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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NYT: Two Views of Knicks’ Felton As He Takes Over For Lin

You can find this in the coupon section (unless you pronounce it “cue-pon,” in which case go right to Hell) of the New York Times:

At the height of the Jeremy Lin free-agency drama in July, just days before he was officially cast adrift by a front office still mired in lock step silence on the matter, the Knicks signed Raymond Felton to a three-year deal.

Many observers believed the move was little more than an insurance policy at point guard in the event that Lin, who most people believed would be re-signed regardless of the price tag, somehow stagnated.

Read the rest here. Or here. Here, even.

Not here, though. Just kidding. There, too.

27 comments on “NYT: Two Views of Knicks’ Felton As He Takes Over For Lin

  1. chrisk06811

    I see Felton pushing the offsense to 110 pts a night, or whatever the number is that means free tacos.

  2. daJudge

    Is the spin now that there would have been a downside to signing Lin, outside of financial? Please. I am fine with giving Felton another shot, as he really played well for the Knicks. I’m excited about this year. It’s the added BS about Lin that gets me. Sure, Lin would have killed this carefully-balanced team with his insatiable ego.

  3. sidestep

    “Many observers believed the move was little more than an insurance policy at point guard in the event that Lin, who most people believed would be re-signed regardless of the price tag, somehow stagnated.”

    FWIW, according to Berman, Felton said he was offered the starting PG position when he was approached with the contract. There’s no way to work out the exact timeline since we only know when the Knicks announced the signed contract, and not when Felton was approached with the verbal assurance that he would start. If that story is true, it paints a picture that the FO didn’t hesitate till the very last hour, but had decided several days before, or even earlier, to not bring Lin back. Anyway, there are too many unknowns and we will probably never be allowed to know, but the Berman story is a interesting detail in the case file.

  4. max fisher-cohen

    Surprised this article didn’t have some fights here in the comments since it’s been a while since we’ve had Mel-lin-drama here.

    I liked it.

    I don’t think Felton will have much success here though simply because the offense won’t allow him the opportunity. It’s the Knick conundrum: a good 1/5 pnr needs an attacking point guard, but attacking PGs almost always have above average USG%, and we already promise 30+% of the offense to Melo, and another 25% to STAT. Felton, if he’s in shape, can be a good PG in a pnr, but he’s not going to get enough opportunities to impact the offense in a significant way, especially given how our roster seems constructed to be slow and defense oriented (thus in general making high pick and roll less effective).

    Most of his opportunities will probably be as a second/third option away from the primary action — jump shots, something he’s subpar at.

    The ideal PG for this team would probably be the Jason Kidd of 3 years ago, when he was shooting 3s at an elite level and could still stay in front of most guards. Sadly, there’s a big difference between a 36 year old basketball player and a 39 year old.

  5. knicknyk

    sidestep:
    “Many observers believed the move was little more than an insurance policy at point guard in the event that Lin, who most people believed would be re-signed regardless of the price tag, somehow stagnated.”

    FWIW, according to Berman, Felton said he was offered the starting PG position when he was approached with the contract. There’s no way to work out the exact timeline since we only know when the Knicks announced the signed contract, and not when Felton was approached with the verbal assurance that he would start. If that story is true, it paints a picture that the FO didn’t hesitate till the very last hour, but had decided several days before, or even earlier, to not bring Lin back. Anyway, there are too many unknowns and we will probably never be allowed to know, but the Berman story is a interesting detail in the case file.

    Something else that should be added to the case file is Steve Nash. If the Knicks had signed Nash what would have happened to Lin? Would they have paid the back-up a similar salary to the starter? The luxury tax implications would have also kicked in right, even though I call BS on the MSG spin that the Knicks care one whit about Luxury Tax. They never have & I doubt they ever will. I personally don’t think the Knicks had any intention of bringing Lin back unless if it was on a cheap deal or maybe as a back-up option. They kept saying they would match any deal & that turned off three other teams, Raptors, Mavs & Lakers, only Houston had the balls. I think they were trying to do what the Caverliers did to Sasha Pavlovic a few years ago, promise to match all offers to the point where Sasha wouldn’t have a contract & the Cavs would low ball him.

  6. knicknyk

    I think Feltons job is just going to be to give Melo & Amare the ball in the right spots, defend, not turn the ball over & occasionally score. Prig is a question mark & Kidd is old so Felton has a great chance to make a big impact.

  7. thenamestsam

    knicknyk: Something else that should be added to the case file is Steve Nash. If the Knicks had signed Nash what would have happened to Lin? Would they have paid the back-up a similar salary to the starter? The luxury tax implications would have also kicked in right, even though I call BS on the MSG spin that the Knicks care one whit about Luxury Tax. They never have & I doubt they ever will.I personally don’t think the Knicks had any intention of bringing Lin back unless if it was on a cheap deal or maybe as a back-up option. They kept saying they would match any deal & that turned off three other teams, Raptors, Mavs & Lakers, only Houston had the balls. I think they were trying to do what the Caverliers did to Sasha Pavlovic a few years ago, promise to match all offers to the point where Sasha wouldn’t have a contract & the Cavs would low ball him.

    With the benefit of hindsight this is how it looks to me too. The way they handled the whole summer it looks to me like they didn’t view Lin as the starter of the future. PG was their top priority, and that wouldn’t have been the case if they thought Lin was capable of being that guy. I think they would have been happy to have Lin back if the price was right but ultimately from a basketball perspective they preferred other guys and when Houston called their bluff they preferred a veteran melange over Lin. Time will tell whether it was the right call.

  8. phreesh

    I’d like to believe that, but the Woodson quote that they’d resign him for a billion dollars or whatever belies that. Woodson, at least, seemed to be under the impression that Lin would be back and it’s his strategy that should determine the lineup. He seemed to think Lin would be back, which would indicate that he thought Lin was working as PG and was prepared (eager?) to have him back.

  9. knicknyk

    phreesh:
    I’d like to believe that, but the Woodson quote that they’d resign him for a billion dollars or whatever belies that. Woodson, at least, seemed to be under the impression that Lin would be back and it’s his strategy that should determine the lineup. He seemed to think Lin would be back, which would indicate that he thought Lin was working as PG and was prepared (eager?) to have him back.

    First of all there is such a thing as coach speak right where coaches say things to the media. Woodson also said that veteran teams win championships (well we have a super veteran team now) & also that Lin wasn’t guaranteed to start (but then he changed his tune on that as well). Can’t always trust what coaches or players say to the public. Also, before Lin met with Houston, Felton was at Dolan’s 4th of July party & he said that he was a Knick & Lin was out. I agree with thenamestam, they could have offered him the 4/24 million from the beginning and kept that offer on the table while he shopped around & tested the market. The Knicks never did that, so they likely thought he wouldn’t get that much money on the market particularly with them saying they would match. Even I found it odd when Woodson said that we are definitely going to match the 4/30 & he would be our starter because I felt that he played his hand way to early & that if I was the Rockets & really wanted him I would just up the offer. Woodson has to have better business sense than myself.

    On a side note, if Melo & Amare are healthy and are playing like 36 minutes a game I don’t see Felton scoring more than 12 ppg which I think is sufficient. People just need to stay healthy.

  10. knicknyk

    Scott O’Neil is leaving the Knicks. I just thought it was interesting that 6 months ago, Scott O’Neil razzed Daryl Morey at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, thanking him for letting the New York Knicks have Jeremy Lin and giving him an autographed Lin jersey. Scott said that he had never seen a product sell like Jeremy Lin. Now Lin is with Houston & Scott is out of the Knicks. Apparently, Scott could no longer work with James Dolan & the search for a new president begins. Frank Isola was the first to report this with a string of tweets.

  11. BigBlueAL

    Yeah very interesting news about O’Neil. Always viewed him as a Dolan henchman but maybe it wasnt quite like that.

  12. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    it’s not ‘unique’, the Sixers did it last summer, as I mentioned here multiple times.

    yes, we know that. Paid dividends for them. On the year they outperformed their talent with the help of a great start.

    It’s stll rare.

  13. jon abbey

    it was a little more complicated than that, they got off to an incredible start as you say, but then collapsed so badly they almost dropped out of the playoffs, then seemed to find a second wind and played well again in the playoffs.

    not sure what we can get out of that, and of course I agree it should be a good thing, but I’ll believe that this team can fit well together when I actually see it in the regular season, and not before.

    (the article called it ‘unique’, that’s what I was disagreeing with.)

  14. Z-man

    It IS unusual, though, and definitely a good sign. Doesn’t mean that they will flourish, but with so many new faces, especially at PG, getting an early start to building chemistry can’t be a bad thing. Also makes Woodson look good. And most importantly, it gives us something to talk about for the next 3 weeks until things officially get started.

  15. Eric Chen

    knicknyk: First of all there is such a thing as coach speak right where coaches say things to the media.

    I can accept (and expect) Woodson preferred Nash to start at PG over Lin. Nash is a surefire Hall of Fame PG who is the finished model for Lin, and unlike Kidd, Nash should have enough gas left in the tank for 1, maybe 2, elite runs as a starter. But as far as Woodson preferring Felton over Lin? I have my doubts. Felton is the wrong type for Woodson. One, Woodson didn’t just tolerate Lin last season; he used Lin thoughtfully, designed plays to integrate Lin and Anthony, and relied on Lin to score and make plays in the clutch. Two, while Woodson has been tagged with disfavoring young PGs (eg, Jeff Teague), he actually suffered most from mediocre veteran journeyman PGs in Atlanta who compelled Joe Johnson to overhandle the ball. Three, when the Hawks PG position was upgraded for Woodson, the PGs he added were Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford – score-first/combo guards. Nash is a skilled scorer at PG. Lin is a skilled scorer at PG. Felton is not a skilled scorer at PG. I believe Woodson would have been comfortable with Lin, moreso with Kidd providing balance both by backing up Lin and reprising his Mavs role by playing alongside Lin as a hybrid 2, with Lin as a combo 1. Given Woodson’s background with the Hawks PG and Lin last season, I believe he will be less comfortable with Felton as his starting PG.

    Semi-OT, fun on youtube with popular ex-Knicks: Lin in Taipei with David Lee – http://youtu.be/hQHTFTkpJew .

  16. Eric Chen

    max fisher-cohen:
    Surprised this article didn’t have some fights here in the comments since it’s been a while since we’ve had Mel-lin-drama here.

    For what it’s worth, I’m a Lin fan (and a Taiwanese American to boot) who didn’t buy into the Anthony-Lin conflict. They don’t play the same position, Anthony doesn’t want to be a point forward, and the best teams offer multiple creative scoring and playmaking options. Lin and Anthony should have complemented each other. With their talent and versatility, I believe they would have figured it out. The Knicks, by not re-signing Lin, lost the potential for Anthony and Lin to form one of the best G/F ‘dynamic duos’ in the NBA.

    Most of his opportunities will probably be as a second/third option away from the primary action — jump shots, something he’s subpar at.

    This is a – perhaps the – area Lin’s scoring and playmaking will be missed. Perimeter and weakside guard play will be critical. Anthony is a midrange scorer. Stoudemire is a midrange scorer. Chandler only scores in close. Defenses will key in on Anthony and Stoudemire in their shared work area. They will need the guards to be scoring threats off the ball and on the weak side to relieve defensive pressure. Lin dribbling through defenses entirely focused on him is one thing. Lin being passed the ball against a defense keyed in on Melo and STAT is something else. Lin would have been lethal attacking a scrambling defense, either scoring or creating for teammates.

  17. Open43

    I think they passed on Lin because they already have Chris Paul lined up for next year. They can’t say anything about it yet, of course, but Chandler and Melo share the same agency as Paul, and Paul wants to play in NY. When the Clips make an early exit out of the playoffs this year, no one will blame him for signing with the Knicks and no one will remember Lin.

  18. ruruland

    arthurprescott2: Aw, good for you ruruland. good for you.

    I don’t see how it’s good for me. I’m not here to prove a point. But I don’t like having to re-explain to skeptics why I say certain things. I don’t like having to go through my story every time someone questions what I know.

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