NBA: Felton happy to have Brown
CHARLOTTE ó Raymond Felton isn’t worried about competition for his job, or the demands of his new coach.
Felton believes he’s the right point guard to lead the Bobcats to the playoffs for the first time, and hopes to lock up a contract extension this summer that will keep him in Charlotte long-term.
“I feel like I’m the leader of this team,” Felton said Tuesday before conducting a clinic for 90 kids at a Charlotte middle school. “I’ve got some type of chemistry with the guys on the team so I don’t think they’re trying to replace me.”
Felton turns 24 on Thursday, the night of the NBA draft. The Bobcats hold the ninth pick, and last week brought in point guard Russell Westbrook of UCLA for a workout.
When asked about Westbrook, Larry Brown, beginning his record ninth NBA head coaching job, quickly said, “We have a pretty good point guard here already.” Earlier this week, Brown said Westbrook is one of several players in the draft who won’t make an immediate impact.
The only other point guards projected to go high on Thursday are Derrick Rose of Memphis, the likely No. 1 overall pick, and undersized D.J. Augustin of Texas, who hasn’t worked out for Charlotte.
So barring a trade, Brown, notorious for being tough on point guards, will be paired with Felton, who has had an up-and-down three years in the NBA.
“He’s expecting a lot,” Felton said. “He said. ‘I’m going to be on you. Sometimes it’s going to seem like I don’t like you. But it’s just me trying to bring the best out of you.’ I know that. I understand that.”
The 6-foot-1 Felton, the fifth pick in the 2005 draft, is entering the final year of his rookie scale contract. If they don’t agree on an extension by the start of the regular season, the former North Carolina star will become a restricted free agent.
“I’m more focused on trying to make the playoffs, trying to make this team better. Getting that out of the way, I can just go ahead and concentrate on what I need to do on the court.”
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