The deadline for the Knicks to match Toronto’s three-year offer sheet to Landry Fields passed on Saturday evening with the Knicks declining to match, meaning Fields is now a Toronto Raptor.

Now the debate among fans will likely shift to whether or not Fields is overpaid, and by how much.

Initial reports pegged the three-year deal’s value at approximately $20 million, but in recent days we’ve seen other reports between $18.5 million and $19 million, which would make the contract a little easier to swallow for Raptors fans.

Either way, Fields’ deal may not look good right now, but given some of the other contracts and offer sheets handed out so far this summer, it’s also far from an albatross, especially when you consider that we’re dealing with a 24-year-old who was a pretty highly touted rookie just a year ago.

We’ll be able to better judge the contract, strictly from a financial standpoint, once Bryan Colangelo is finished tinkering and we see what the Raptors’ cap situation looks like going forward. Until then, we should be focusing on what the addition of Fields means from a basketball standpoint.

By now, most of you know his story – Stanford product has an eye opening rookie season in New York to help the Knicks make the playoffs for the first time in seven years, only to follow up with a disappointing sophomore season that saw him regress in most facets of the game.

Taking both seasons into account, the Raptors are acquiring a durable wing player who averages about nine points, five rebounds, a couple of assists and a steal in precisely 30 minutes per game. Fields hasn’t missed a game so far in two years, suiting up for all of New York’s 148 regular season games and nine playoff games over the last couple of seasons, starting in all but five of those contests.

He can play comfortably at either the shooting guard position or at small forward. With DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross expected to get most of their minutes at the two-spot, Fields appears to be eying a starting job at the three.

James Johnson provided a solid defensive presence for Toronto at small forward last season, seems to be a developing player and would be a cheaper option when compared to Fields. More than any complaint with the financial terms of Fields’ new contract, the presence of the more cost friendly Johnson is what makes me hesitant about fully embracing this signing. Though in fairness, if you believe recent rumblings, Johnson might not even be a Raptor come October.

So far, the Raptors’ combination of natural wing talent (Johnson and Kleiza are more natural forwards) has gone from DeRozan plus Forbes to DeRozan, Ross and Fields. That trio won’t scare any of the NBA’s elite, but it is a definite upgrade.

Landry should fit in well in a Dwane Casey system. He’s a good wing defender, rebounds the ball well for his position, plays a smart game and has a high basketball IQ. In many ways, his game at the three spot is a nice compliment to some of the liabilities of DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani at the two and four positions.

If he can regain the three-point shooting stroke he showed as a rookie, Fields can be a threat on both ends of the floor and could evolve into an above-average player well worth his salary. If he continues to clank jumpers like he did last season, Fields may prove to be a very expensive mediocre talent on a team desperate to escape from eternal mediocrity.

Most believe Fields’ offensive game suffered as a result of a New York offence that became increasingly stagnant with Carmelo Anthony on board, and I tend to agree. Whether he became a Raptor or not, I simply refused to believe that Fields was the offensive liability he appeared to be in 2011-2012.

What I’m expecting is a defensive-minded player who should have a bounce back offensive season, and if Fields delivers on those expectations, I’ll be able to live with his six-plus million dollar cap hit.

If not, this pricey acquisition will be yet another swing and miss for a General Manager running out of strikes.

Welcome to Toronto, Landry. Try not to let the pressure of the contract get to you, and by all means, feel free to bring Elaine along with you to the Air Canada Centre every now and then.

Comments (19)

  1. Congratulations to whatever organization it was that got Bryan Colangelo’s best years. Drop by and tell us about what he was like in the old “Executive of the Year” days. Keep evaluating that basketball talent, Bryan!

    • Good basketball move. Love people who complain about the financials but have no idea how it works. Welcome Mr Fields

      • Oh, my sincerest apologies to your Bryan Colangelo loving heart, David. Always good for the rest of us to keep in mind that you anonymously know ‘how it works’. Enjoy your delusional BC loving, with my deepest appreciation for knowing ‘how it works.’

        Does anyone have any more money we can send Landry Fields? Some change maybe? David knows ‘how it works’ and Fields is worth every penny!

    • Didn’t he win it year 1 with th Raptors?

  2. What’s all this fuss about Fields’ girlfriend. There’s a shortage of attractive blondes in Toronto, obviously. Please…

    • Oh you’re one of those guys. Lets not make references to attractive women because it might offend other women. Lighten up dud Please…

      • Sorry, Not Jake, lighten up isn’t an acceptable response in any discussion. it’s incredibly insulting. It’s completely dismissive and disrespectful. The same as saying shut up when someone raises a point of discussion.

        I don’t really see the point in bringing up player’s wives either. This isn’t a personal blog, and it has only the most tenuous
        How many people really want other people commenting on the hotness of their bf/gf/wife/husbands/whatever? Maybe once in a while it’s flattering, but when complete strangers do it, it’s kinda creepy and gross.

        • Since Landry and Alden showed up together on the red carpet at the ESPYS, people have been talking about them.
          Lexomatic, I agree that making any “gross” or “creepy” comments would be strange and offensive, but I really don’t see the harm in my comment, or in linking to a google image search page for “landry fields elaine alden.”

  3. IDK why Landry Fields is being bigged up as such a great player when the Raps have much better players that play the same position as him. James Johnson, in terms of size talent and ability, is FAR better than Fields. That same goes Linus Kleiza. Sure Landry can shot, but with his rather unimpressive play, he will not be a major impact player for the Raps either.

  4. Whats wrong with you Raptor fans? Colangelo hasn’t made an impactfull move in years!!! That team needs something different to shake things up. Im just glad its not a move involving a three year draft from europe. Theres some great talent in Europe, but why is it that they all have to play for one team!!???? Primo Pasta and sauce aka Andrea is too soft to lead any team and they need more aggressive players than DeRozan that can actually shoot the ball. Fields can put the ball in the basket and this will be good for this stink team….

    • Why do you think we drafted Terrence Ross and Quincy Acy?

      What one team are you talking about? The Spurs?

  5. Love this deal. Fields is big time underrated by the media. He had a rough year last year, but when you’re a team 1st guy playing with me 1st guys like Melo & Stoudemire what can ya do?

  6. I like the move … another player that can hit a shot and grab a rebound …

  7. If there’s one thing we can always count on, it’s that Bryan Colangelo will completely blow up the team every summer.

    It remains to be seen whether blowing up the team has any positive impact, but there might be a chance he gets lucky one year.

  8. One of the interesting/perplexing things about this signing is the use of advanced stats/analysis to justify it by some in the Raps’ brass. I’m enjoying reading Alex Rucker’s twitter feed, and he gave a great interview on another Raps blog, but it’s a little tough squaring a lot of what he says and seems to believe in with the Raps’ devotion to players like Bargs and DeRozan. BC also has talked about Lowry’s numbers, but why does this analysis seem to stop mattering for other guys on this team? What’s the philosophy? Surround some one-dimensional offensive players with solid all-around players?

    It’s also interesting that some stats guys like Hollinger don’t like Fields at all, while others (Rucker, Wages of Win) are on the opposite side of the fence.

    Regardless, if you believe the likes of Chisholm and Wolstat, the Raps didn’t sign Fields with the intent of making him the starting SF of this team going forward. They’re still after a bigger fish, which makes sense. So that also begs the question of how many minutes we’re going to see Fields play, assuming they actually land that SF, and DeMar, Ross and Kleiza are still around.

  9. Should B.C. land his star SF, Kleiza’s time is done (approx. $4.6 MM saved). Should B.C. be able to land a dependable backup PG in the Calderon trade (approx. $5.0 MM saved), cap space will increase. With the improvement in Davis, why are we keeping Amir (approx. $6.0 MM saved) or vice-versa? It seems to me complaining about Johnson’s trade is much too insignificant in light of other possible moves.

  10. I think Landry’s development was stunted when the ball hog bitch melo came to NYC.

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