NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — Don’t worry, Knicks fans.
Raymond Felton is motivated and in shape.
That’s what North Carolina coach Roy Williams told me Saturday morning at the Peach Jam where he is scouting some of the top high school prospects in the nation.
“He took less money to go to New York, he could’ve gotten more money somewhere else,” Williams said. “He wants to be in New York. He is motivated. The people in New York should remember how good he was for half a year because he played his buns off. He played his buns off.”
Williams said Felton was at North Carolina recently and was in good shape.
“Raymond Felton will be in shape,” Williams said. “He’ll be fired up. He is fired up right now. He looks great.”
He added: “I asked him six weeks ago, ‘If a team says you need to lose 15 pounds, what are you going to tell them?’ He says, ‘I’ve already lost 10 and I’ll lose 10 more.’ He’s going to be motivated.”
During his 54-game stint with the Knicks in 2010-11, he averaged 17.1 points and 9.0 assists, but in 60 games in Portland last year, an out-of-shape Felton averaged 11. 4 points and 6.5 assists.
“[Portland] was a bad situation and it’s the only bad situation Raymond Felton’s ever been in,” Williams said. “Things didn’t work out. That happens in the NBA. You see some guys go one place and be in the doghouse or not play, you see them go another place and they play great.
“Raymond Felton’s going to be the least of any problem the New York Knicks is ever going to have.”
Felton echoed those sentiments in a recent interview with the New York Times.
“I’ve been listening to all those people talk about what happened in Portland last year,” he said. “I’m just ready to shut up a lot of people.”
**For more coverage of the Peach Jam…