EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets All-Star Deron Williams said Saturday that Raymond Felton is a better playmaker than the point guard he replaced in New York, Jeremy Lin.
Lin outplayed Williams last Feb. 4 in a stunning performance off the bench, starting a phenomenon that became known as Linsanity. But the Knicks opted not to match the $25.1 million deal Lin signed with Houston, having already completed a sign-and-trade deal with Portland to reacquire Felton.
Felton played well in a previous stint with the Knicks.
"I would say Raymond Felton is a better point guard than Jeremy Lin, in my opinion," Williams said at the Nets' practice facility.
The Nets host the Knicks on Thursday in their first game at the new Barclays Center.
It would've been hard to imagine Lin not being there after the 10 games that started when he scored 25 points in a 99-92 victory over the Nets at Madison Square Garden. Williams scored 21 points and shot just 7 of 19 that night, though made amends later in the month when he scored 38 points as the Nets won in their return to New York.
Williams stopped short of saying the Knicks are a better team without Lin as the starting point guard, but said he would rather go with Felton because of what the veteran has accomplished in the league as a starter, especially during his short stay in New York before he was included in the deal that brought Carmelo Anthony over to the Knicks.
Felton averaged 17 points and nine assists in 54 games during the 2010-11 season in New York.
"He is just proven," Williams said.
"You'll have to see Jeremy Lin. He had a heck of a run. The numbers he was putting up were All-Star type numbers when he was starting, so we'll see how he does this year. But going off of track record, you know I'm going to go with Raymond Felton and Ray probably had his best year . that half season he was there. I guess he likes the bright lights. "
Felton admitted being out of shape last season in Portland after the lockout, but Williams likes what he has seen of Felton, whom he has known since their high school days.
"He looks good. He looks in shape this year," Williams said.
Williams did not practice Saturday but said he will return Sunday. He was given a cortisone shot two days ago for his left ankle that's been bothering him since the Olympics.
"After the season I'm going to have to get it cleaned up. We'll see after that," Williams said. "I don't think it will be a problem. Like I said, the cortisone shots should get me through the season."