by Chris Haynes / @ChrisBhaynes

After a tale of two halves last season, the new floor general of the Portland Trail Blazers, Raymond Felton, is eager to prove to the franchise that he hasn’t fallen off.

“I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to play for the Blazers,” Felton told SLAMonline. “Our roster is set up to make a deep run in the Playoffs, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Felton says he’s in great shape and is working out daily as if the NBA season is scheduled to open on time. He’s also excited to work with coach Nate McMillan as well. McMillan being a former point guard, entices Felton and he feels it would make for a smooth transition as he hopes to orchestrate the Blazers’ offense in the near future.

“He’s ready to get to Portland and pick up where he left off in New York,” said Felton’s co-agent Colin Bryant of Dutt Sports Services Inc. “Raymond is a natural born leader who plays with a chip on his shoulder every night and this should bode well for Portland.”

It may be a while before we see Felton suited up in a Blazers’ uniform as the NBA and player’s union continue to hash out their differences on a new collective bargaining agreement. Sides met last Wednesday without a leak of where things stand between the two.

One thing’s for sure, new CBA or no CBA, Felton will play somewhere.

“He will not sit out a full year of basketball,” Bryant said. “He loves the game too much to take a full season off.”

Bryant says that playing overseas would be a last resort for Felton, but made it clear that if the CBA wasn’t sorted out in a desirable time-frame, they’ll evaluate all of their options when that time comes. As of now, it’s a wait-and-see approach as it retains to the Blazers’ point guard balling outside the borders.

Tony Dutt, president of Dutt Sports Services Inc., has been in close contact with Felton over the weekend informing him on the latest happenings with the CBA negotiations. David Stern’s Labor Day deadline is upon us and Dutt is making sure his client is educated on the path at hand.

Felton was playing the best ball of his pro career under Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo offense in New York last season. He posted career high marks averaging 17.1 points per game, 9.0 assists and 1.8 steals. He was arguably the best point guard in the League for the first two months of the season.

All was good until the Carmelo Anthony deal transpired and Felton found his way in Denver under a different set of circumstances.

George Karl clearly favored Ty Lawson running the show and Felton found himself being the odd man out. The Blazers saw a rare opportunity to rescue a top-flight NBA point guard in his prime—something Nate McMillan has been dying for.

The Blazers would ship Andre Miller in exchange for Felton on draft day in hopes that he could return to his All-Star level of play.

Felton may, or may not be the answer, but he’s without a doubt, an upgrade at the position. As long as injuries are kept at a minimum, the sky’s the limit for the Blazers.

“Portland has a strong roster and I believe Raymond can be that missing piece to their championship puzzle,” Bryant said.