The Oklahoma City Thunder has made a move to solidify the need at backup point guard, reaching an agreement with free agent Raymond Felton. The deal is reportedly for one-year and worth the veteran’s minimum of $2.3 million. The news was first reported by Chris Haynes of ESPN.
While the 33-year-old Felton may not be the splashy pickup fans wanted, he should serve as serviceable backup to reigning MVP Russell Westbrook. He backed up Chris Paul last season in Los Angeles, averaging 6.7 points and 2.4 assists in just over 21 minutes a game. He shot 43% from the floor and 32% from downtown — but made his mark with aggravating defense and effort. He was in the top third of point guards with a steal percentage of 2.0% last season, and is surprisingly durable for a player his age. He’s only missed four games over the last two seasons combined, which will provide stability for the Thunder in an area it desperately needs it.
The signing should also mark the end of Semaj Christon’s time as backup point guard in Oklahoma City — news that is likely to be met with little resistance among Thunder faithful. As the roster continues its recent restructuring, Sam Presti found a veteran presence to man the ship when Westbrook needs a breather. Felton won’t be the top story on ESPN, but it’s a solid, affordable snag for a team that looks much, much different than it did just a week ago.