The Dallas Mavericks knew legal ramifications were facing point guard Raymond Felton when they acquired him in a trade with the New York Knicks on June 25.
On Thursday, the Mavericks found out the on-court results.
Felton was suspended four games without pay by the NBA after pleading guilty in New York to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm.
Felton, 30, must serve the suspension during the first four games of the upcoming season.
In a statement released by the Mavericks, Felton held himself accountable for a situation that will always serve as the backdrop to the start of his career with the Dallas.
“I demonstrated poor judgment and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Felton said. “Moving forward I’m eager to get to Dallas, to start fresh and make a positive impact in the Dallas metropolitan area.”
Felton’s case stemmed from an incident this winter with his estranged wife. About a week after his wife filed for divorce, her attorney reportedly carried a loaded semi-automatic handgun to a police station after she stated she didn’t want it in the house.
Felton turned himself in on Feb. 24, following a 110-108 Mavericks victory over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
On July 23, Felton pleaded guilty to the gun charges, which allowed him to avoid jail time. The nine-year veteran admitted in a Manhattan court room that he knew he was carrying a large-capacity ammunition magazine and a semi-automatic handgun without a license, which are violations of New York laws.
In addition to the four-game NBA suspension, Felton, in accordance with his plea deal, must perform 500 hours of community service and pay a $5,000 fine.
Newly acquired Jameer Nelson now looks to be the Mavericks’ opening-day starter at point guard. Nelson and Felton are expected to share the starting role, with Devin Harris coming off the bench.
“Today we were made aware of Raymond Felton’s suspension,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a statement released by the team. “We also learned that Raymond will be permitted to complete his community service outside the state of New York.
“The Mavericks are working with Raymond, and the court, to develop a community service program that will have a positive and lasting impact on North Texas.”