By the end of Wednesday, NBA teams will have had to make decisions on both any 2008 and 2010 draftees currently on their squads. Will they go or will they stay?
Wednesday's deadline forces teams to:
A) Agree upon contract extensions with any 2008 first round draftees eligible to become Restricted Free Agents this upcoming summer.
B) Exercise or decline team options for next season on 2010 first round draftees.
Many teams made headlines with some controversial decisions regarding talented and/or popular players, but as far as the Knicks were concerned, they made the seemingly obvious decision to exercise Toney Douglas' team option for next season, putting him on the books with a salary slightly over $2 million.
What might have been a no-brainer for the front office is quickly proving to be a frowned upon move by Knicks fans all over the internet. Fans have taken to Twitter to express their displeasure with the move, many citing Douglas' inconsistencies and disappointment this season as the reason.
There's no denying Douglas struggled mightily as a starter to begin the season. But who's to say he really belonged there? Frankly, the Knicks did not have a choice but to start him with Baron Davis injured, Iman Shumpert (at that time) unproven, and Chauncey Billups released. Douglas was thrust into the starting lineup by default. Plain and simple.
During his first two seasons, Douglas served as a key cog in the Knicks rotation, providing an ever so needed boost off the bench, often filling it up with double-digit scoring performances.
This is where he thrives. Coming off the bench, Douglas is able to concentrate on scoring as a means of being an offensive spark plug, not forced to do much else. As a starter, Douglas was expected to take on the responsibility of being a facilitator for his teammates, but that is simply not who he is.
If the Knicks can place Douglas in situations where all he needs to worry about is providing points in a pinch, then exercising his option will have been a smart decision. With the Knicks committed to three rather large, long-term contracts (the team's so called "Big Three"), finding productive players at cheaper rates is going to be imperative to maintaing a strong supporting cast around the team's stars.