The 24-year-old Lin, who suffered a torn left meniscus in late-March that required season-ending surgery, averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 35-games as a member of the Knicks in 2012.
Quite shockingly, the Asian-American phenomenon vacated Gotham and inked a four-year deal worth approximately $28 million with the Houston Rockets as a restricted free agent in the summer.
To soften the departure of Lin, the Knicks agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Portland Trail Blazers that allowed them to reacquire Felton and power forward Kurt Thomas for free agent Jared Jeffries and Dan Gadzuric’s non-guaranteed $1.4 million contract.
“I would say Raymond Felton is a better point guard than Jeremy Lin, in my opinion,” said Williams, 28, a three-time All-Star who the Utah Jazz took out of the University of Illinois with the third pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. “[Lin] had a heck of a run. The numbers he was putting up were All-Star type numbers, when he was starting. We’ll see how he does this year. But going off of track record? I’m going to go with Raymond Felton. Ray probably had his best year [with the Knicks] He was averaging like 17 and nine. He definitely likes the bright lights, and they’re a good team with him.”
The 28-year-old Felton, who has averaged 13.4 points, 6.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds in seven professional seasons since the Charlotte Bobcats selected him with the fifth pick in the 2005 draft out of The University of North Carolina, is indeed a capable point guard who has proved he can succeed in “The Big Apple.”
Nevertheless, Felton is not nearly the talent that Lin is.
Lin, an undrafted graduate of Harvard University who was a two-time All-Ivy League First Team selection in 2009 and 2010, became the only ballplayer in league history to score at least 20 points and dish a minimum of seven assists in his first five starts last winter.
The first American born NBA player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent is an exciting playmaker who is overflowing with potential.
Provided Rockets head coach Kevin McHale decides to “ride (Lin) like freakin’ Secretariat,” “Linsanity” will undoubtedly consume “Space City” in due time.
Meanwhile, Raymond Felton will simply be serviceable in tandem with legendary geriatric Jason Kidd.by