Knicks Acquire Raymond Felton From Blazers

THURSDAY, 1:42pm: Mark Deeks of ShamSports clarifies that Felton's deal with the Knicks is for four years and about $14.86MM, with a fourth-year player option.

MONDAY, 4:13pm: The trade is official, according to a Blazers press release. The Knicks receive Felton and Thomas, while the Blazers get Jeffries, Gadzuric, Papanikolaou, Printezis, cash, and a 2016 second-round pick. As's John Hollinger points out (via Twitter), the Knicks can't be sending more than $1MM to Portland, since they already sent $2MM to Houston in the Marcus Camby deal.

MONDAY, 7:59am: A few more details of the swap, courtesy of Jason Quick of the Oregonian and Howard Beck of the New York Times: The Blazers will acquire Jeffries, Gadzuric, Papanikolaou, and Georgios Printezis, and cash from the Knicks, with New York also paying for Jeffries' 2012/13 salary, which appears to be for the veteran's minimum (Twitter links). Felton, meanwhile, will earn $10.5MM on his three-year deal (Twitter link).

SUNDAY, 11:37am: According to a tweet from the Oregonian's Jason Quick, the Knicks might be sending Kostas Papanikolaou to Portland along with an undetermined amount of cash to help pay Jared Jeffries' $3.1MM salary. Papanikolaou is a Greek forward who was selected by New York in the second round of the 2012 NBA draft. 

SATURDAY, 9:53pm: The Knicks are set to acquire Raymond Felton from the Trail Blazers in a sign-and-trade deal, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). The Blazers will sign Felton to a three-year, $10MM contract prior to completing the trade. Forward Kurt Thomas will be joining Felton in New York as the Knicks will send Jared JeffriesDan Gadzuric and a 2016 second round pick to Portland to round out the deal.

In addition to receiving Thomas and Felton from the Trail Blazers, the Knicks will also acquire the rights to two players currently in Europe. The Knicks now face the decision of matching the Rockets' offer sheet to Jeremy Lin or allowing the former Harvard star to leave for Houston as Felton becomes New York's latest starting point guard.

The acquisition of Felton will provide the Knicks with a seemingly cheaper alternative to Lin as the third year of his offer sheet from the Rockets was designed to be cost prohibitive. While it appeared Lin was destined to return to the Knicks regardless of price, the Knicks may simply not believe that the 23-year-old is worth the money being offered to him by the Houston. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News suggests that Lin may not even want to play in New York, which would be reason enough for the Knicks to reconsider making such a heft investment in the young guard (via Twitter).

Felton, 28, enjoyed success with the Knicks during his first stop with the team during the 2010/11 season before being trade to the Nuggets as part of a package to acquire Carmelo Anthony. The former Tar Heels star averaged 17.1 PPG and 9.0 APG in 54 starts with the Knicks under then head coach Mike D'Antoni's tutelage. Felton's play fell off after landing in Denver and continued to struggle when he was traded to the Trail Blazers after the 2010/11 season. His time in Portland saw the veteran guard average a career-low 11.4 PPG as he started nearly all of his team's games.

For the Trail Blazers, receiving anything for Felton, an unrestricted free agent, serves as an added benefit for the franchise as it crafts a new identity. Look for Portland to waive Gadzuric and use Jeffries as a defensive specialist off the bench.


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