Mavs Raymond Felton Season In Review
Coming into the 2014-2015 NBA season, Raymond Felton was acquired by the Dallas Mavericks as the second piece of the Tyson Chandler deal that sent four players and two picks to the New York Knicks. A "throw-in,'' as it were. Felton was originally thought by some to be not useable, first because of a lengthy ankle-injury recovery and later because he appeared to be heavier than the ideal. In other corners, he was considered a viable backup at point guard for Dallas. But it wasn’t until 10 months and 78 games later that Felton finally got his chance to really contribute to the Mavericks season. In the end, Felton proved to be a respectable asset, especially after the “loss” of Rajon Rondo.
During the season, Felton averaged 3.7 points and 1.4 assists in only 29 appearances. However, over the final nine games of the season, Felton average 6.2 points and 2.3 assists per game, but more importantly, Felton provided stabilization in the back court after Devin Harris’s toe injury, and Rondos highly-publicized exit after Game 2. All of this is, of course, a far cry from his heyday, when a few years ago in Charlotte the fifth overall pick in the 2005 Draft seemed to be bordering on stardom.
As seen below, the nine-year veteran out of North Carolina’s best game of the season came in a 144-143 double-overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets – a game that saw him hit a game-winning layup with 1.5 seconds remaining. In the game, Felton scored 13 points, handed out five assists, grabbed four rebounds, and even blocked Kenneth Faried’s last-second buzzer beater attempt.
Felton enters the offseason having already picked up his $3.9-mil player option for the 2015-2016 season, which makes the South Carolina native one of five Mavericks currently under contract with the team. But contrary to some reports, that means very little about his future here. After his late-season performance, some might think Felton has earned the chance to be a permanent part of Rick Carlisle’s backcourt rotation next season. However, it is very possible that the Mavericks try and leverage Felton’s renewed value into a trade, or even to assign him the stretch provision to save space and move away from him.
“He’s a high-integrity guy,'' says coach Rick Carlisle. “He’s a high-integrity competitor. There hasn’t been one time this year where he’s dropped his head or pouted. When he was hurt, when he came back and there weren’t minutes right away, he’s just remained consistently professional.''
All of which earns Raymond Felton a DallasBasketball.com Season Grade of C-plus.
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