This is the player comparison, a segment in which I compare Golden State Warrior players to other players in the league based on either whim or circumstance.
Today’s players are Toney Douglas, whom the Warriors just acquired, and Jarrett Jack, who signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Last season, Jack gave J.R. Smith a run for his money in the Sixth Man of the Year contest. Douglas was having a decent time with the Kings, but it wasn’t as good as the stint he could have playing for the Warriors, one of the most promising teams in the league. Now that Jack is off of the Warriors’ roster, could Douglas be a possible replacement for him?
We’ve discussed this over and over again. Jack has some indispensable skills that could easily be traded for Douglas’ indispensable skills. That’s a good thing, but there’s still a hole for the Warriors.
If Stephen Curry’s ankles remember that they’re not actually made from bone, Douglas will not be able to produce the offense that Curry could. Jack, on the other hand, was more than capable. Hopefully for the Warriors, this won’t be a huge problem because knocking on wood, Curry does seem to be getting stronger in that ankle.
With the Kings, Rockets, and Knicks, Douglas seemed unmotivated and played like it too. However, his defense has always been excellent. In fact, the Warriors shot 40% from the 3-point line last year in total. When Douglas was patrolling the perimeter for his respective team, that number decreased by 22%. That’s just to give you an idea at how quickly he can move his feet.
Jack is an offensive weapon whether he’s coming off the bench or not. Now that Harrison Barnes will be sixth man, they don’t need to worry so much about the void Jack left on offense. They still, however, need to worry about Douglas being motivated. Earlier this year, Douglas said that he vowed to be the next Jack.
Even I see this as unlikely. Sure, Douglas can play, but can he really just turn into an offensively-minded player overnight? It’s going to take some time. Even if it does happen, that’s not who the Warriors need Douglas to be. They will likely want him to exert his energy on guards like Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo. If he’s not on his best game defensively, it’s not a big deal. The Warriors also have Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala, two other elite defenders.
Jack may be one of the best bench players in the NBA, but I think that Douglas’ skills are underrated. He’s a great shooter, can get to the basket, and will play the defense. For teams like the Warriors, who have swingmen like Iguodala, Douglas is the perfect fit. He can handle the ball when he is in, but he won’t be exerting too much effort on the offensive end.
The loss of Jack may have stung the Warriors’ a little bit, but Bob Myers found a perfect way to fill the hole that Jack left. This is a cheaper alternative as well. The number one priority was re-signing Jack, but Myers found a way to strengthen the Warriors’ roster, all while spending less money.