  10. The thing I love most about having this young team, is that everybody will be (or at least should be) trying to prove themselves, fighting for minutes in D’Antoni’s tight rotation,

  11. I expect Douglas (24) and Chandler (32) to play more, Azu (16) and Walker (20) to play less.

  12. Just for argument’s sake, what happens if Curry reports in shape and healthy (it is a contract year, after all.) Does he get any light? I guess he would get Turiaf’s minutes, if any. Would be a nice problem to have!

  13. Man, I love just looking at all of those nice, moderate, contracts. That is some flexibility!

  14. I posted this in the last thread but will repeat it here- Felton took a lot of shots late in the clock (20 % of his shots were with 3 seconds or less on the clock and another 21 % with between 8-4 seconds left) and he was miserable in those situations .404 eFg. In the first 15 seconds of the clock he was pretty comparable to anyone but Nash and Kidd including Paul and DWilliams. Obviously hitting shots late in the clock is what separates all-stars from ordinary players but you have to think in D’Antoni’s system, built on quick P & Rs (with probably the best diver in the league) you’re looking at a much higher percentage of his shots coming early in the clock. Does that make him an all-star? Probably not, but if he’s able to finish as efficiently as was last year (which given his previous troubles finishing isn’t a given) he could be worth every bit of his salary.

    I think you could also see TD playing a decent amount at the 2- maybe 10-15 minutes a night- I think the added ball-handling and passing he’d add would make up for whatever he gives up defensively (and I’m not sure he wouldn’t be our best defender at the two anyway (esp. with KA coming off of knee surgery). D’Antoni played a fair amount of 3/2 zone last year and I think a 3/2 with Randolph at the top, Douglas and Felton on the wings, and some combination of Gallo, Amar’e and Turiaf could be really effective for 10 minutes or so a night.

  15. @14 I’m not sure about Chandler over Buike. I live in the Bay Area, which means I’ve been watching him consistently the past couple of years, and he’s real good. Tough dude. Defensive minded. Good shooter. And he rebounds the ball.

    Honestly, Chandler’s not better than him. Azubuike does more.

    We’re gonna love the kid.

  16. D’Antoni likes shooters and I don’t think he will be able to resist giving minutes to Walker & spellcheck. I think Chandler is a prime 6th man candidate – he’s versatile in guarding different positions, and he’s done ok coming off the bench before.

    I also would expect to see a lot of Randolph, starter’s minutes if not in the actual starting lineup. I expect he’ll establish himself pretty quickly as the 2nd or 3rd best player on the team (along with Gallo).

  17. Chad Ford reporting the contracts of the Big 3:

    Contract details of LeBron, Wade & Bosh. LeBron & Bosh sign 6 year, $110M dollar deals. Wade signs 6 year, $107M dollar deal.

    LeBron & Bosh start at $14.5M … $2M less starting salary than max. Wade starts at $14.2M. Overall each took about $15M less.

  18. Aaaand the Knicks renounced Al Harrington. I’m bummed about Lebron, but this free agency period has felt more cathartic than I ever thought it would. We’re free! Now I’d just love to know who the knicks are gonna lock up to replace walsh, just so I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder for Isiah’s creepy weasel smile.

  19. Howard Beck of the NY Times on the Felton deal:

    Hearing he’ll get starting salary around $7 mil. If 3yr deal, would be about $22.7 mil. Details still being worked out.

  20. Also apparently the Big 3 all have early termination options after Year 4 of their deals. Summer of 2014!!!!

  21. One thing I think everybody should be watching for is how Gallo will play this season. I’m hoping he has a breakout season as a go-to scorer. Gallo did say that he wanted to affect the game outside of scoring, so I’m expecting a raise in his rebounding numbers and assists. Donnie Walsh has him looking at old Larry Bird tapes, so maybe the Euro-Bird is a Rooster.

  22. what no one seems to understand about Eddy Curry is that being in shape HURTS HIS GAME. when he was a fat load, his huge rear allowed him to get off shots inside. now that he’s skinny, he can’t contribute on either end.

  23. Felton at 7 mil per year? Ew.
    Plus, this sorta lets everyone know that they’ve given up on the chase for Tony Parker/Chris Paul. Great…
    And we only got Anthony Randolph/Ronny Turiaf (and a scrub) for an All-Star…..great…
    Hopefully, D’Antoni-ball can make Felton into a 10-assist-per-night guy.
    Or Gallo can become a point-forward in the Turkoglu mold (like many scouts said before he was drafted) to help on pick-and-rolls with Amar’e.

  24. Also, does this mean we’ve given up on Toney D as a point guard?
    I was hoping he’d play more this year…

  25. Also, does this mean we’ve given up on Toney D as a point guard?

    No, just not as a starting point guard.

  26. So wait, if I’m doing the math correctly, after the Heat sign their second round draft picks to minimum deals for $450,000 each, the Heat will have about SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS to spend on free agents!!! That is an insanely large amount of money for a team that already has Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Mike Miller on it! They can split that money between Haslem and a decent point guard then begin to spend their veteran minimum exceptions on whoever.

    They are going to be so freakin’ good next year.

  27. I don’t think signing Felton means we gave up on Tony Parker or Chris Paul…its not like players can’t be traded. And calling Kelenna Azubuike a “scrub” is baseless. He shoots the 3 ball pretty well, is athletic, rebounds well at his position, and isn’t a slouch on defense.

  28. Looks like Haslem will definitely be back and apparently they will be talking to Derek Fisher this weekend.

  29. Yeah, Azubuike is a good player – just one dealing with an injury. If healthy, he could very well be a starter for the Knicks.

    Okay, so it sounds like the Knicks still have about $5 million left to spend. Who should they spend it on? Is $5 million enough to get Josh Childress? Should they even bother with Josh Childress?

    Should they save their money, hoping to do a trade in-season (and use a little bit of it to bring Earl Barron back, I guess)?

  30. From a reader in Simmons’ mailbag…

    You know what made me laugh just now? Joe Johnson came away with the biggest contract of the 2010 Free Agency Frenzy.


    That’s pretty damn funny.

  31. Childress is a quality swingman and at 5 mil/per he’s a bargain. But I think the Nix are pretty loaded at that spot between Chandler, Walker, Azubuike, Fields, and Gallo. I’d save the ducats for next year/the trading deadline

  32. Never mind, I found it:

    KA-lane-a A-zu-bee-kay

    Does KA = Kay, rhyming with day or Kah, like a Bostonian saying car?

  33. Wow I cant wait to hear John Andreas butcher that one next year. Gus Johnson will get it right though. Hmmm this team is making me lean toward laying down a few dollars for NBALPBB.

  34. “How is Azubuike pronounced, by the way?”

    Just like it sounds.

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist

  35. The Knicks could have a sponsorship opportunity from Burger King.

    The Azubuike Broiler!!

  36. Walsh is the best Gm in my twenty years as a knick fan, hands down!
    He is making a very watchable team, ‘the anti-heat’, keep up the good work!

    Felton doesn’t seem like the protypical d’antoni pg. I keep hearing his defense is comaprable to ward, which is a good thing. But not a pass first type guard, Does he have a mid range game? I remember him torching us last season but it was because our interior defense was so bad.


    Shit. Did I just make a Dane Cook reference? ::kills self::

  38. Aww. Thanks you guys. In retrospect, I could have summend up the whole thing a lot more succinctly, “Eff you MeBron! You and your whole Golden Girls posse!”

  39. Actually, the Felton-Ward comparison is pretty valid. Felton probably has more offensive upside while Ward was the better defender. Their assist numbers are very close. Also, both were the quarterbacks of national championship teams in college.

    As far as his salary is concerned, considering what the likes of Darko and Blake are getting, I can live with this deal.

    One good thing about the LeBron-Bosh-Wade deals is that it sets a precedent for future FAs to be creative in structuring deals rather than getting every penny they are entitled to. Melo, CP3, you watching?

    Re: Gallo emulating Bird, his body type is very different, but I guess there are similarities. Bird’s cold-blooded, nasty, competitive mean streak and ability to be at his best when the pressure maxed out can’t really be taught, though.

  40. It seems Walsh is indeed making smart moves. I’m still not a big fan of what it took to get Stat, but I am glad we have him. If Stat ever learns how to pass, this could be a top 5 offense easy becuz he’s surrounded by guys who can shoot and make other things happen. On top of that, we now have a roster of guys who also can play some semblance of defense in Chandler, Felton, Douglas, Azubuike, Randolph and Rooster. I like these moves. Not exactly what I hoped for, but more well rounded than D’Antoni’s ever had-yet still with loads of offensive potential. I’m officially over my FA 2010 anxiety. If we have room, maybe we should bring in Roger Mason and bring back House (even though he sucked last season) as the 3rd PG/another shooter, and see if we can swindle Hollins from Minny. Sounds ok, rite?

  41. Also, both were the quarterbacks of national championship teams in college.

    I actually stopped and thought “Raymond Felton played football?”

    Good one Z-man.

  42. SO, can we say the Knicks will be the most improved team in the league, in terms of increase in wins, from 2010 to 2011?

    Miami, of course, will be better than us but we can still be most improved!

    Any chance D’Antoni will widen the rotation this year from 7 – 8 guys?? If we can use 10 quality players who never stop running all game I feel like we can REEEALLY tire out defenses.

  43. I guess the Eric Spoelstra watch starts now. I am actually kind of surprised he is still the coach. I would have thought Lebron would have made putting Riley into the coaches position one of his prerequisites, before signing on.

    I am guessing if Miami doesn’t exhibit pure domination early on in the schedule, it will not be long before we all see Riley.

  44. Am I deluded? Does Walsh have another move planned?
    I keep watching for Anthony to sign his extension, and he hasn’t.
    Will Denver look to move him knowing he wants to leave?
    And now the Knicks have the kind of players and contracts that can make a trade for Melo possible.
    Curry’s contract now has real value for anyone wanting to create space.

    Anyway, Walsh has the pieces to make a strong move for Melo. (Paul was part of the crew that made the pact to play together. I see him going to Miami.)

    But I’m probably deluded.

    On Defense, I love that Walsh is giving D’antoni guys who play defense.
    I see Amare because of his defensive weakness, as a power forward. I think Randolph will find his 30 minutes in the rotation, but he’s behind Amare’. I think Gallo and Chandler will each get 30 minutes.
    Amare will need a defense-minded center to watch his back. I think Turiaf and Jordan both are those kinds of centers. They’re not going to rip the nets.They’re going to deny the paint. I don’t see Curry playing any kind of real role for the Knicks. I see his fat ass on a bench even if he is in shape.

    One thing I like, and I think I read this somewhere, is that Walsh is counter-balancing D’Antoni’s offensive-mindedness by getting guys who play defense.
    Randolph has the potential to be a Camby-esque weakside shot blocker. Turiaf, Felton, Jordan, Azubuiki…all these guys play defense.

    Just as an aside, it might have been worth at least part of Felton’s contract so that we could avoid the indignity of watching him shred the Knicks defense….

  45. The thing that amazes me is that the Heat were the sixth seed last year and still made cap room. Now they get Miller and Haslem back on top of the biggest FA coup in NBA history. Forget for a minute the LeBron narrative, Is Riley the best GM ever? I hate to say it but I think so. He worked for us once. Maybe our worst move ever was letting him leave, no?

    All I can say is that the “ifs” better work out in our favor this time. Randolph and Felton need to be all star level players. Amare needs to be Garnett-esque. Not saying it will happen, just that it needs to. Then we can be the type of organization that people want to come to. It seems like we’re moving in the right direction. We have upside with no real albatross contracts. We have 5+ million after Felton with Curry’s 11+ coming off the books. 16+ sounds like enough for Carmelo, but the talent has to show it’s self on the court, in order for any team to want any of it in a trade and in order for anyone to want to play here.

    Improvement? I can’t predict. Let’s see them beat Philadelphia first.

  46. Addendum 2 my comment @ 48…I forgot 2 mention Turiaf and Jordan as guys who should make or Defense better as well. If everybody stays healthy and develops as expected, Walsh has put us in a great position with the young talent and cap space. I like it. I’d definitely rather have the more serious contender this season, but I’ll take where we are right now. Walsh’s work so far is nothing to scoff at. I’m tryin not to over hype things, but the pieces Walsh is adding has a chance at looking REALLY good in Mike D’s system. Not to mention the fact that Walsh’s moves are saying to D’Antoni-u r gonna coach Defense whether u like it or not.

  47. @ 38

    “Ah-zoo-bwee-kee gets freaky from three here at the garden”


    Most improved? We’ll see. The talent level is higher overall, and that leaves lots of room for guarded optimism (and I’m a pretty optimistic type). However, it’s easy to see how this squad might still be bad. My inner pessimist says that this team likely peaks at 43-48 wins if most everything falls into place and barring another major acquisition. That would almost surely make the playoffs. But, at the low end we may not be appreciably better than we have been if at all. Even though we’ve upped our overall talent, Amar’e is really the only player guaranteed to be well over 20 PER (barring injury). I don’t think anyone else on the roster is a lock to come in over 15 PER.

    Well, let me rephrase. Last year we won 29 games. I highly doubt we end up that bad. But we could add 10 wins and still miss the playoffs in what is shaping up to be a nasty Eastern Conference. If that happened, I’m not even sure how *I’d* evaluate the season.

    My nightmare scenario is one where a) Gallo does nothing but shoot threes with Amar’e on the floor, b) Chandler has peaked as a slight below average player who doesn’t shoot well enough for D’Antoni to mask his flaws, and c) Felton regresses into just a better version of Chris Duhon and we peter out at 36 wins.


  48. @ 55

    I agree. Even though I’ve generally liked our moves this offseason, I can still envisions tons of scenarios in which we win only 25-30 games. Maybe Amare struggles without a stud PG, or maybe he has yet another freak injury. Maybe Gallinari doesn’t progress very much and spends all game camped out at the three-point line. Maybe TD regresses badly as a shooter. Perhaps Felton is just awful.

    I do have some hope that Wilson Chandler won’t be as awful, now that he seems not to take so many threes. At least there’s that.

    Depending on how we do this upcoming season, it wouldn’t surprise me to see D’Antoni leave.

  49. @21 “Now I’d just love to know who the knicks are gonna lock up to replace walsh, just so I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder for Isiah’s creepy weasel smile.”

    Isaiah is like our Sideshow Bob and we’re all Bart Simpsons.

    The Bulls continue to be the darlings of the sports media; I saw a poll that had them only behind the Heat, Lakers and Magic in terms of odds of winning an NBA championship. Not sure I get that. And if I hear Jon Barry mention Taj Gibson one more time as some kind of budding superstar….

  50. Although I wish him good health, I’d really like it if the Knicks could snag Pritchard while they still have long-term flexibility. Felton at $7M/yr is not exactly what I’d call a great signing; I mean, don’t we already have a half-court PG with a rookie contract? And doesn’t he put up much better shooting numbers than Felton?

  51. I think we have enough guards and swingmen now. It’s time to get another big or 2. Bring back Barron! And what do you guys think abt signing Joel Anthony to an offer sheet just to screw with the heat?

    @49 I knew it wasn’t true bc he went to UNC lol. When have they had a good football team?

  52. I haven’t seen Ronny Turiaf play much, but his basketball reference page reveals him to be a pretty prolific shot-blocker. With Turiaf and Randolph available to guard the paint and some good perimeter defenders like Felton, Azubuike and Toney D in the mix, we should be able to fix the problem of people driving the lane at will on us.

  53. I just checked on Hollinger stats page, Felton has not ranked in top 20 of NBA PGs in any of the desirable categories. But, he is durable, and plays decent D. At 26, I doubt he can get much better. At $7-8mm/YR for 3, looks like a low risk, low reward type signing. Nonetheless, not overpaying is the key, a clear departure from prior regimes.

  54. What would you guys think of signing Mahinmi now? I think it would be a nice low risk move to add another high upside guy to our roster. We have built a young team with room to grow and we have enough depth to take a flyer on a someone which might not work out at all but could be special.

  55. The Bobcats haven’t exactly been blessed with potent scorers over the past few years. Felton might have better assist numbers playing with some guys who can actually make their shots. Stephen Jackson led the team in FGA, and he was bloody awful.

  56. I think a lot of the comments here about Felton sort of reveal the problems with just evaluating players based on their stats — especially the posts comparing him to Duhon. You couldn’t find two players more opposite in playing style then these two. I’m not sure why Walsh and D’Antoni chose Duhon for SSOL but his slowness and inability to consistently push the ball upcourt were two of the major reasons our offense looked so bad at times the last 2 years.

    Felton, on the other hand, was born to play in this system. He really might be one of the fastest PG in the league — his 3/4 court sprint was the same as Derrick Rose’s and faster than John Wall’s. I cut and pasted his draftexpress predraft scouting report — I’d concentrate on the last paragraph:

    Raymond Felton possesses tremendous speed and quickness. With or without the ball, he is one of the fastest guards in the country, college or pro. His explosive quickness allows him to beat defenders off the dribble and dash past defenders in the open court. He can change speeds in an instant and is rarely caught off balance. On the break, he has the ability to rise above the rim and finish strong due to his great vertical. Felton makes up for any lack of size or strength with his superior athleticism. He has shown during his career at North Carolina that he is extremely tough and resilient and able to play through injuries, which were many. Felton never missed a game in college due to injuries.

    Felton is a fantastic ball handler, probably the best in the draft. He can get anywhere on the court at any time. Coupled with his relentless attacking style this puts constant pressure on the defense. Felton has the ability to beat defenders off the dribble either to his left or right and does so often. Once in the paint he can finish at the rim with either hand. His speed and ball handling skills make him almost impossible to press against. He splits defenders with ease, using a low fast dribble to his advantage. He always dribbles with his head up looking for open teammates ready to dish at any moment.

    Felton is a rare breed these days. He is a true pass first point guard looking to get his teammates involved before looking for his own offense. He has incredible court vision and sees things develop long before they are there. On the break he is deadly. He can make difficult passes look easy and is not scared to make those passes, even in traffic. After beating his man off the dribble he does a great job of drawing defenders then dumping the ball off to open teammates in the paint. Despite all his passing skills, Felton is not a showboat and does not make unnecessary, flashy passes. He gets the right person the ball, in rhythm, at the right time.

    When Felton needs to score he can and he showed it throughout North Carolina’s title run. His jump shot has improved drastically from last season to this season, going from 31% to 44% (70 out of 159) on 3 point attempts. He is now showing good form with his elbow tucked in, solid follow-through with his hand and good rise and lift going straight up. He has stopped the unnecessary drifting and fading that plagued him during his first two years at North Carolina. Felton is no longer a liability from behind the arc.

    On defense, Felton is a tireless worker, showing great energy, desire and anticipation. He has incredibly quick hands which allow him to get to many errant passes or loose balls. He also has exceptionally quick feet and he knows how to get position, which makes him tough to beat off the dribble. His speed, quickness and athletic ability also allow him to guard opponents far from the basket. Felton is a very aggressive defender, often gambling for steals in the passing lanes, although much of this was due to Roy Williams’ defensive philosophy. Despite his aggressiveness, Felton does a good job of avoiding fouls. He only fouled out of one game his junior year. Felton also played man to man almost exclusively at North Carolina, which should give him a head start over some guards.

    Felton has certain traits that you just can’t teach. He is a natural leader, he is very competitive and he is a clutch performer, rising to accept any challenge. He’s been a winner at every stage in his basketball career. In high school he won back to back state titles. He scored 45 points in the championship game his senior year. Now you can add a college national championship to that resume.

    At 6’1, Felton is a bit small compared to today’s new breed of point guards. He could potentially struggle in the half-court against some of the bigger and stronger point guards in the league. Because of his hard-nosed, relentless style of play he tends to get banged up often. In college, he was able to play through most of these injuries but that could change in the NBA, especially when larger and stronger opponents are factored in. One way that opponents have figured out to slow him down is to knock him down really hard (like in the first Wake Forest game this season), Felton will usually get a little passive if he is consistently being roughed up.

    On one hand, the speed at which Felton plays at is one of his greatest strengths; it can also at times be his greatest weakness. He needs to cut down on the turnovers, which are almost always a result of playing too fast or trying to make passes that are too difficult. It sometimes seems that Felton can only play at one speed, which of course is lightning speed. He is going to have to learn to slow down and take what the defense dictates.

    As mentioned earlier, Felton drastically improved his outside shooting but he still has much room to grow. He is going to have to show defenders that he can make at least enough outside shots to keep them from doubling off him. While Felton may never be a great 3 point shooter he at least needs to be able to knock down the open ones. Developing a great mid-range game will be more important for Felton than 3 point shooting. With his combination of quickness and ball handling every defender is going to be playing him to drive. If he can become a deadly shooter off the dribble from 15-20 feet he will be almost impossible to guard. Felton needs to also improve his free throw shooting. He shot 70% from the line this season, which for a point guard that has the ball at the end of the games isn’t great.

    The starting PG for the national champions. Nuff said? If not, check out the links section for more.

    Felton’s talent is undeniable. He has all the tools to be a terrific point guard. His greatest attributes, such as quickness, speed, leadership, vision and instincts are things that can’t be taught. You either have them or you don’t. His biggest weaknesses, such as turnovers and shooting are things that are easily improved through hard work and coaching. It’s these reasons why Felton, despite being a 3 year college player from a national championship team, still has a lot of room for improvement. His upside is still tremendous.

    What team/coach that drafts Felton will have a bigger impact on his success than the other top point guards in the draft. Felton needs to play for a coach that is willing to let him push the ball and play at the speeds he thrives at. In the right system, Felton can be the best point guard in the draft; in the wrong system Felton just might be average.

  57. I’m going to isolate one piece from this scouting report that really bugs me:

    “Felton is a fantastic ball handler, probably the best in the draft. He can get anywhere on the court at any time. Coupled with his relentless attacking style this puts constant pressure on the defense. Felton has the ability to beat defenders off the dribble either to his left or right and does so often. Once in the paint he can finish at the rim with either hand. His speed and ball handling skills make him almost impossible to press against. He splits defenders with ease, using a low fast dribble to his advantage. He always dribbles with his head up looking for open teammates ready to dish at any moment.”

    Look at the difference in TOV% between Felton and our current point guard (who has only played one year in the NBA at limited minutes and will almost certainly reduce his TOV% in the next year or two). In Dave Berri’s book, he talks about the effect of a Final Four appearance (or National Championship) on a player’s draft status.

    Now, I do care about a player’s work ethic and character, but it’s clear from the numbers that Felton can’t play. His TS% is horrible (a solid .08% lower than Douglas, which is substantial) and the only two areas in which he is an improvement is in AST/36 and PF/36, the latter of which typically comes down after a player’s first few seasons, especially for players who play interior defense.

    Aside from “he hustles” or “he is a proven winner: UNC, duh,” are there any valid arguments to sign this player for $20-22M over the next three years when Chris Paul is going to be on the block?

    This looks to me like Chris Duhon v.2, and will again come at the cost of Toney Douglas’s development.

  58. @67 I completely agree that stats alone do not tell the story. In particular, I take issue with the idea that “player X is worth 4 wins, player Y is worth 6 wins” and all that. We had an Isiah Thomas team here that had useful players on it, yet was terrible because those players did not complement each other at all. While I’m depressed that we may not be able to beat Miami for many, many years, I’m encouraged that the new-look Knicks seem to be a “whole greater than the sum of the parts” kind of team.

    Sure, Amar’e is not a great post defender, but he is passable, and Randolph seems a good bet to develop into a terrific Camby/Josh Smith type defender. If Randolph pans out, his game should complement Amare’s nicely. Then you’ve got Turiaf around as a shot-blocking deterrent in the paint. Our team blocked shot totals should skyrocket. We are better offensively and defensively in the paint.

    At small forward, we’ve got a terrific shooter (Gallo) and a good slasher (Chandler). Gallo is a surprisingly feisty defender, gives us great length at the position, handles the ball well and is still young. Chandler is a solid rotation player.

    At shooting guard, we have a guy with great upside (Walker) who shot the lights out in his audition last year, a good two-way player and solid outside shooter (Azubuike) and a tenacious defender who shot the ball very nicely when given the chance (Douglas).

    And at the point, we’ve got Felton, who is far from a perfect player but is also a plus defender who is moving from a Larry Brown offense to a Mike D’Antoni offense.

    We don’t have very many glaring weaknesses. It’d be nice to have another Raja Bell/Bruce Bowen type stopper on the wing and perhaps a true, big-bodied center, but there is very little dead wood on the roster. We’re also subtracting nearly 7,000 minutes of Jared Jeffries, Al Harrington, Chris Duhon and Larry Hughes.

    I think this Knicks team will be one we will enjoy, and if we were to add another impact player like Carmelo Anthony, we might be able to give the Heat some real headaches in a few years when all of our young guys are reaching their primes.

  59. Like the scouting report suggested, on a slow team, Felton will be average. On a team that pushes the ball, he could be fantastic. He was playing for Brown last year. People here have noted what a horrible coach he was. Might that have affected Felton’s game, or his development?

    I’m not prepared to go negative. This is the first FA period in many, many years we have had something to feel good about.
    Walsh knows NBA talent. He’s not particularly successful drafting college guys, but he seems to recognize NBA-level talent.
    For the first time in years, the Knicks actually have a balanced team, a couple true defensive centers, across the board good defenders. Amare’ was a monster in the latter parts of last season. He consistently played powerful ball. I’m very happy to have him.
    The Knicks weren’t going to pay Lee that much. He was a very good player on a very bad team. I suspect he’ll play a nice role over there, but his numbers likely will roll back a bit.
    The Knicks got two guys who project as potential starters, or at least major minutes guys, and another strong center.
    They’re also still in a nice cap position, with the flexibility to deal for even more front line talent.
    True, it could go badly, but it could go nicely.
    If we are in shouting distance of 50 wins, I will personally be thrilled. All those first rounders the Knicks lost?
    Felton was picked 5th overall. Randolph was first round (14th).
    Amare was drafted 9th overall.

    Hard to get back all that we gave away, but that’s not a bad haul for one summer. And we’re now examining a trade for Carmelo.

    I’m pretty happy.

  60. @69 After the LeBron apocalypse, I’m through with tanking and waiting for star players to come here. Toney D is a nice player and he will get enough burn; he’ll spell Felton at PG and play minutes at SG too; it’s an ideal role for him. When we need more size at SG we can roll with Chandler or Azubuike.

    Plus Felton’s contract is not massive, lengthy or unmovable. In two years it will be one of those “expiring contract” assets we all love so much. We’re not going to be challenging Miami, Orlando or the other top East teams for a couple of years, and in the meantime we need someone to help us take baby steps. I actually like the Felton signing, ugly basketball-reference page and all.

  61. im watching bill walker highlights, this guy needs to start at Sf


    thats my 5

  62. One thing I realized since LeBron’s Dagger is that this is the first time we’ve really seen Donnie Walsh make an effort to put together a winning basketball team in New York! Everything up until this offseason was strictly about slashing salary and taking expiring contracts. For all the hemming and hawing about whether or not T-Mac was gonna work out — T-Mac was utterly irrelevant, Walsh had his game plan and stuck to it.

    And now that he’s playing to build a winning roster, we’re seeing something like savvy. Young players with reasonable contracts? Holy cow!

    I’m happy because I think we’re going to have an interesting year.

    I knocked Silverman’s not-wanting-LeBron article back when it came out, but now that we have been dissed, I realize that instead of being delivered unto rapture by a savior, we’re going to have to win the old-fashioned way — struggle and perserverance. One of these years, the Knicks are going to surprise the heck out of the league, and now that we’re seeing the front office actually playing to win, maybe that time is now?

  63. Agreed, Tastycakes. Even though the salary cap makes the comparisons to baseball completely bogus, there is still the perception that New York teams simply buy the best players. Even the draft selection that netted Ewing is still disputed as a NY plot. But, now that Qwitness has spurned us, we gotta roll up our sleeves and build a team. I like how it’s starting to unfold.

    It’ll take a bit of luck, and I’m concerned about Amar’e losing focus on a 40-win team. But if you told me the Knicks would get better and better in the next four years, starting with, say, 41 wins this year and a playoff date in Miami, I’d take it.

    Felton was the starting PG for a team that won 44 games and had no superstars. He can help.

  64. I am not very happy with the Felton signing but I can live with it for a couple of reasons:

    First – Last season, Felton’s efficiency was approaching average, and his three point shot was falling. If he can maintain his high efficiency from behind the arc we should actually see an increase in TS% because in D’Antoni’s offense he will be asked to shoot alot more threes.

    Second – He has a reputation as a very good defensive PG and played on the best defense in the league last year.

    Third – He is not a high usage player so even if his TS% slips a little he does not take alot of shots so it shouldn’t hurt the overall efficiency of our offense too much, as long as he keeps at least a passable % from three to keep defenders honest on the pick and roll.

    Fourth – It is a three year contract which means even if he is bad we can move him in two years when his contract is expiring.

    So all in all I think it is a poor signing but I am holding out a glimmer of hope that last seaon’s spike in 3 point efficiency was not an outlier but a real improvment. Also hoping that D’antoni’s system can help his efficiency by giving him more 3 point opportunities, more chances to run the break and less pressure to shoot as the clock is winding down.

    I am excited about the Knicks moves, and excited to have a team with real potential to get better and compete. I am happy I will get to see us grow and build toward winning it all rather than short cut it by signing LeBron.

  65. @69 nothing about signing Felton is going to stop Walsh from grabbing Chris Paul or Tony Parker if they’re available. And there are plenty of minutes left for Douglas, who needs to play minutes at the 2, anyway.

    I don’t know that we need to spend a lot of time speculating – there probably isn’t a player in the league twho has been more consistent the past five years. The only difference is that in 2009-2010 he shot better.

    He’s 27 – he’s not getting a lot better, and he’s not about to decline.

    With Felton what you see is what you get. He’ll be a big upgrade over what we’ve had, but probably won’t be more than an average NBA point. Forr this season it’s a no-brainer. He’s the best available PG.

    AFter that, $7-8 million is about the going rate for that player. Maybe $1 million worth of optimism. But we still have big cap space with Felton on the roster next summer. And if we need to move him, it won’t be that hard – it won’t be like trying to pawn off Jared Jeffries.

  66. Ben – you list some good reasons why Felton is a good addition, and then you say it’s a poor signing? What were our other options at point…let TD run the show? Wasn’t going to happen, and not a good idea. He’s a 2.

    I argued at length with Ted why Felton was a good move and going to continue to improve. I said then that at $10m he was not a signing and $6m he’s a steal. Turned out to be closer to a steal. And that scouting report says it all: turn him loose in an uptempo offense, and he’ll be fantastic.

    Um, I’m not sure, but I think D’Antoni likes an uptempo offense. I feel sure I read something about that somewhere.

    Felton will be good – not mediocre, but good. Has he ever had a finisher to dish to like Amare? Has he had shooters like Gallo and Walker and Azi and TD? Has he played at a tempo that takes advantage of his gifts? This is the perfect fit for him. You doubters will be pleasantly surprised.

    And again, he can D! Most of the team can D! It’s like an alternate universe or something….

  67. Unlike the prophet of doom Jowles, I have a more positive outlook on the Knicks. The addition of Black Dynamite and Felton will certainly help.

    The position battles will certainly be interesting throughout the season. Walker, Azubooty and Chandler will certainly push each other. Walker losing 25 pounds and Easy Eddie dropping a ton to now weighing 275 (allegedly), it will definitely be a fight between them.

    Randolph bulked up to 230 something so maybe he can handle the 4 more consistently on the block.

    And most importantly, Gallo needs to step it up and D’Antoni needs to get him more touches on the elbows.

  68. I don’t think Chandler is a starter this year, at least not with Felton at the reigns. Felton and Chandler just isn’t enough 3 point shooting, so I would expect to see Azubuike there over Chandler and Douglas, because he’s a better shooter than Chandler, and taller than Douglas. So Felton/Azubuike/Gallo/Randolph/Stoudemire is probably going to be the starting line-up with Chandler, Douglas, and Turiaf getting the bulk of the minutes off the bench. I suppose Rautins, Fields, and Jordan will get garbage minutes, and maybe even Curry.

  69. rama – I say it’s a poor signing because my post was full of best case scenerio’s and wishful thinking. If he takes a step back shooting the ball all of a sudden teams can sag off of him, go under the screens in the pick and roll and really just clog the lane when he has the ball.

    He was the best PG availiable, but at 7 mil per I think you should get a solid NBA starter. I do not think he is quite that. Last season he was okay but the four prior seasons he was not. If we get 52+% TS% and 35+% 3pt% for the next three seasons then this was a good signing, but if he regresses to the form he was for the four seasons before last year then all of a sudden you get an offensive liability that will be standing in the way of starting Douglas and maybe signing Livingston or trading for a young PG. D’antoni is loyal to bad PGs.

    I am not without hope I just think 3 years $22+ million for a player that has as much chance being a solid to good starter as being a bad one is too much of a risk.

    As for the scouting report of course it’s positive, he was a high lottery pick, go read Kwame’s, or Eddy’s or Olawakandi’s. The only performance that really matters is his NBA performance and so far it does not bode extremely well for Felton.

  70. It’s not all about TS%…

    It is hard to measure perimeter defenders, but if Felton really is, say, a top-5 defender among PGs, and played an important role in Charlotte’s great D, he’ll be worth $5-million-plus even if he regresses to his usual bad shooting.

    The one whiff of Duhon is that everyone says Felton is terrible finishing around the basket – but he plays fast and sets people up. Not worth his #5 status, maybe, but still a lottery pick, probably top-10, if they re-did the draft from 5 years ago.

    If you want an All-Star you’re not getting him for $7 million unless it’s a rookie deal.

  71. If our hopes rest on a PG who shoots 52 TS% and 35 3PT%, our season is over before it even began.

    Considering that Knickblogger is a site that prides itself on the intelligent use of advanced statistics, the support of these bad-by-the-numbers players is a shock to me.

    When you think that a PG whose shooting efficiency is below league average and who has had an astronomically high TOV% in a slow-paced, think-first offense might be a steal at $8M, which is half of a max salary, then you might want to get your head checked. Absolutely insane.

  72. All of this “Isiah is still slithering around the Knicks” chatter is scaring the bejeesus out of me.

    I mean, it can’t be true, right? Dolan can’t be THAT willfully, colossally stupid.

    Someone reassure me

  73. Oh, and according to a post on TKB, Donnie Walsh is done with Free Agency, but will remain active in the trade market. I think we’re pretty solid going into this season, but are there any clear upgrades out there at the two that we can have?

  74. Jeezus. There is no way they bring Thomas back in that capacity. There were freakin’ protests to have him fired. How often does that happen with a professional sports team?

    It’s been said a thousand times, but the Knicks will have a hard time ever being successful with Dolan as owner. I would love Rod Thorn or Kevin Pritchard to come in. I wouldn’t even mind Mullin, since he’s an NYC guy and after some horrible moves with GS seemed to get the hang of things. I wonder if he’s the one who drafted Randolph?

  75. I love the Knicks more than any other sports team– more than my Mets, more than my Oakland Raiders– even more than my beloved Syracuse Orangemen. But if Isiah comes back, I’m done. I won’t be able to root for the Knicks anymore. That’s too much cruelty to inflict on your fans and I wouldn’t stand for it. I’d flip and root for the Zombie Sonics or the Clippers or something.

  76. You mean to tell me Isiah won’t be leading FIU to the Final Four under his supervision and care? WHAT.

  77. Lord, if “IT Who Shall Not Be Named” comes back, I don’t know what I’d do. I barely managed to continue following the Knicks through his first tenure. Though I don’t think I’d ever renounce my Knicks fan-ship, I would seriously consider taking a sabbatical at the first sign of one of his patented present-and-future-killing trades/signings.

  78. On an entirely unrelated note, Matt Barnes is still available isn’t he? I realize we’re totally stacked at the wing, but I love that guy. Seems like we already have a bunch of toughies and he’d just make us seem that much more bad ass. SSOL with some old-school D would have some serious swagger to it.

  79. From reading the above ESPN article, I get the impression Isiah was actually involved in courting the free agents this year, and this kind of news is a way for Donnie to publicly thank the man and help rehabilitate his image without actually giving him any power.

    But Lord help us if he’s ever in a basketball-decision-making capacity again for the Knicks.

  80. It’s just Donnie letting Isiah interview for the job as a thank you for all the FA help this offseason. Sort of like a required minority hire interview, but in this case it’s like a charity interview.

  81. Good eye for talent, good recruiter, puts together bad teams, bad coach, and a psychopath. I still have my “Fire Isaiah” t-shirt. He was so bad someone sent me a shirt.

  82. Hilarious. You guys are all Shook Ones Pt. II over the slightest mention of Isiah’s name.

  83. haha, we don’t PLAY.

    Seriously, the psychology of a Knicks fan in 2010 is not that different from a DV survivor – we all have PTSD from Zeke and freak out at the slightest mention of his name.
    And yet somehow we keep coming back…

  84. @85

    Felton’s name isn’t on the list of black holes, unless I missed it. The Post is now reporting a 2-year deal at $15.8M. But forget that for the sake of argument, and assume we are still talking about 3 years at $7-8 per. Felton projects at 5 WARP this season; better than Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, or Brendon Haywood.

    There are likely no PG bargains on the FA market this off-season, though I must admit I’m still kinda interested to see what happens with Sean Livingston. The almost inestimably bad Duhon got a) four years, and b) almost $4m per. Don’t you have to consider that about the floor in this market? (I don’t think you can count when Anthony Carter eventually signs in Miami for the minimum.)

    It’s not as if we really didn’t need another PG. I doubt seriously that Toney Douglas will ever play 3/4 of his minutes at the point.

    So, what’s the clearly superior alternative I’m missing? (Still assuming Felton at $7+ per for 3 years.)

    Now, if this turns into a 2 year deal for the same total size as Duhon do you like it any better?

  85. I hope Walsh, being a pretty classy guy, is just being nice to Isiah.

    I will pray that the Felton deal is only for two years.

  86. Curry at C? last year he tried to get into shape, got a few minutes, then failed (injuries or whatever). I predict something similar will happen this year.

  87. Okay, obviously early for this, but it doesn’t seem like any of the eastern conference lottery teams have improved nearly as much as the Knicks, plus Cleveland definitely not making the playoffs this year, so we’ve got to be a lock for a 5-8 seed, right?

  88. Felton at two years is a solid move. There is potential there. At two years we can see if his improvement from the outside is for real and if D’Antoni’s offense truly helps him. If he sucks which I put right now at about 50/50 then we can move him next summer because he will be an expiring contract.

    I think the difference between two years and three years is huge. It changes it from a long term signing to a long tryout. It also shows that Felton feels that in two years and at 27 (the perfect age for your last big contract) his value will have risen and not fallen. That makes me think that maybe he will work on his game and mold himself into a player that can get that big contract.

    Felton is a plus defender, a good passer (I do not understand people griping about turnovers his TOV% is pretty average) and has lower than average usage. Because of this, as long as he is close to average in terms of efficiency he will be an asset.

  89. People fixated on Felton’s TS% should remember this: Prior to the Felton signing the Knicks had a whopping 2(!) players who managed an assist% over 10 last year- TD at 16.6 and Ronny Turiaf at 13.8. Here’s the complete breakdown of last years numbers (and as a point of reference Al Harrington aka the Black Hole has a career assist% of 10.3 and put a an 8.6 last year).

    Walker- 8.3
    Chandler- 9.8
    Gallo- 7.6
    TD- 16.6
    Azubuike- 6.9 (that’s his career number as he played so little last year
    Randolph- 8.5
    Turiaf- 13.8
    Amar’e- 6.4

    Now a lot of this reflects how guys were used- Gallo’s role for much of last year was to stand at the three point line and wait for kick-out and take the shot not initiate the offense himself- and most of these guys are young and might be expected to improve quite a bit. Still, these numbers are pretty awful any way you slice it. While I didn’t check the numbers, I’d have to guess that without Felton the Knicks would have entered the season (statistically speaking, anyway) with the worst passing team in the NBA.
    As for Felton, his assist% was 29.5 last year which was actually a career low- his career number is 31.2- good for 10th among active point guards (9th if you don’t count Jamal Tinsley) just behind Tony Parker at 31.4. Those are pretty solid numbers- he’s not an elite playmaker but then again the Knicks aren’t paying him like one. Also, he’s spent his entire career playing on pretty bad offensive teams (though one could make the argument that his Duhon-esque shooting is a big reason why those teams were poor offensively) and (as Frank’s post mentioned) teams whose style of play weren’t ideal for his skill set so it’s possible those numbers could make a really nice improvement. I’d also argue that that, given the main role of the point guard in D’Antoni’s system is to initiate the pick & roll and with the Knicks just investing 100 million in a guy whose primary skill is finishing the p & r, the Knicks would have been crazy not to have someone on the roster who could run it from day one- TD may well learn to run it efficiently but last year he had real trouble with it.
    I don’t love Felton but the Knicks absolutely had to do something and I think Felton on a short 2-3 year contract is about as good as move as they realistically could have made.

  90. Mulligan, to be honest the 1-6 seeds should be locks in the East. You have Orlando-Atlanta-Boston coming off 50+ win seasons with the same teams, obviously Miami will win probably 60+ then you have the Bulls and Bucks who were playoff teams already who have gotten better this off-season. I would think those 6 teams are locks to make the playoffs. Charlotte is the other playoff team from last year who have lost Felton and have done nothing to improve team so they could struggle but they were the 7th seed last season so I would think they should be able to grab one of the last 2 spots.

    The other spot I would obviously hope would go to the Knicks since they have improved the most of all the non-playoff teams and we assume the Cavs will not make the playoffs now. The Sixers could be an improved team too but from the rest of the East dont see who else would make a jump into the playoffs this season, maybe the Pistons or Pacers??

    Best case scenario for the Knicks would be 45 wins and a 6th-7th seed. But I could also see them win 37-39 games and just miss the playoffs but for now I will have expectations to win at least 40 games for the first time since the 2000-20001 season and sneak into the playoffs.

  91. I think you’ve got Miami & Orlando, 1-2.

    Boston 3.

    Chicago and Atlanta around 50 wins. 4-5.

    And the Bucks are probably better, with more depth and Jennings having a year under his belt. 6.

    Toronto, Jersey and Washington are the bottom feeders… and Detroit not much better. 12-15.

    I’d say that leaves the Knicks, 76ers, Pacers and Bobcats fighting over 2 playoff spots. Charlotte wasn’t really a young team last year, probably overachieved based on effort and Wallace having a career year – and now they lost Felton. The Pacers have a bunch of guys in contract years and just look shaky. I think the Knicks and Sixers are probably the 7-8 seeds. Philly is loaded with young talent and could be really good in a few years, but there’s potential for turmoil as they try to dump their big contracts this year.

  92. I just thought about this, instead of Raymond Felton, Donnie could have traded for *gulp* Gilbert Arenas….

  93. If Isiah Thomas took this team over tomorrow, the first thing he’d do would be to trade for Gilbert Arenas.

  94. @ 108 & 109, I agree that’s probably how it shakes out. The only real variables are maybe the new first time coaches for Chicago and Atlanta. Maybe a little bit of room for the Knicks to surprise some folks, but yeah not much.

  95. huh? anyone know anything about him?

    Jonathan Givony @DraftExpress Russian center Timofey Mozgov will sign a three year, 9.7 million dollar contract with the New York Knicks. Knicks will pay Khimki 500k USD.

    draft express had some nice things to say, but this is honestly the first time i’ve ever seen or heard this collection of consonents and vowels.

  96. I was just about to post that steveoh, this mustve came out of nowhere. Waiting for one of the Knicks writers to report this.

  97. Hahn tweets, “Hearing the Raymond Felton contract is $7M per for 2 guaranteed years, with a non-guaranteed third. Cheap grab.”

    So, two years? Not bad.

  98. Check out the heinous jumpshot at :45 on Mulligan’s second YouTube clip. Nasty. But he seems to have a much nicer touch around the rim.

    I’m crossing my fingers….

  99. can’t make a judgment since i know nothing about him, but did we just give up 3M in cap space next year for this guy? I think we were ~16M below the cap before this.

    Dwight Howard will foul him out in about 9 minutes. 9.2 fouls/40 — that’s a double Balkman playing against guys who are definitely NOT Dwight Howard.

    Re: Prokhorov – I’m not sure we actually need any revenge for the stupid ad — I think he’s getting everything he deserves. Travis Outlaw for 7M? Johan Petro? What?

    I wonder if Jay-Z feels just as used as the rest of us.

  100. we are still close to that under if i’m not mistaken. Azubuke expires and Turiaf is supposed to opt out.

  101. Wait… This guys first name is TinaFey? I hope he can play – he’s almost making Duhon-money.

  102. Suns east is forming. I don’t mind being the third seed in the playoffs and reaching the conference finals every year and hoping for the best from there.

  103. @124 “Suns East” on offense, but with a nastier, old-school defense, could be pretty fun. I hope the Russian dude Mozgov turns out to be a nasty SOB of a defender in the post. With Randolph, Turiaf and Mozgov down low, Gallo and Azuibuike on the wings and Felton and Toney D guarding PGs, this team looks nice defensively. Could maybe use one more good defensive wing maybe. The key to ever beating the Heat is going to be to play brutal, clamp-down defense on them, and if we can figure out a way to marry SSOL with nasty defensive play, this team could really be exciting.

Comments are closed.