Toney Douglas was once the Knicks starting point guard. Now he's buried on the bench.
When the season began, he was the starting point guard for the Knicks. First his minutes were cut into by rookie Iman Shumpert. Then Mike Bibby pilfered some of his floor space. Eventually Douglas' playing time was buried in the avalanche of Lin-Sanity and the return of veteran Baron Davis.
These days Douglas spends nearly the entire game on the bench. He's not an All Star in waiting, but he's a player who could prove valuable to teams that don't feature numerous point guards on their roster. In addition, the Knicks' offensive system is one that places a fair amount of responsibilities on the point guard. In a more simplistic offensive system Douglas could play a more productive role.
With that in mind the Knicks are now trying to ship Douglas off to another team as the clock ticks down to the March 15th trade deadline.
Where might the Knicks find a receptive trading partner?
Earl Clark from the Magic could get more minutes in New York.
If the Knicks do in fact deal Douglas and it isn't part of a much larger deal then the team would probably want to receive a serviceable big man in return.
With both Tyson Chandler and Jared Jeffries nursing injures and Amar'e Stoudemire not known for his durability, the Knicks could use more depth at the power forward and center positions.
Earl Clark is a former Louisville Cardinal who was actually the 14th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He hasn't shown much in his limited NBA time, but Orlando could use more depth at point guard. Unless the team actually decides to pull the trigger on a Dwight Howard trade, minutes for big men like Clark will be hard to come by.
J.J. Hickson arrived in Sacramento with high expectations but has been a disappointment.
When Sacramento acquired J.J. Hickson before the 2011-2012 season, he arrived with some high expectations. After all, he had a breakout year in Cleveland averaging almost 14 points and nine rebounds per game.
Instead this season has been a real step back for the former first-round pick out of North Carolina State. His minutes per game are down by almost 10 a night and his per game averages are down as well.
Hickson makes too much money for the Knicks to make a one-for-one swap, but Sacramento has had their own issues at point guard and Douglas isn't the only one buried on New York's bench. Mike Bibby is sitting on the sidelines a lot as well.
The Knicks could package both players in exchange for Hickson. Sacramento might not pull this deal off, but they have expressed a willingness to move Hickson as well as Tyreke Evans. If Evans were to depart, that would open up plenty of minutes at the point guard position and the Kings might value the depth they could add through this deal.
With Eric Maynor out for the season the Thunder may be in the market for another option at backup point guard.
The Thunder are set at point guard with Russell Westbrook, but when the team lost backup Eric Maynor to a season-ending injury, that role opened up.
The Thunder have tried several solutions but have yet to really settle on one.
The Knicks would love to grab another pick in this June's NBA Draft. Perhaps they could convince the Thunder to part with their first-round pick by trading Douglas and taking on the expiring contract of Royal Ivey.
This would not add any frontcourt depth for New York, but it would give them a first-round pick in exchange for a player who spends nearly all his time on the bench.
Ricky Rubio's recent injury has left Minnesota shallow at the point.
Last Friday, the postseason dreams of Timberwolves fans turned to nightmares when Ricky Rubio was lost for the remainder of this season with a torn ACL.
The Timberwolves have already inserted Luke Ridnour in as the starting point guard, but they're unquestionably lacking depth at that position.
The Knicks could use the same package of Douglas and Bibby to try and acquire old friend Anthony Randolph.
Randolph has an expiring contract, so even if he continued to be nothing more than a decent backup at power forward, the Knicks could let him walk without taking a cap hit after the season. In the meantime, he'd be able to get some minutes at positions where the Knicks could use more depth.
Troy Murphy is used sparingly with front court talent such as Gasol and Bynum in the starting five.
The Lakers need a point guard and the Knicks could use some frontcourt depth.
Why not just orchestrate a nice and tidy one-for-one swap in which Douglas heads west to backup Derek Fisher and Steve Blake and Troy Murphy heads east to add some depth behind Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire and Jared Jeffries.
It's not the type of blockbuster that Lakers fans are pining for, but it would still be a feasible deal that would improve both teams.
Adding to the appeal of this for the Knicks is that Douglas is signed through the end of next season while Murphy is a free agent after this season.