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Midseason Roundtable Grades: Raymond Felton

The Clippers quietly picked Felton up this summer towards the end of free agency, and most people shrugged at the time. Those people were wrong— Felton has been a steal for the Clippers. Here’s what our writers think of his play so far.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Wood: B

Felton is looking more Fast than Fat this season, and has been one of Doc's better bargain bin bench additions. At this point in his career, he's overstretched as a starter, but when Chris Paul returns, Felton will resume his role as one of the league's better backups. He also makes one of Jamal Crawford or Austin Rivers potentially expendable should Doc find a deadline deal for an attractive forward.

Shapan Debnath: A-

Raymond Felton has been a revelation this year. He's shooting some of the best percentages of his career from the field, and he's been a surprisingly feisty defender. One big issue the Clippers had last year is they didn't have many guards that could get to the rim, and Felton has shown a great ability to do just that. He has a deceptive amount of speed and uses his body very well to finish around the rim. This would be an A if Felton could just get the ball to Blake on the block a little more cleanly and consistently. Felton has been my favorite addition to this Clipper team this season.

Robert Flom: A-

Ray Felton has been terrific for the Clippers this season. Signed for the low cost of the veteran’s minimum, Felton was expected to be at the fringe of the rotation, merely rounding out minutes. Instead, he has started a handful of games, and been a key stabilizing presence with Chris Paul out. He’s not a consistent starting level point guard anymore, but is one of the better backups in the NBA— he is going to get PAID this summer. Ray plays tough defense, can make outside shots, and is still a blur going to the basket, where he converts difficult looks at a high frequency. He’s not the greatest playmaker in the world, or a great shooter from outside, but it doesn’t matter. It will be sad to see him leave this summer.

James Nisky: A+

His numbers don't jump off the page, and that's exactly why numbers don't really tell you much. Felton is playing great, and was an absolute steal for a minimum contract. He's in great shape, finishing strong at the rim, and playing great defense. Overall, he's done a bit of everything for the Clips. He's filled in at point and at two-guard, he's backed up Paul and he's played with Paul, and he's looked natural and effective doing all of it. He's definitely the Clippers' "energy" guy. It would be ideal if he could increase his shooting percentages a bit in all three categories, but playing in the second unit puts him in some weird situations which forces him to take some crazy contested, late shot clock type of shots, and that throws his efficiency off a bit. For him to have played as well as he has for the Clippers on a minimum contract, you have to give him an A+. Doc will surely try to bring Raymond back on a three year type of deal.

Davey Bales: A-

Plenty of guys have stepped up since Chris Paul's injury, but without Raymond Felton, this team would really be in a tight spot. Whether he's starting at the 1 or coming off the bench to lend a helping hand, Felton has been incredibly valuable for the Clippers this season. Yet another successful minimum signing (kudos, Doc), the seasoned vet has both used his traditional point guard skills to stabilize the Clippers' core group in CP's absence and also transformed his game to make himself a viable weapon on a second-unit where he plays alongside two ball-dominant guards in Austin and Jamal. His FG% and 3P% are both as high as they've been since seven seasons ago when he was a Charlotte Bobcat, and he's surprised me on the defensive end. He's not going to overwhelm anyone with sheer talent, as those days are long behind him, but he's certainly been a critical piece of the puzzle for this year's squad.

Max Jeffrey: B+

Raymond Felton is certainly outplaying his contract and has been a major boost for the Clippers’ second unit. Felton, who has filled both starting and reserve roles for many teams in his 11+ years in the NBA, has done exactly what the Clippers have needed him to. While he has started in numerous games, largely due to the 20-game absence of Chris Paul, Felton has filled the long-standing void the Clippers have had at the backup point guard position. While many might argue that Austin Rivers has become that guy, Rivers’ style of play is more representative of a shooting guard. Felton possesses the ability to distribute well and consistently makes good decisions on the floor. Felton ranks 3rd on the team in Assist Percentage (18.3%), just behind Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, as well as 2nd in both Assist-to-Turnover Ratio (2.38) and Assist Ratio (23.5). Felton is averaging 7.8 points, 3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in 22.8 minutes per game while shooting 37.1% from behind the arc and 43.9% from the field. Felton typically opts to score right at the rim in downhill fashion, or on open three-point attempts. Despite his increase in minutes since the beginning of the year, Felton is definitely best when he comes off the bench, and has carved-out a nice role leading the Clippers’ second unit.