Raymond Felton moves on from OKC Thunder attending Rockets mini training camp

OKC Thunder: Raymond Felton plays defense during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: Raymond Felton plays defense during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Veteran Raymond Felton suited up for the OKC Thunder the past two seasons, but the news he’ll join the Rockets Vegas mini training camp all but guarantees he won’t return.

Over the past two seasons, the Thunderous Intentions team was split on our impressions of veteran point guard Raymond Felton. Some of the TI team felt he offered playmaking and scoring punch off the bench for the OKC Thunder. While others on the team were tired of his seeming “me first” play calls.

Without exception, the widespread belief was Felton offered a savvy veteran voice and the fact he embraced being with the OKC Thunder delivered a positive benefit. Certainly, his low salary was also a bonus. Those benefits were important, especially with a team repeatedly paying into the luxury tax. Yet, at the end of the day, Felton contributed to the continuing issues of a lack of player and ball movement.

Given the minutes Felton played he was either tasked with providing subsidiary scoring which he was generally successful at doing or running the offense and getting the reserves best-shot opportunities. The latter part of this equation was the area he struggled with.

With news he’ll join the Houston Rockets mini training camp in Vegas the first thought which emerges is his relationship with Russell Westbrook remains strong and likely is part and parcel of his invitation.

Felton is just one of three former OKC Thunder players attending the Rockets mini-camp in Vegas. The others are Corey Brewer and Thabo Sefolosha.

In his two seasons with the OKC Thunder, Felton posted stat averages of 6.1 points, 2.2 assists, 1.7 rebounds and shot 34.7 percent from the 3-point line. His playing time decreased from 16.6 minutes per game in 2017-18 to 11.5 minutes per game in 2018-19.

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With the reduced playing time and his advancing age, several key categories regressed such as his 3-point shooting (35.2 to 32.8 percent) and his assists dropped from 1.9 per game to almost half (1.0 per game).

Given the addition of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul to this year’s OKC Thunder squad, the presence of Felton wasn’t as necessary. The Thunder also have Dennis Schroder and other youngsters on the squad to fill the point guard and playmaking roles.

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With so many capable and up and coming point guards on OKC it made the option of re-signing Felton unnecessary.