Bloomberg News

Knicks Bring Back Raymond Felton in Trade as Lin Exit May Follow

July 17, 2012

The New York Knicks re-acquired point guard Raymond Felton in a six-player trade with the Portland Trail Blazers, making it less probable they’ll match Houston’s contract offer to Jeremy Lin.

The Knicks picked up Felton, who ran their offense for most of the 2010-11 National Basketball Association season, along with forward Kurt Thomas for four players and a draft pick. Thomas is also returning to New York, having played for the Knicks from 1998 through 2005.

The Knicks’ acquisition of Felton, 28, comes after they signed 39-year-old point guard Jason Kidd earlier this month. The additions indicate the Knicks might not match the Rockets’ three-year, $25 million offer sheet to Lin, who started 25 games for New York last season.

The Knicks sent forward Jared Jeffries, center Dan Gadzuric and the draft rights to Greek players Kostas Papanikolaou and Giorgos Printezis, to Portland along with a protected future second-round draft pick.

Felton, the fifth overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft, had his best professional season while with the Knicks in 2010-11, when he averaged 17.1 points and 9.0 assists in 54 games.

Felton was then sent to the Denver Nuggets as part of the nine-player trade that brought Carmelo Anthony to New York. In 60 games for the Trail Blazers last season, Felton averaged 11.4 points and 6.5 assists.

Felton’s statistics in his lone season running the Knicks’ offense were better than Lin’s averages of 14.6 points and 6.2 assists for New York last season. Felton has averaged 13.4 points and 6.7 assists over 534 career games, while Lin, a 23- year-old Harvard University graduate who is the first Taiwanese- or Chinese-American to play in the NBA, has appeared in a total of 64 NBA games.

Blocked Shots

The 6-foot-9 Thomas averaged 3.0 points and 3.5 rebounds off the bench in Portland during the 2011-12 season. He’s averaged 8.3 points and 6.8 rebounds over 17 NBA seasons and still ranks fourth in Knicks history in blocked shots.

The Blazers add a pair of 10-year veterans in Jeffries and Gadzuric, both of whom are 6-foot-11 and 240 pounds. Jeffries has career averages of 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds, while Gadzuric has averaged 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net


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