In a move that was both unexpected but necessary, the Miami Heat shipped out longtime center Joel Anthony for Golden State Warriors guard Toney Douglas. He's had a terrible season playing behind Stephen Curry but will fit right in with the Heat.
Per a report from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
As part of a three-team deal, the Boston Celtics have traded guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Warriors will send guard Toney Douglas to the Miami Heat, and Miami sends center Joel Anthony and future first- and second-round picks to the Celtics, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Douglas averaged 3.7 points and 0.8 assists per game for the Warriors this season, shooting just 37.2 percent from the field and 32.2 percent from three-point range. To his credit, he was playing just 11 minutes a night (a career-low average) and seemingly couldn't find a niche with Golden State.
Curry, who's on the right track to his first All-Star selection, plays 37.8 minutes per game this season. That's both indicative of his role with the Warriors, but also head coach Mark Jackson's lack of trust in Douglas to get it done with Curry on the bench.
Douglas has been a reserve guard for almost his entire career, with just 30 career starts (all with the New York Knicks) in 270 games. He's bounced from the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Golden State and now Miami, all in a matter of two seasons.
To his credit, Douglas hasn't really found a niche anywhere he's played the last few years. From that comes a lack of comfort and chemistry on the court, but he did play well in stretches for the Warriors this season.
In his first game with Golden State, Douglas chipped in 13 points and four assists in the Warriors' 125-94 opening-night victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. With Curry out due to injury on November 8, Douglas scored 21 points in a season-high 28 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs.
He then missed two weeks with a stress reaction in his left tibia, per a report from the CSN Bay Area's Monte Poole. Douglas got 16 minutes per night prior to the injury but played just 8.9 minutes per over the last 17 games for Golden State.
It's unlikely Douglas will receive a substantial role with Miami, but it's likely (and hopeful) he'll be able to contribute efficiently. With a more concrete role, Douglas could essentially find comfort with the reigning NBA champions.
The Heat could certainly use another guard, with Dwyane Wade's ongoing injury struggles this season. Douglas will act as a solid backcourt contributor in such cases, acting as a shooter on the perimeter.
According to NBA.com, 84.2 percent of Douglas' made shots from long range came assisted by teammates. A percentage of 81.3 represents his total made shots, making a solid case for his potential duties as a "shooting" guard.
He's a much better off-ball player than when he's running the offense, as seen below, courtesy of Synergy Sports:
|Pick-and-roll ball handler||19.4||2/14||14.3||1/9||11.1|
What we can take from this is that Douglas will (potentially) fit right in with what the Heat does on offense. With LeBron James and Wade as the primary ball-handlers, all Douglas needs to do is settle in behind the defense and wait for the ball.
How well will Toney Douglas fit in with the Miami Heat?
This trade was ultimately to cut down the luxury-tax penalties increased by Anthony's $3.8 million contract for this season. Douglas' deal for just $1.6 million is about just south of half that, saving Miami "$11.5 million in salary and luxury tax," per Wojnarowski's report.
Apart from that being the central motivator, the Heat will net a solid backcourt player in Douglas. He can be a tad inconsistent at times, but hopefully he will find a role with Miami that best uses his talent.
All salary information courtesy of Hoops Hype.