Unrestricted free agent point guard Raymond Felton says he could wind up back with the Knicks or the Blazers next season, while the Suns and the Nets are also in the mix, according to comments he made to Conan Gasque of SCnow.com (hat tip to Ben Golliver of Blazer's Edge). Felton, who turns 28 next week, says he's looking for a team that employs a fast-paced system similar to the one in which he thrived while playing for Mike D'Antoni with the Knicks.
“It’s big and it’s major in the NBA – no question about that,” Felton said. “I see a lot of guys who are great basketball players get into the wrong system and you never hear about them again. So I think that’s the biggest thing. But with me being a hard worker and me having the knowledge that I have of the game, I can go pretty much anywhere and play any type of system.”
The Knicks seem like less of a fit now with coach Mike Woodson than they were under D'Antoni, and as I mentioned earlier in examining the possibility of Jason Kidd in New York, they don't have much financial flexibility. Felton, who averaged career lows in points per game (11.4) and PER (13.4) last season, won't command a deal close to the two-year, $14.56MM contract he signed with the Knicks in 2010, and New York would likely be able to offer no more than their $5MM mid-level exception. That could be enough to sign him, but the Knicks appear to have plenty of point guard options, including Kidd, Jeremy Lin, and perhaps even Steve Nash, among others.
A return to Portland, where he played last season, seems even less unlikely, given Felton's subpar performance and rumors that the team will draft point guard Damian Lillard. The Nets could view Felton as a Plan B if Deron Williams doesn't sign, but the Suns look like the best bet among the four teams Felton mentioned. Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry has had success with up-tempo attacks, and the Suns may need a point guard if Nash leaves.