The veteran has recovered from a high-ankle sprain suffered Oct. 10. Felton has served his four-game suspension stemming from his guilty plea to gun charges, a part of his nightmare campaign with the New York Knicks last season.
Now Felton, who looked forward to a fresh start after arriving in Dallas with center Tyson Chandler in a June trade, can finally focus on basketball again.
“It’s been a long time,” said Felton, who is available for Monday night's home game against the Indiana Pacers. “I’ve put everything behind me and now it’s time to get back on the court and start business now.”
However, it’s hard to say exactly when Felton will actually get back on the court. Or how Felton will fit in a crowded backcourt rotation.
Four veteran guards have played significant roles during Dallas’ 10-4 start. Monta Ellis leads the Mavs in scoring at 19.6 points per game and is tied for the team lead in assists (4.6), getting the vast majority of the minutes at shooting guard. Jameer Nelson, who is averaging 7.4 points and 4.6 assists, has started every game at point guard. Devin Harris (8.7 points, 4.4 assists) and J.J. Barea (8.4 points, 4.4 assists) have been dual spark plugs off the bench.
“We’ll just have to see,” coach Rick Carlisle said on Felton’s role. “There’s nothing definite at this point in time.
“We got a lot of point guards. We got to give them all a lot of love. It’s really a great situation for us. You look around the league, Indiana’s got two point guards out. We’re very fortunate. Are there enough minutes for all of them? No. But they’re all professionals and they’re all going to stay ready. I feel it’s a very good position to be in.”
Felton, who can play either guard position, has averages of 13.1 points and 6.5 assists per game in nine NBA seasons. He has started all but 55 of his 667 career appearances but understands he’ll have to adapt to a different role in Dallas.
At this point, Felton isn’t certain what that role will be. He hasn’t had any discussions with Carlisle about it.
“That’s not my decision to make,” Felton said. “I’ve worked hard through training camp and I’ve worked hard ever since I’ve been injured, so the biggest thing is whatever Coach and this staff needs me to do, that’s what I’ll do.”