There was a lot of worry surrounding the Golden State Warriors coming into this NBA off-season. Sure they were just coming off upsetting the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs and everyone was starting to murmur about Golden State being the next great young team, but there were still some concerns.
The biggest worries coming into this summer for the Warriors largely revolved around the pieces that they were going to lose. Because of their situation with the salary cap, the Warriors likely weren’t going to be able to re-sign Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack, two of their key bench players from last season. That is, in fact, how it played out, too, as both Jack and Landry signed with other organizations.
However, there aren’t any worries about that happening now because the Warriors have had one of the best off-seasons in free agency in the entire league. They were able to sign Andre Iguodala, arguably the best wing-player on the market, sign Marreese Speights to a solid deal to likely play some of Landry’s minutes, and, in their latest move, were able to sign Toney Douglas to a one-year deal.
Douglas just finished his fourth season in the league and has played with three teams over his career. In 246 career games and 20.3 minutes per game, Douglas has averaged 8.6 points, 2.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game while shooting 40.7 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from three.
Douglas isn’t the same player as Jack and can’t bring all of the things to the table that Jack did, but Douglas is also not going to be asked to play in the same role as Jack. With Iguodala, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in their backcourt, there’s no need for a point guard to come in and play 25-plus minutes per game like Jack did anymore. Douglas will simply be asked to come in and run their offense effectively when any of their guards need a breather.
Considering that the Warriors like to get up and down the floor and play for a lot of offensive possessions, Douglas is actually set up to succeed in Golden State. In his first two seasons with the New York Knicks (2009-2011), Douglas had the two best years of his young career. Over those two seasons he averaged 9.8 points, 2.6 assists, 2.6 rebounds and just under one steal per game while shooting 43 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from long-range.
It’s no accident that Douglas had his two best seasons while the Knicks ranked ninth in the league in terms of pace in the 2009-2010 season and ranked second in that category in the 2010-2011 season. He performs at his best when he’s able to lead a team getting up and down the floor when he comes off the bench. That’s what he’s going to be doing in Golden State.
If Warriors fans are going to be expecting Douglas to play like Jack, they are going to be disappointed, but they should also note that this is now a different situation with the Warriors. Even if he doesn’t produce like Jack, it’s highly likely that the end result for Douglas in Golden State will be a positive one.