The Knicks decision to pick up Toney Douglas' team option for the 2012/2013 season on January 25 may impact their financial flexibility this offseason, writes Jim Cavan of The New York Times. The former Florida State star was struggling at the time but the team was left with few options at point guard as Linsanity was still a few weeks away from captivating the attention of the entire league. Douglas was relegated to the bench for the majority of the remainder of the season but will still cost the Knicks $2.1MM next season, limiting their options as they look to retain a series of free agents and add backcourt depth this summer.
Alex Raskin of NJ.com points out that while Douglas can be limited offensively, his defense could be an asset for the Knicks if rookie sensation Iman Shumpert misses significant time to start next season. While this is a nice bonus for the Knicks, it does not provide them with the type of point guard they are looking for to help complement Lin's skill set and foster his continued growth as a player. Simply put, the Knicks would be in a better position to attract the likes of Steve Nash, who resides in Manhattan during the offseason, if they hadn't picked up Douglas' option back in January.
Douglas began the 2011/2012 season as the Knicks starting point guard but quickly lost his job to Shumpert, who finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year vote announced early Tuesday. The Knicks explored trading Douglas in March when he fell out of the team's rotation thanks to strong play by Jeremy Lin but were unable to find a suitor. The 26-year-old point guard averaged 6.2 PPG and 2.0 APG in 38 games while playing a career-low 17.3 minutes per contest.