Raymond Felton was what you might call the "Tyson Chandler tax" coming from the Knicks last summer in the same trade that brought Dallas their starting center. After a decade-long run as a starter or major rotation player, Felton's basketball stock had fallen greatly by the time he got to Dallas; so much so, in fact, that there was serious talk of Dallas using the stretch provision to cut him, despite what was a relatively small salary at $4 million.
After missing the first month of the season and then having to sit out another four due to suspension stemming from gun charges while with the Knicks, sufficed to say Felton's season didn't get off to the start he probably wanted. Once he returned, he found himself at the very end of Rick Carlisle's bench and stayed there almost all season long, save a few sightings late when injury attrition necessitated his presence. (He did have these lasting memories in triple overtime against the Nuggets.)
What should we expect from Felton this season?
With Barea returning on a four-year deal and Deron Williams replacing Rajon Rondo as controversy/point guard, Felton's minutes might be few and far between, once again. Not helping matters is the fact that Felton has not been able to capitalize on Deron's absence thus far in the preseason, as a hamstring kept him out of the last two games.
There also looms the very real possibility that Felton could be traded or cut, which is something I was fairly sure would happen about a half-dozen times already by now. That it hasn't happened yet suggests perhaps their is a role for him in Dallas, even if it's little more than expensive insurance policy should Deron Williams suffer more trouble with his ankles.
What's the best case scenario?
With an expiring deal worth approximately $4.5 million, Felton could still be a semi-useful trade chip at the deadline. If a team is looking to unload a long-term deal and get some money off their books, Felton's contract allows Dallas some interesting salary-matching options.
They won't get a star-studded return for Felton, of course, but almost every year teams dump quality veterans at the deadline, and by February Dallas should have a clearer idea of what their needs will be.
What's the worst case scenario?
I alluded to it earlier, but if Deron Williams does go down, and Felton is pressed into service, things could get ugly. This is not really meant as a dig against Felton, who did have his moments in limited action, but a Felton/Barea combo at point guard is probably one question mark too many for a club that already has holes at other spots on the roster, either from injury(the wings), age(power forward), or lack of talent(center).
Note that both best and worst case scenarios for Felton have little to do with him and more to do with events beyond his control. That's telling of where Felton seems to stand within the organization.
Is Felton the best player in his family?
Apparently Felton has a nephew from the class of 2017 who looks pretty good.