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June 14, 2010

Felton not Hell-bent to stay

 If you read my column Sunday, you know I question whether the Bobcats and Raymond Felton can agree on a number each would accept for Felton to continue as the point guard here. Lou Bezjak of the Florence (S.C) Morning News contacted me for some context, after he spoke with Felton at a summer camp down there.

Lou -- and his story can be found here: http://www2.scnow.com/scp/sports/other/article/bobcats_felton_keeping_open_mind_as_free_agency_looms/189926/ was nice enough to offer this key quote from what Raymond said Monday:

“It is a business. That’s how they are looking at it and that’s how I’m looking at it,” Felton said. “It’s good to be close to family and everything. But at the same time, I have been in Charlotte for five years and if things don’t work out and I have to change, then that’s what I will have to do and I understand that.

“I’m not going to say it is a better thing (to leave) or it’s not. But at the same time, whatever is going to be best for me and my family, that’s what I’m going to have to do.”

Let me tell right here; Ray has never before said anything suggesting he'd be just as well off somewhere else. He's an intensely loyal person and, perhaps more importantly, he loves living in the Carolinas. That reinforces what I wrote Sunday: That Felton's future as a Bobcat has never been more uncertain.

Even after Felton turned down their best offer last summer, instead playing on the one-year qualifier, I thought there was an 80-percent chance Felton would eventually sign a long-term deal here. Now I'd drop that percentage to 50-50, maybe less. The message I got from that quote is staying home is no longer so important he'll compromise to stay.

Posted by Observer Sports on June 14, 2010 at 11:20 PM | Permalink

Comments

Felton's a tricky situation. He's a good guy and above average player, but not someone you can break the bank on, or afford to mortgage the future on. Is he ever a championship caliber starting point guard? The answer is almost certainly no, so unless he is willing to come to terms on a deal that is line with the Bobcats thinking of his value, you probably have to cut the chord here. Is a sign and trade a strong possibility?

Posted by: Ari | Jun 15, 2010 12:13:23 AM

Don't make another mistake by over paying. Let him go.

Posted by: fancy | Jun 15, 2010 12:52:40 AM

I do not believe that anyone will pay Felton 8 Million per year. I think the Bobcats offer Felton 5.5 mill/yr and that is it. Sign and trade could be good but with who, besides tj ford ?

Posted by: Elliot | Jun 15, 2010 1:18:15 AM

Getting rid of Felton would be a pretty big setback. The Cats don't make the playoffs last year without him and unless they get another "above average" PG, they will be sitting at home again next year. All there is to it, because if Felton isn't good enough to lead the team, there is NO WAY DJ can do it and you can put TJ Ford on that list too! I don't understand sometimes, we pay huge contracts for worlthless big men to sit on the bench but won't pony up to keep a leader on the floor. (Who's really only been able to play his true position for 1-1/2 yrs.) I guess that's why I watch.

Posted by: MW | Jun 15, 2010 7:24:12 AM

I don't know why anyone should expect him to say otherwise. He knows our cap situation our FO has dug us into, and Higgins isn't exactly saying signing Felton is a priority himself now is he?

Yeah it's going to hurt because we're potentially losing one asset for nothing (hard to do a S&T because we can't take salary back without going over the LT!) and will have to trade ANOTHER asset to replace him.

With only 11 players under contract as it is we'll have to really be creative to be as competitive a team as we were last season.

Posted by: spectre | Jun 15, 2010 7:41:17 AM

I like Felton. But, he is an average player and will find it difficult to make an above average salary.

Posted by: Musson | Jun 15, 2010 8:19:09 AM

I like Felton as well. Though, he's nothing more than an above average point guard, he has great character and competitive spirit. I loved watching the effort he put in at home against Miami back in March. Just wish we could get that every game. I hope both sides can find a way to retain him, at a reasonable cost, but if they have to part ways, so be it.

Posted by: PantherDave | Jun 15, 2010 8:29:06 AM

Rick,
If Felton does leave, does that mean the Bobcats have more cap space to work with in free agency?

Posted by: jeremy | Jun 15, 2010 9:06:27 AM

Very simple explanation for the current team:

1. They embarass themselves in the draft (May, Morrison, Felton, Ajinca...)

2. They realize no one in Charlotte cares unlesss they're winning

3. They sacrifice their future to try to make the playoffs now and put butts in the seats.

4. They take 3-4 years to unwind the bad deals necessary to recover from steps 1-3

That's all there is to it. We're now in Step 4. They don't have any picks. They don't have any cap room. They have average players (Felton, Chandler, Diaw) that are forcing their way on the court because we have no other options. Just accept that they're going to take a few steps back before they can actually compete. The best thing that could happen is all the terrible contracts expire or are used for youth, and we can start fresh in 2013.

If you want to understand how far away we are, watch Game 6 of the finals. Ask yourself, what Bobcat would start for either team? Would any Bobcat even get minutes for either team?

Posted by: BobsRealist | Jun 15, 2010 9:27:03 AM

Very simple explanation for the current team:

1. They embarass themselves in the draft (May, Morrison, Felton, Ajinca...)

2. They realize no one in Charlotte cares unlesss they're winning

3. They sacrifice their future to try to make the playoffs now and put butts in the seats.

4. They take 3-4 years to unwind the bad deals necessary to recover from steps 1-3

That's all there is to it. We're now in Step 4. They don't have any picks. They don't have any cap room. They have average players (Felton, Chandler, Diaw) that are forcing their way on the court because we have no other options. Just accept that they're going to take a few steps back before they can actually compete. The best thing that could happen is all the terrible contracts expire or are used for youth, and we can start fresh in 2013.

If you want to understand how far away we are, watch Game 6 of the finals. Ask yourself, what Bobcat would start for either team? Would any Bobcat even get minutes for either team?

Posted by: BobsRealist | Jun 15, 2010 9:27:04 AM

Very simple explanation for the current team:

1. They embarass themselves in the draft (May, Morrison, Felton, Ajinca...)

2. They realize no one in Charlotte cares unlesss they're winning

3. They sacrifice their future to try to make the playoffs now and put butts in the seats.

4. They take 3-4 years to unwind the bad deals necessary to recover from steps 1-3

That's all there is to it. We're now in Step 4. They don't have any picks. They don't have any cap room. They have average players (Felton, Chandler, Diaw) that are forcing their way on the court because we have no other options. Just accept that they're going to take a few steps back before they can actually compete. The best thing that could happen is all the terrible contracts expire or are used for youth, and we can start fresh in 2013.

If you want to understand how far away we are, watch Game 6 of the finals. Ask yourself, what Bobcat would start for either team? Would any Bobcat even get minutes for either team?

Posted by: BobsRealist | Jun 15, 2010 9:27:06 AM

gerald wallace can start on either team in this years finals>>>>he plays hard every nite>>>>1st team NBA all defensive this year>>>>>now raymond felton can take his non playing defense over hyped offense any where in the world but the QC>>>>>>he is very lucky there are strong UNC ties in the organization, otherwise he would have been benched after game 2 of this year playoffs against Orlando,J Nelson made him look like a pick up player every single game, the main reason we were swept>>>>>we do not need him, DJ will do just fine, he can score more, but the defense will be the same,none

Posted by: TR | Jun 15, 2010 9:52:17 AM

"BobsRealist" to answer your question about would any Bobcat even get minutes for either team, they have winning record against the Lakers, so yes, a Bobcat(former) would and does get minutes for them(Shannon Brown). The draft is a crap shoot, so I don't get why your so upset about that.

They just need to part ways with Felton and build Augustins confidence up. Brown released all the scorers for a bunch of "defensive" bigs that haven't really produced. Sign Flip Murray back, let Felton go, and give the keys to Augustin, that's why he was drafted 9th.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Jun 15, 2010 9:58:12 AM

"BobsRealist" to answer your question about would any Bobcat even get minutes for either team, they have winning record against the Lakers, so yes, a Bobcat(former) would and does get minutes for them(Shannon Brown). The draft is a crap shoot, so I don't get why your so upset about that.

They just need to part ways with Felton and build Augustins confidence up. Brown released all the scorers for a bunch of "defensive" bigs that haven't really produced. Sign Flip Murray back, let Felton go, and give the keys to Augustin, that's why he was drafted 9th.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Jun 15, 2010 9:58:21 AM

It will be interesting to see who will pay Felton more than we can afford to pay him. The main questions are. Has the 6 plus million he was offered last season been scaled back by the Bobcats? Does it mean he will have to go elsewhere to get what he was offered last summer? Do the MJS feel they will get more value in a sign and trade scenario? Do the MJS feel DJ is ready to take over?

Posted by: nucat | Jun 15, 2010 10:04:48 AM

It will be interesting to see who will pay Felton more than we can afford to pay him. The main questions are. Has the 6 plus million he was offered last season been scaled back by the Bobcats? Does it mean he will have to go elsewhere to get what he was offered last summer? Do the MJS feel they will get more value in a sign and trade scenario? Do the MJS feel DJ is ready to take over?

Posted by: nucat | Jun 15, 2010 10:04:48 AM

It will be interesting to see who will pay Felton more than we can afford to pay him. The main questions are. Has the 6 plus million he was offered last season been scaled back by the Bobcats? Does it mean he will have to go elsewhere to get what he was offered last summer? Do the MJS feel they will get more value in a sign and trade scenario? Do the MJS feel DJ is ready to take over?

Posted by: nucat | Jun 15, 2010 10:04:49 AM

It will be interesting to see who will pay Felton more than we can afford to pay him. The main questions are. Has the 6 plus million he was offered last season been scaled back by the Bobcats? Does it mean he will have to go elsewhere to get what he was offered last summer? Do the MJS feel they will get more value in a sign and trade scenario? Do the MJS feel DJ is ready to take over?

Posted by: nucat | Jun 15, 2010 10:04:49 AM

It will be interesting to see who will pay Felton more than we can afford to pay him. The main questions are. Has the 6 plus million he was offered last season been scaled back by the Bobcats? Does it mean he will have to go elsewhere to get what he was offered last summer? Do the MJS feel they will get more value in a sign and trade scenario? Do the MJS feel DJ is ready to take over?

Posted by: nucat | Jun 15, 2010 10:04:50 AM

It will be interesting to see who will pay Felton more than we can afford to pay him. The main questions are. Has the 6 plus million he was offered last season been scaled back by the Bobcats? Does it mean he will have to go elsewhere to get what he was offered last summer? Do the MJS feel they will get more value in a sign and trade scenario? Do the MJS feel DJ is ready to take over?

Posted by: nucat | Jun 15, 2010 10:04:50 AM

I am an ABC fan so I was a little upset when we took May & Felton obvioulsy to draw fans, but after watchign Felton I like his toughness n willingness to play through pain but all in all he is an average point guard who sometimes holds onto the ball a little too much. GW and jack are a good 2 and 3 to build a team around. I don't know why a lot of people give them such a hard time, they made the playoffs for the first time in team history after starting off horrible. I only see this team going better and Augustine or any other avergage PG can do the job Felton did.

Posted by: mike311 | Jun 15, 2010 10:28:04 AM

Why is it you slobs feel the need to multiple-post your replies?

Posted by: DooWayne | Jun 15, 2010 10:28:55 AM

Felton is only saying that because the Bobcats have made it clear that they are not willing to offer him any more money than the $6 mil that they offered him before. I think, by "delicate," the Bobcats mean that they are willing to allow Raymond to test the waters. They are willing to see if Raymond can get more that that from another team. Ray was obviously hurt by that, so he has set is loyalty aside and said that he is willing to go anywhere. Felton played well during the regular season and I think we should keep him. But the Bobcats are betting that, since he bombed on the big stage with everyone watching, teams will shy away from offering him any big money and he will fall back into their lap at a discount.

Posted by: QC King | Jun 15, 2010 10:37:04 AM

Why is it you slobs feel the need to multiple-post your replies?

Posted by: DooWayne | Jun 15, 2010 10:39:32 AM

Why is it you slobs feel the need to multiple-post your replies?

Posted by: DooWayne | Jun 15, 2010 10:39:53 AM

I'm torn on this one. He's good enough to get the money. But's he's also not good enough to get the money. He's right there straddling the fence between an NBA starter and an NBA 6th or 7th guy coming off the bench. It'll be interesting to see what they do, I guess that's why I'm a fan and not a GM.

Posted by: Smitty | Jun 15, 2010 10:45:40 AM

we can win with augustin. we saw that consistently his rookie year. we saw that in spots last year. yeah he lost confidence.....what's the best way to get confident? get handed the reigns. TJ Ford is not an upgrade. maybe we win 3-5 more games this year by having a veteran for one more year but all that does is set back augustin more.

how many stars in the nba became stars by way of being behind veterans early in their careers? not many. most were handed starting positions on rebuilding or veteran heavy teams and succeeded because of that. that's the wheel. don't try and reinvent it.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 15, 2010 11:03:50 AM

let me start by saying go heels all day, every day! 4 those who don't know, felton is garbage in the NBA----he was above average PG in college only (offense only)----in the big leagues he is below average---he plays hard however he doesn't play smart on defense----he never has since he started during UNC days----DJ is da man,he can make 3's which bobcats must have to bring da ring!

Posted by: TR | Jun 15, 2010 12:52:44 PM

It's funny how folks like to scapegoat Felton when Jackson shot 30% in the competitive games of the Orlando series including missing a wide open 3 to take the lead in a game we were on the verge of taking at home.

You guys can go looking for a perfect pg, but what you fail to realize that under Larry Brown, none of the pgs folks on here have wet dreams over look the way they do on other teams where the play is more wide open. The adjustment period will be there.

There was a serious overreaction to the Orlando series.

What was missed is that we need some wings who can SHOOT like above average wings. Wallace and Jackson make sense in theory, but at some point you will have to plug in WINGS who can SHOOT alongside the other for it to work. Look at the NBA. Wing 3 pt shooting is at a premium and ours is near the bottom of the league.

If you are going to promote mediocre wing shooting, you darn well better be running at every chance and getting as many transition buckets as possible. Playing a slow halfcourt game and not having strong wing shooting is a recipe for disaster.

Posted by: perspective | Jun 15, 2010 1:59:27 PM

Let's continue with the trades. Another team that is also in rebuilding mode, it's being sold and would love to unload Cap Space; plus they also have a new face in town is Golden State Warriors.

How about if Bobcats trade:
Boris Diaw: $9,000,000
Nazr Mohammed: $6,883,800
(Sorry, but we’ll be stuck w/Gana Diop for a long time)

For Golden State’s:
Monta Ellis: $11,000,000
Rony Turiaff: $4,000,000

Then we resign Tyrus Thomas, Stephen Graham and Flip Murray. Plus some other minimum salary players as needed.

Golden State will save over $25M in the deal and they really want to get rid of Monta Ellis, now that Stephen Curry is in town.

The Cats will get an immediate upgrade at the PG position, plus Ellis is a decent defender. Turiaff is a backup PF/C, which we will need both.

Starting Line-Up:
PG – Monta Ellis
SG – Stephen Jackson
SF – Gerald Wallace
PF – Tyrus Thomas
C – Tyson Chandler

Bobcats Bench:
DJ Augustin
Gerald Henderson
Derrick Brown
Rony Turiaff
Flip Murray
Stephen Graham
Alexis Ajinca
Gana Diop

That is an efficient trade, is not too risky and all players are younger and more athletic. They all can play multiple positions, which Larry Brown loves. The Bobcats will be about $500,000 UNDER the Luxury Tax. And this will be a better team than the one we had Last Season: Defensive wide, they are about the same (1st in NBA) and Offensive wide they are A LOT better.

Posted by: RobC | Jun 15, 2010 2:16:05 PM

Why is it you slobs feel the need to multiple-post your replies?

Posted by: poetrepeater | Jun 15, 2010 3:16:00 PM

augustin is not the future. I hope MJ realizes that. if we dump raymond, we need to fill his role with an equally motivated, talented player. nate robinson may fulfill the second half of that proposition. I question is motivation.

I think bottom line is that Ray cost himself a few bucks in the playoffs, but that shouldn't mean that isn't an outstanding back up point guard on a playoff contending team. If he goes, it's our loss.

Posted by: The Future | Jun 15, 2010 3:20:02 PM

Imagine if larry brown had used that #8 pick on robin lopez.....we'd have 17 centers and no point guards.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 15, 2010 3:25:30 PM

i hate when people say we took felton/may strictly for the carolina ties. obviously that was a huge part of it...everybody tries to take guys that sell locally it usually leads to a more successful match. but those guys were both gonna go in those slots whether we took them or somebody else.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 15, 2010 4:12:49 PM

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