Knicks' Douglas not disappointed with backup role

Toney Douglas, right, says he believes he can

Toney Douglas, right, says he believes he can still play significant minutes despite the acquisition of fellow point guard Raymond Felton. (Mar. 21, 2010) (Credit: Jason DeCrow)

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LAS VEGAS - Perhaps no other player on the Knicks roster was more impacted by LeBron James not coming to New York than was Toney Douglas. Had the two-time MVP chosen the Knicks, Douglas likely would have been the team's starting point guard this season.

Instead, the Knicks used a bulk of the leftover salary cap space to sign Raymond Felton to play the point, which means Douglas, who is going into his second season, will be relegated to backup duty again.

Douglas, who is running the point for the Knicks here at the NBA Summer League, said he didn't put a lot of emphasis on the results of free agency as it pertained to him.

"I used to always hear about it, but I never really followed up," Douglas said. "I had no choice but to hear about it."

And when he heard about Felton, Douglas wasn't disappointed.

"Actually, I have no problem with that," he said. "It's a good thing. I feel we complement each other because he plays defense just like I play defense."

Douglas also noted that, while in Charlotte, Felton often played with DJ Augustin in the same backcourt, "so I can see me and him playing together, too."

That's the message that Mike D'Antoni gave to Douglas when they talked about Felton joining the team. "He told me we would be playing a lot together because I'm versatile and he's versatile, too."

Douglas already has proved that he can score at the NBA level and is also progressing into a tough defender. What he is trying to develop is his playmaking ability, especially in the pick-and-roll.

Wednesday Douglas had 13 points and six assists (with two turnovers) in 23:06 in a 102-89 loss to the Raptors. In three games so far, Douglas is averaging 15.3 points, 6 assists and 3 steals per game.

Notes & quotes: Second-round pick Landry Fields led the team for the second straight game with 19 points and went 10-for-13 from the floor . . . Second round pick Andy Rautins has struggled with his shooting (5-for-18 from three-point range) in three games . . . Patrick Ewing Jr. had 11 points and was 5-for-6 from the field in 13:12 . . . Al Harrington held out hope that the Knicks might re-sign him, but Wednesday, the 30-year-old Harrington signed a five-year, $34 million mid-level exception contract with the Denver Nuggets . . . There was a report on NBA.com that the Knicks were scheduled to meet with free agent Josh Howard, but a person with knowledge of the situation said contact was initiated by Howard's representation and the Knicks have little to no interest. The Knicks aren't expected to make any significant roster moves until the calendar gets closer to training camp or, of course, if a high-end player (Carmelo Anthony or Chris Paul) becomes available in a trade.

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