Shocking News: The Clippers Don’t Want Raymond Felton


May 16, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Iman Shumpert (21) and point guard Raymond Felton (2) high five each other on the court against the Indiana Pacers during the second half in game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks win 85-75. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

If you want to know why guard Iman Shumpert may be a New York Knick after the trade deadline, I lead you to the prime suspect: Raymond Felton. Here are the details on the proposed Clippers-Knicks trade and why a move may not get done:

To sum up the above tweets, Iman Shumpert isn’t a good enough player to take Felton’s contract. The fact that Felton isn’t very good also doesn’t help as he’d be forced to a reserve role as a Clipper. The contract is also a big problem as Felton is owed $9 million over the next two seasons, his last season being one with a player option, one he’ll surely opt into.

The Knicks are basically admitting the mistake that was signing Felton to a four-year deal in 2012. And how do you get rid of a mistake such as this? By having to sell low on an asset (Shumpert) that could be used to net draft picks for the future or a player that fits the franchises plan of the future. Felton isn’t good. He’s likely the worst starting point guard in the NBA and there is little room for him to approve. After being in the league for so long, the notion that “you are what you are” fits with Felton and that type of thought is likely why he’ll finish out his current contract with the Knicks because no on wants an out-of-shape point guard. Well at least one that doesn’t have the talent to combat him not wanting to be in prime shape once the season begins.

With the Knicks other demand for Shumpert being a first-round pick, the Clippers may not be willing to comply with that either. Due to the Stepien rule, the Clippers aren’t able to deal their 2014 first-round draft pick after sending their 2015 first-rounder to the Boston Celtics in a deal that allowed the Clippers to obtain the services of Doc Rivers. Anything after 2015 is on the table, but nothing about Shumpert’s play on the season has made him a guarantee to play better once on a team that fits his strengths better.

A big surprise is the Clippers unwillingness to part ways with Reggie Bullock. If you’re a frequent reader of this site, you’ll know that the notion of Reggie Bullock being a consistent piece within the rotation is common. Currently, despite the sample size being small on Bullock’s behalf, he and Shumpert are similar players. Both are similar rebounders, similar three-point shooters and wing defenders. The difference is Bullock is near Shumpert’s level as a rookie and he hasn’t suffered any knee injuries in the league, putting a damper on his development. If given minutes, Bullock could turn out to be a low-cost, important piece going forward a la Norris Cole with the Miami Heat during his rookie season. The players around Bullock are good enough to hid his weaknesses, but as he grows accustomed to the NBA game, he’ll be invaluable and a spark off the bench by season’s end.

All-in-all, anything said now is just talk. If a deal is going to be done these two teams will find a way, but if the Knicks insist on pushing Felton on the Clippers, or any other team that is interested in Iman Shumpert’s services, the deadline for them will be one with little to no activity.