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