This article was originally published on Let’s Go Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors have reached an agreement with point guard Toney Douglas. Although the exact terms of the deal are unknown at this point, it will most likely be a one-year deal.
Per 48 minutes last season, Douglas would have averaged 19.9 points, 5.6 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.6 steals on 40.3 percent shooting, 38 percent shooting from three, and 90.5 percent free-throw shooting.
First of all, he’s a quality defender. The 6-foot-2 guard has been known for his defense in his three years in the NBA. He’s quick, he gets deflections, he gets steals, and he strongly pressures the ball.
“(My mindset is) don’t let him feel comfortable, be physical with him and take on the challenge,” Douglas said about his approach on defense. “I like doing it because I know my capabilities. I’m a big, strong guard and I’m just as athletic, just as quick.”
Stephen Curry certainly knows how good of a defender Douglas is. In a game against the Sacramento Kings on March 6th, Douglas guarded Curry, the eight-leading scorer in the NBA at the time, and held him to 13 points on 3-for-11 shooting.
Second, Douglas is a pretty good three-point shooter. Last season, he shot 38.9 percent from three, matching a career-high. On March 17th, 2011, when Douglas was on the New York Knicks, he tied a Knicks’ franchise record with nine three-pointers made in one game. That night, he shot 9-for-12 from three-point range.
Third, Douglas is not necessarily a great shooter or passer, but he has a high basketball IQ. With the Kings last season, coach Keith Smart often turned to Douglas in crunch time situations because of his high level of expertise on defense and his understanding of situational basketball. He knows when to pass to his teammates and when to take the shot himself.
Lastly, Douglas is a hard worker and will provide veteran leadership to this team. Now that Nemanja Nedovic is expected to sign with the Warriors and play for them next season, Douglas could act as a mentor to him. Also, Douglas credits playing with Chauncey Billups on the Knicks as to why he puts so much effort into studying the game.
“I learned a lot from Chauncey Billups – he helped me out a lot when he was there – and then when he was hurt, I ended up starting,” Douglas said. “Playing with (Carmelo Anthony) and (Amar’e) Stoudemire (when I was) starting my second year really helped me, too.”
The addition of Douglas also gives Mark Jackson some flexibility in terms of what lineups he could use. Jackson could decide to sometimes play Douglas at point guard and slide Curry over to the shooting guard position, just like he did with Jack last year.
Douglas wasn’t acquired to be a primary scorer off the bench. He’s a solid defender, he’s a veteran, and he will provide solid minutes for the Warriors off the bench.