Another “throw-in” in the Sacramento Kings’ deadline deal with the Houston Rockets, Toney Douglas wasn’t expected to do much in Sacramento, especially with a backcourt that was already struggling for floor time. But looks aren’t always what they appear as Douglas not only cracked the Kings’ rotation, but ended up playing over 17 minutes a game – no small feat when you consider the stuffed Kings guard rotation.
Here is A Royal Pain’s Toney Douglas season review:
The vicissitudes of luck and opportunity are intangible factors which can make or break an NBA player’s career. For Toney Douglas, it must feel like going to an audition, where all the starring roles have already been assigned. When he was playing with the Knicks, he played in the shadow of Jeremy Lin and the whole Linsanity phenomenon, in his third season. Even his trade to the Rockets in July 2012 would not allow him to escape the Lin hoopla. He must have watched his share of the banana cream pie shrink to a sliver when the Rockets also acquired James Harden in October of last year.
The arrival of Douglas to Sacramento came at the end of the 2012-13 season, when the team was basically already out of contention for a playoff spot and head coach, Keith Smart, had completed his tinkering with his starting guard rotation. In many respects Douglas’ minutes in Sacramento appeared largely to replace those for Aaron Brooks, whose minutes declined substantially over the season, and Francisco Garcia. (As you recall, both Brooks and Garcia were traded to the Rockets in the same package which brought Douglas to Sacramento.)
Although Douglas’ opportunities were limited, he did make an impact with his poise and 3-point shooting. Notably, he scored 19 points, including 3 treys and 7 assists in the win against the Los Angeles Clippers on March 19. Then on April 12, in a loss at San Antonio, he had 15 points, with three treys on four attempts, 7 assists, and 4 steals. While it is too early to foretell how his story will unfold next season, it seems likely Douglas will have solid minutes off the bench, likely competing for court time with Jimmer Fredette.
It was nothing against Douglas when he was traded to the Kings, but I just wasn’t a fan. I knew he had his moments when he was a member of the New York Knicks, but, he wasn’t a guy I figured to get much playing time in Sacramento, let alone capitalize on that said playing time.
However, Douglas proved me wrong as the five year veteran played some high quality basketball for the Kings, despite like many other Kings, constantly being yanked in and out of the lineup. Most impressive though was Douglas’ tenacious defense. There were times when he’d have a space cadet moment or he’d get caught on some silly screens that he shouldn’t have, but for the most part Douglas was solid as a rock on the defensive end and the added offense was icing on the cake.
Douglas is what he is and expecting him to be anything more will result in disappointment but as a backup point, you could do far worse.