Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Instant Trade Analysis: Landry Field to the Toronto Raptors

(Editor's note: Some goodness from keeper of the Knickerbocker flame, El Miz. Enjoy.)

Toronto Raptors get: G Landry Fields, 3 years, $20 million

Landry Fields was good once upon a time.  For the first 40 games or so of his rookie season, Landry was the a surprising selection to be the starting 2, an unheralded second-rounder who most Knicks fans had never heard of.  The team was different back then, a Mike D'Antoni-coached, Raymond Felton-quarterbacked Knickerbocker squad that had New York fans excited.  Fields was a 10-point, 7-rebound per game SG who thrived in transition, making cuts to the hoop on a team that excelled at making an extra pass and pushing the ball.  He shot 41% from 3, he had good size for the position, and he seemed to fit right in with teammates Danillo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Amare Stoudemire.

Then the Knicks traded for Carmelo Anthony.  Then Landry Fields ceased being an above-average NBA player.

Fields more or less fell off once Anthony came aboard.  Gone was the free-flowing offense, where Landry's ability to make cuts and score around the hoop were amplified by a team that moved the ball.  In came Melo, going into iso after iso, kicking the ball to an out-of-rhythm Fields every now and then for a corner 3 that Fields would inevitably brick.  He quite figuratively shat the bed in the first round of the playoffs, looking literally shaken (I sat about 10 rows behind the basket in Game 3 and watched Landry in warmups. I think he was zoned out like a nervous 8th grader about to make his class president speech in front of the school). He averaged 1 point per game for the series. Wow.

Look, I don't mean to rip on Landry. He was a player who always tried hard and perhaps thought too much during the game, was a funny guy in interviews and became Jeremy Lin's best friend on last year's #Linsanity team.  But he was not a good fit for this current Knicks squad. The ball doesn't move enough to highlight his strengths (back door cuts and moving without the ball), he is a good rebounder for his position, but so are Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony, who wound up getting many of the rebounds Fields got prior to their arrivals.  On the right team, in the right role, I have no doubt that Fields can return to form as a serviceable NBA player.

All of that being said...what in the world is Toronto GM Brian Colangelo thinking?  Three years, $20 million?  I laughed out loud when I read the e-mail. I predicted Landry would get something like 3 years, $6 million, and even that would have been generous. $20 million is staggering for a player who cannot create his own shot, is not athletic enough to guard the athletes at his own position, and has not been a good 3-point shooter since his first 40 games in the NBA (either a system thing or a total aberration...time will tell).  Not to mention, Toronto just used the 8th pick in the NBA Draft on Terrence Ross, a shooting guard, as well as rostering DeMar Derozan, another former SG lottery pick.  Some have alleged that Colangelo did this to "block" an imminent Suns-Knicks sign-and-trade which would've involved Landry Fields and Steve Nash.  Well, if the Knicks want Nash that badly, they will probably just double-down and give up Iman Shumpert, a much more dynamic shooting guard who will unfortunately miss most of (if not all of) next season with a torn ACL. Thus, signing Fields to such a ridiculous contract doesn't even ensure that Nash will be a Raptor.  And I assume they will play him out of position at the 3, where he will not only be a lesser athlete but undersized.  Yikes.

Enjoy Landry, Toronto fans.  With Joe Johnson just getting dealt, Landry Fields' 3-yr, $20 million contract (with an alleged 3rd year paying him over $8 million) has just become the NBA's "Untradeable Contract."


  1. Perhaps the Raps will never want nor need to trade Landry Fields.Better days ahead for our beloved Raps.

  2. I agree that better days are ahead, certainly with the Kyle Lowry signing. I'm not as bullish on Landry as my Knicks-fan counterparts here on MAMBINO skill-wise, but I certainly don't think that he's worth all that money. Plain and simple, it's just a bad contract.

  3. Bad contract or perhaps badly managed. Perhaps with better management his attributes will blossom.