With the Cleveland Cavaliers recently signing backup point guard Jarrett Jack, the Golden State Warriors had to either look inward to improve that spot or seek an external asset to back up Stephen Curry.
Toney Douglas not only fit within the Golden State Warriors financial restrictions, but could very well out-play the small contract the Warriors signed him to, similar to how the Jack situation played out. His toughness and wing defense will greatly help the Warriors off the bench, which is quickly becoming one of the best bench units in the league, between Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Douglas and Jermaine O’Neal.
After starring at Florida State University, Douglas was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 29th pick in 2009, but never logged a minute in Los Angeles. He was traded to New York, where he played with the Knicks for three years, setting a few Knicks records, including most three’s made in a season (143) and most three’s made in a game (nine). Douglas was them acquired by the Houston Rockets, where he spent part of the 2012-13 season, before being traded midseason to the Sacramento Kings.
Douglas provides Mark Jackson more flexibility at the wing off the bench. He can choose a small-ball lineup and put Klay Thompson at the 3, with Curry, Douglas, and Thompson on the court at the same time, but Douglas is best suited guarding 1’s and 2’s, and therefore will likely be substituting for the starting guards off the bench.
Douglas can stretch the floor, but his most important asset is his lateral movement. He can hang with almost any player on the wing, and isn’t afraid to try to pick a pocket or two.
Douglas may have been part of a toxic environment during his Knicks years, but he hasn’t carried along any bad habits. He won’t demand big minutes from Jackson, and should be a quality presence in the locker room.
It may seem like Douglas has been around the league for so long because his name was constantly in trade rumors and he’s been dealt a few times, but he is still only 27 years old. Unfortunately, he has very limited playoff experience, having only played 120 total minutes in the Knicks 2011 and 2012 playoff runs, but that should make him all the more hungry to secure a spot in the top eight in the West.
Douglas should provide defense and toughness off the bench, and once in while, can get close to 20 points, likely mostly off three pointers. Expect Douglas to play 15-20 minutes a night and outplay his minuscule contract.