If I’m Cho and I’m running the show in Portland (pardon the pun), I’m working hard today to put my hands into the rumored Knicks-Nuggets trade that sends Ray Felton to Denver. Why? Because, as much as I like Andre Miller (and I’m speaking as a student of the game and as Blazer’s management), he’s old. He’s as good as he’s ever going to be. Felton? He’s only going to get better.
Raymond Felton is a good passer, a decent defender, and a better shooter than Miller, and therefore he’s a better running mate for Brandon Roy. He’s also younger, so he’ll have a chance to develop chemistry with Portland’s new franchise player LaMarcus Aldridge.
In other words, Felton is a better fit than Miller.
In my opinion, Denver will be open to trading Felton right away because:
- Lawson is the new star in Denver
- Lawson has a bigger upside than Felton, which is important for a rebuilding team
- Lawson is cheaper
Therefore, if Portland is willing to offer something of substance in addition to Miller’s psuedo-expiring deal, I think they can get Denver to send Felton just a little further West.
What About Devin Harris?
It’s also been rumored that, should Carmelo head to New York, New Jersey and Portland will make a deal that sends Devin Harris, Travis Outlaw, and Anthony Morrow to Portland for Andre Miller, Joel Pryzbilla, and a youngster. I don’t like this trade for two reasons:
- The Travis Outlaw contract – 5 years and $7 million per – is horrible.
- Felton is probably available, and he’s a better point guard than Harris
Harris has more speed, and he could certainly be the focal-point of a new Blazers offense if Roy is indeed never again the player he once was. Still, Portland is winning games with Andre Miller, and Ray Felton is more like Andre Miller than Devin Harris is.
Felton’s contract is better too. Most teams are looking for ways to reduce their future salary commitments right now, so trading for Felton is a better move in that regard as well.
Bottom Line: If Denver is willing to move Felton (and I’m nearly certain that they will be), Portland should get involved. Ray Felton is a younger, better-shooting and more athletic version of Andre Miller, and he’s a better pure point guard than Devin Harris. He’s an upgrade now and a better player for the future.