The Portland Trail Blazers have a lot of questions at the point guard position this offseason, but the team should not try to bring back Raymond Felton. Felton served his purpose during the 2011-12 season, playing out a contract that the team acquired from the Denver Nuggets. He was an adequate solution, but was extremely inconsistent when the team really needed him to step up.
Now that Felton is a free agent, I think that the Blazers really need to cut ties with him. When Jamal Crawford announced that he was opting out of his deal, it may have made the front office worried about who will run this team next year, but going back to Felton is simply not the answer. He shot just 40.7 percent from the field and posted an embarrassing 30.5 percentage clip from three-point range. Felton also averaged 2.8 turnovers per game and towards the end of the season it just didn't seem like his heart was in the game.
The Blazers aren't deep with players waiting to take over as the starting point guard, with the most suitable option on the team being Nolan Smith. He definitely isn't ready to lead a team though, so it could become very important for the team to find someone in the 2012 NBA Draft. The Blazers have already been linked to Weber State point guard Damian Lillard in the first round and he would be an awesome fix to the problem. He is the best point guard available in the draft though, so it's always possible he is off the board by the time Portland selects.
Marquis Teague from Kentucky and Kendall Marshall from North Carolina are also good options in the draft, but they are probably late first round selections. When the Blazers make their selections in the second round (they own the No. 40 and No. 41 picks) there are going to be even fewer options on the board. Maybe the team can find someone in the international market, or maybe it becomes time to make a deal with a team like the Houston Rockets. The Rockets have two starting point guards in Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic, both of whom could become great options for Portland in a trade.
Whether the Blazers need to try an unproven rookie or go with a cheap veteran as the starting point guard, the team has simply got to avoid bringing back the overpaid Felton for another year.
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*Ryan is a Northwest bred sports fan that has been a Portland Trail Blazers fan for years. He has high hopes that the Blazers can make it to the Western Conference Playoffs again next year.