Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Ray Felton's agent, Nuggets GM to meet
By Chris Broussard
ESPN The Magazine
The agent for Raymond Felton will meet tonight with Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri to discuss his client's present and future role with the club.
"I really want to clarify with him that Raymond is not going to be a backup," said Tony Dutt, Felton's agent.
With Chauncey Billups going to New York as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade, George Karl has said Ty Lawson will be the Nuggets' starting point guard. That would seem to put Felton, who is having the best season of his six-year career, in a reserve role, which would understandably not sit well with him.
But Dutt said other GMs around the league have told him the Nuggets have resisted trade inquiries for Felton by saying they intend to use him as a starter.
Dutt said he would not demand or ask for a trade if Ujiri tells him Felton will not start, partly because he doesn't want Felton to be a disruption to the team and partly because some of the clubs interested in Felton -- such as New Jersey and Atlanta -- have already made trades for point guards.
Ujiri, who said he is meeting with the agents of all the new players he acquired, said he intends to keep Felton for the remainder of the season. He would not, however, discuss whether or not Felton will start.
Relieved to have finally completed this season-long odyssey with Anthony, Ujiri made light of the situation, saying it's Karl's call as to who will start.
"My job was to bring two North Carolina NCAA championship point guards together," Ujiri said in a text message. "The rest is George's headache."
Part of Denver's interest in Felton was as a potential trade chip since he's having a strong year and has only one season left on his contract. But that will most likely have to wait until the June draft or during the summer.
"Raymond just wants to play," Dutt said. "At the same time, he understands Denver wanting to develop Ty. But if they were looking for a backup point guard, they should have moved Raymond."
Chris Broussard is a senior NBA writer for ESPN The Magazine.