Part 6 of 14
It is an important offseason for the Nuggets. Not only do they have to worry about their own free agents and also players on the open market, they also need to figure out what to do with Raymond Felton and Al Harrington.
Felton was arguably the Nuggets best player during the free agency and was a big reason why the team was so successful down the stretch. However, Felton had a so-so postseason. He played solid defense on Russell Westbrook, but not great and he made some very questionable decisions down the stretch for Denver that cost them a win or two.
Felton has great leadership skills and not many players in the League play with more heart than him. He’s a good shooter, but also inconsistent and is a great on-the-ball defender. He is similar to a small Andre Miller with great bulk and very quick. His play off the bench was huge, since very few players of his caliber come off the bench.
During his short time on the Nuggets, Felton quickly became a favorite of George Karl and no doubt Karl would like him back. But the problem remains is Felton more valuable as a trade asset? He has a lot of value with a friendly salary ($7.5 million/1 year) and is also considered he a top-10 point guard. Skeptics believe Felton is impeding on Ty Lawson’s growth. And if a team would be willing to take on Harrington’s contract the Nuggets would gladly trade Felton.
Some teams that may be interested in Felton’s services would be:
- Atlanta - If the Hawks aren’t sure of Jeff Teague’s development they may want to go after Felton in possibly a swap for Kirk Hinrich, who would give Karl a bigger point guard to play with Lawson.
- Cleveland - If the Cavaliers want to create their own post-LeBron James image, a guy like Felton would be a core group for Cleveland to build around. The question is would they trade Anderson Varejao straight up for Felton? Or could the two teams work on a Antawn Jamison trade for Felton and Harrington.
- Dallas - The Mavericks
want tohave to get younger if they want to give Dirk Nowitzki any shot at winning an NBA Title. Felton would be a good replacement for Jason Kidd in time, but who would the Nuggets want in return – Jason Terry? Shawn Marion?
- Detroit - The Pistons definitely need a point guard, they’ve needed one since they decided to go with combo guard Rodney Stuckey over Chauncey Billups. Stuckey has played well, but not as the lead guard. And if Detroit doesn’t draft a point guard they will have to stay with Stuckey. However, the two teams could do a sign-and-trade for Stuckey and Lawson or the Nuggets could gamble that Ben Gordon could return to the form of his Bulls days. But a deal for Gordon isn’t likely with his lack of size. Stuckey would fit in well with the Nuggets, he is a mix between Felton and J.R. Smith. He has great size and athleticism and can play point guard, but he can score as well. His strengths just don’t match Smith or Felton’s
- Los Angeles Lakers -The Lakers have tried to acquire Felton’s services twice before and they may decide to try again since Steve Blake hasn’t really been what many thought he’d be. However, for the Nuggets to do any deal they would more than likely want Lamar Odom or Andrew Bynum back.
- Miami -Depending on how far the Heat make it in the playoffs, they may be interested in getting a real point guard instead of a stop-gag (aka Mario Chalmers and Mike Bibby).
- Phoenix - This just in, Steve Nash needs out of Phoenix to have a chance at winning an NBA Title. And the Suns need to go in a new direction as well. Felton ran Mike D’Antoni’s offense as well as anybody not named Steve Nash. If Nash is dealt, Felton would be an ideal replacement. And no doubt, Karl would love to have a spread the floor big like Channing Frye.
- Portland - Like the Mavericks, the Blazers need to get younger and will have to make a decision this offseason if they want to go with Miller another year. If not, Felton would fit in with the Blazers defensive-first mentality.
- Sacramento - If there is a perfect fit for Felton it is the Kings. They seriously need a ballhandler to put next to Tyreke Evans and Felton would be perfect in that role. The Kings also have enough flexibility financially to take on Harrington contract. Would a Beno Udrih, Jason Thompson and Omri Casspi for Felton and Harrington work?
Tags: Al Harrington Anderson Varejao Andre Miller Andrew Bynum Antawn Jamison Atlanta Hawks Ben Gordon Beno Udrih Beno Urdih Channing Frye Chauncey Billups Cleveland Cavaliers Dallas Mavericks Denver Nuggets Detroit Pistons Dirk Nowitzki George Karl J.R. Smith Jason Terry Jason Thompson Jeff Teague JR Smith Kirk Hinrich Lamar Odom LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers Mario Chalmers Miami Heat Mike Bibby New York Knicks Omri Casspi Phoenix Suns Raymond Felton Rodney Stuckey Russell Westbrook Shawn Marion Steve Blake Steve Nash Ty Lawson Tyreke Evans