Raymond Felton Draft Capsule
VITALS: 6-1, 198, North Carolina
OVERVIEW: Felton, who quarterbacked the Tar Heels to the national championship and received the Bob Cousy Award as the top point guard in the country, led the Atlantic Coast Conference in assists (6.9) and 3-point field goal percentage (.440) - improving upon a 34 percent mark in his first two years. Felton made a school-record 12 straight from the arc early in the season. He also chipped in 12.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and two steals per contest. A first-team All-ACC pick as a junior, Felton averaged 6.9 assists per game during his three-year career.
LIKELY DRAFT POSITION: It’s a strange year in the NBA draft when the third point guard taken could be as high as the sixth overall pick. But that’s the scenario for Felton, who is rated as just a tad behind Deron Williams and Chris Paul. There is much speculation about point guard-deprived teams trying to entice New Orleans, Charlotte and Utah (picks 4-6) to trade with them so they can snatch one of the top point guards, but Felton is most likely to wind up in Charlotte or Utah, who both have point guard needs of their own.
COMPARATIVE UPSIDE: Mike Bibby
COMPARATIVE DOWNSIDE: Lindsey Hunter
ROLE PROJECTION: Starting point guard.
POSITIVES: Felton is a tremendous defensive player, ball-hawking the opposing point guard into turnovers with his quick hands and quicker feet. On offense, he has great quickness off the dribble and is constantly probing the defense, looking for ways to penetrate and earn his teammates open shots. His jump shot, once a glaring weakness, has improved dramatically and his arsenal is now well-balanced. Felton exudes confidence and leadership and tends to make big plays in big situations.
SHORTCOMINGS: Like Chris Paul, Felton is vertically challenged. He’s just 6 feet tall, although that frame holds a muscular 200 pounds. Felton will go through the usual rookie hazings of being a short point guard who gets posted up by taller opposing point guards. If his strength and leaping ability prove that to be inefficient, Felton won’t have to worry about that being a staple used by other teams against him.