Mixed reactions came out of Dallas when the Mavericks pulled of their trade with the New York Knick. Tyson Chandler was welcomed with cheers and joy, the same can’t be said about his teammate.
Showered by boos and displeasure (through Twitter and forums), Raymond Felton will have to earn the respect of fans. Poor play, overweight, off court issues, and playing in New York have made Felton an easy target to resent.
We’re asked, “Why would we want him starting on our team, let alone on our roster?” “How will he help us?” and “Ugh, Why!?!?!”
Well, Felton won’t be the last player to come into Dallas having these questions asked, and surely isn’t the first. You remember Monta Ellis, right? And before him, there were others.
Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson also knows this, “I think we’ve had a lot of success over the years in guys that went through a hard year previously,” Nelson said. “You look at Jerry Stackhouse when we acquired him. Here’s a guy that probably a lot of folks wouldn’t have touched. Nick Van Exel is another. You go down the line, we’ve done a pretty good job of bringing guys like that into the fold, having them buy in.
Felton’s 9.7 points per game is a career low, his 39.5% shooting is the lowest since he shot 38.4% during the 2005-2006 season. So, the timing of the trade doesn’t exactly make Felton seem so appealing.
For as poorly as Felton has been during this and recent seasons, there are reasons for optimism.
Before getting traded to the New York Knicks for Carmelo Anthony during the 2010-2011 season, Felton averaged 17.1 points and 8 assists in 54 games.
His 33.2% three point shooting isn’t anything to brag about, but during his short stint with the Denver Nuggets, he shot 45.9% from deep.
He isn’t a great defender, but he is a willing one, as he’ll play his butt off on the court.
Then we have the obvious reasons for optimism. He’s on the Mavs now. Dirk Nowitzki, Rick Carlisle, and even Monta Ellis should bring out the most of Felton. He’ll no longer have to be one the team’s top playmakers. Shoot, he’ll probably be coming off of the bench.
A new home, Nowitzki, Carlisle, and possibly playing for a new contract, we can possibly expect a better Felton.