Take 'Em, Trash 'Em: Felton, Bargnani out?
May, 25, 2014
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsAccording to the voting, Knicks fans wouldn't mind helping Ray Felton out of New York next season.A segment of Knicks fans have made themselves clear: They don’t want to see Raymond Felton and Andrea Bargnani on the team next season.
ESPNNewYork.com asked fans which Knicks they’d like to take into next season and which they’d like to trash in a season-ending poll.
More than 11,000 of you responded. And most would like to see Felton and Bargnani playing somewhere other than Madison Square Garden in 2014-15.
Ninety-five percent of the 12,457 readers voting on Felton would prefer that he’s not with the team any more next season.
Those fans who voted to oust Felton will be happy to read this: The Knicks are expected to explore their options with trading the veteran point guard this summer.
Felton is coming off of a disappointing season. He set a career low in points per game (9.7) and shot only 39.5 percent from the field. Felton missed 17 games because of various injuries, and struggled at times on the defensive end.
He has two years left on a four-year, $15 million contract with a player option in the final season, so it may be difficult to move him.
Felton is also dealing with an off-the-court issue.
He was charged with two felony counts of gun possession in February. The NBA may suspend Felton after the legal process runs its course, depending on the outcome. The Knicks could also look to void the remainder of Felton’s contract, depending on what happens with court proceedings.
As for Bargnani, 92 percent of the 12,836 readers who voted would like to see him in another uniform next season.
That may be a wish that’s difficult to grant, however. Bargnani has an $11.5 million player option for next season. He is expected to pick it up. So the Knicks would need to trade Bargnani or buy him out if they want him off the team before the 2014-15 season opener.
Bargnani struggled to find his footing in his first season as a Knick. His numbers were solid, but there are other stats that show the Knicks were a better team when Bargnani was on the bench.
New York was 15-27 when he was healthy; the Knicks went 22-18 after he suffered a season-ending elbow injury.
Basketball is a five-man game, so it’s unfair and simplistic to judge a player based on overall stats when he’s on and off the court. But the numbers for Bargnani in 2013-14 weren’t pretty.
The Knicks scored 6.8 points more per 100 possessions when Bargnani was on the bench compared to when he was on the court. On defense, they gave up one fewer point per 100 possessions when Bargnani was on the floor compared to when he was on the bench. Overall, the Knicks were 7.9 points better per 100 possessions with Bargnani on the bench than when he was on the floor.
So it’s understandable that a segment of Knicks fans would like to see Bargnani moved in the offseason.
Question: Do you want Felton and Bargnani gone in the offseason? What other moves would you make to reshape the roster?
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