2012: Trading for Raymond Felton
In the 2012 offseason, the Blazers orchestrated a draft-day trade to acquire veteran point guard Raymond Felton from the New York Knicks. Portland sent playmaking point guard Andre Miller to Denver as part of the three-team deal. At the time, the move was intended to upgrade the Blazers at point guard on both ends of the court.
Unfortunately, Felton struggled mightily during his lone season in Portland, averaging a career-low 9.1 points and 5.5 assists on 40 percent shooting. He clashed repeatedly with head coach Nate McMillan and quickly fell out of favor with coaches and fans.
Felton’s poor conditioning, lazy defense and erratic shooting were a terrible fit for the Blazers.
Meanwhile, Miller excelled in Denver, averaging nearly 10 points and 7 assists per game while providing consistent play. As the offense regressed, his high basketball IQ and skillful passing were missed in Portland.
The 37-year-old Miller had three more productive seasons after the trade, while Felton flamed out.
Acquiring Felton was a backcourt downgrade for Portland that they likely regret today. On the bright side, his disappointing lone season set the stage for the Blazers to draft Damian Lillard in 2012. While that move paid huge dividends, the Felton trade could be considered one of the Blazers’ poorest of the last decade.
If they could do it again, the Blazers would be wise to keep the reliable, respected Miller over gambling on Felton.