The Golden State Warriors let two of their most prominent role players sign with different teams this offseason and they did their best to replace the guys that they lost with some new additions and in some cases developing talent.
PG-Toney Douglas (12.9 ppg, 5.6 apg, 4.6 rpg per 36)
With Jarrett Jack (15.7 ppg, 6.7 apg, 3.7 rpg per 36) signing to back up another rising star at point guard (Kyrie Irving) for another team on the rise (Cleveland Cavaliers), the Warriors decided to sign Toney Douglas to help fill Jack’s void at point guard off the bench. Douglas played 49 games for the Rockets a season ago before being traded to the Kings where he played 22 games.
The two players have similar per 36 stats, with Jack scoring and assisting a bit more but Douglas should be more than sufficient as a replacement. Douglas shot 38% behind the 3-point line, adding yet another threat from deep to an already lights out shooting team. The main place where Douglas can help the Warriors is on the defensive side of the ball. Douglas averaged three steals per 36 minutes compared to Jack’s 0.9 steals per game per 36.
Douglas, however, will not be expected to completely fill the void that Jack makes. Another free agent pickup Andre Iguodala will also be able to play some point guard in short stretches on both sides of the ball, taking much of the pressure off of Douglas.
The main time where it might seem like the Warriors will miss Jack is down the stretch in close games where Jack seemed to play a lot of point guard with Stephen Curry at shooting guard. However, losing Jack means Curry will be responsible for the play-making in close games, which seems to be a favorable option to Jack. Curry is a proven passer who can also create his own shot both off the dribble and off the ball, running off screens and even in transition.
While Douglas may not be expected to play big minutes in the fourth quarter of close games, he will be expected to play about 15-20 minutes off the bench in an attempt to keep Curry healthy and his ankles at bay. This role cannot be understated. It is vital for the Warriors that Curry is healthy for the playoffs and it will be much easier to keep him healthy if Douglas can be relied on to play solid minutes without too much of a drop off from Curry.
Don’t get me wrong, Douglas is a downgrade from Jack. However, with the help of Iguodala and the rest of the supporting cast, Douglas should be able to stabilize the point guard position off the bench.