Last season with the Mavericks, Raymond Felton managed to resurrect what appeared to be a dying career. He was a perceived throw-in to the trade that sent Tyson Chandler to Dallas in the summer of 2014, and played just 29 games with the Mavs in '14-'15. Last year, though, he featured in 80 contests and was a vital cog in the team's postseason run.
Doc Rivers's move to nab him at the veteran's minimum in July was his shrewdest move of the summer (cc: @OldTakesExposed). Felton figures to eat up (pun VERY intended) some decent backcourt minutes for the Clippers this season. Rick Carlisle utilized him in three-guard lineups while with the Mavericks, and Doc will surely do the same.
We don't often see guys on the wrong side of 30 (in NBA years) suddenly burst back to life the way Felton did in 2015-16. Ray drew ire from Blazers and Knicks fans alike during his stints in those respective cities due to his apparent lack of conditioning (let's just say he was fairly chunky), but wasn't exactly slender last season in Dallas, either. Still, he successfully flipped the narrative, going from much-maligned team scourge to fan favorite in the matter of a year.
Carlisle has earned a reputation as the NBA's zombie whisperer. Several players whose careers had seemingly stalled elsewhere have found sudden life again under his watch. Monta Ellis, O.J. Mayo, Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion are just a few of the guys who seemed to instantly turn their careers around once they joined Carlisle in Dallas. Felton is yet another example.
Now that he's inked a fresh, new deal in L.A., how can he help the Clips?
Tim Cato of Mavs Moneyball noted here that Felton is at his best serving as the ball-handler in the pick-and-roll. Considering the Clips happen to boast two of the league's most terrifying rim-rollers, the fit here should be nice and snug. He averaged 0.78 points per possession on PnR plays in which he was handling the ball, which is about league average. Ray plays with a good patience about him, and he's a seasoned lob-thrower:
Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan should have plenty of fun with that aspect of his game.
Without being able to regularly explode past guys or rise above the rim, Felton has to get creative sometimes in order to get shots off. He was proficient last season at tricky little running flip shots in the lane:
Felton has classic #OldManGame, but he can be deceptively quick, too. When defenders dare underestimate the husky point guard's speed, he can zip around them with either hand and finish with one of his patented floaters:
Scoring was something the Clippers didn't get from Pablo Prigioni last season, so Felton will be an upgrade in that regard. On the downside, he's not really going to boost LAC's outside shooting. He's a career 32.7% shooter from deep, though he hasn't even topped 31% since the '12-'13 campaign in New York.
Over 67% of Felton's buckets last season were unassisted (187 unassisted, 90 assisted), which means he's more of a threat off-the-dribble than he is as a spot-up shooter. By comparison, 59% of Jamal Crawford's baskets last year were unassisted, which was tops among Clipper reserves. Felton's ability to create his own shot is something the Clips can use, and it can also come in handy in late game situations.
Prigs was a fine passer, but Felton is a more dangerous two-way threat attacking the paint. He shot a solid 49.7% (283 attempts) from within 9 feet of the bucket last season, while Pablo dared to enter the lane about once every fortnight. Ray's playmaking potential isn't limited to the pick-and-roll, either. He's a smart passer with good vision off-the-dribble, too: