NBA Free Agency: A Look at the “Poison Pill” Contracts of 2012

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Landry Fields

Landry Fields

Year 1: $6.25 million
Year 2: $6.25 million
Year 3: $6.25 million

Once upon a time, Landry Fields looked like a 2nd round steal for the New York Knicks. He was always called their “glue guy” because he did a lot of things that wouldn’t show up on paper. He played over his head for awhile and proved that he was nothing more than a role player off the bench. Once again, Fields proved that he was nothing than a role player. So why did the Toronto Raptors give a bench player $18.75 million?

The Raptors and Knicks were both in contention for then free agent point guard, Steve Nash. The Knicks couldn’t outright sign the Canadian, so they would of had to work a sign and trade. Their best bet of doing this was including Fields, along with a contract that would match well in a deal to get Nash.

The Raptors saw this and wanted the Knicks to have no part of him. So what do they do? They take the Knicks down and themselves with them. Offering this deal to Fields, who would go onto accept the offer, took both teams out of the running for Nash. The Knicks lost their best sign and trade piece while the Raptors cost themselves a future hall of famer and cash.

What the deal did do was create a nice, warm seat on the bench. Through two seasons in Toronto, Fields has played in just 81 games, averaging 3.5 PPG, 0.9 APG, 3.05 RBG, and just 15.5 MPG. He only averaged 10.7 MPG in his second season there. A lot of those minutes were in garbage time.

You never want to see players get hurt, but luckily for them, they caught a break because Steve Nash hasn’t been able to stay on the court for the Lakers due to repeated nerve issues.

There really is not much to say about Fields’ time in Toronto because he hasn’t done anything productive. He seems destined to ride the bench for another season while getting paid more money than he will make in any season for the rest of his basketball career (barring a miracle). Current GM Masai Ujiri may not have been the one to give Landry Fields money that he does not deserve, but the blunder has cost him from upgrading the roster.

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Tags: Houston Rockets Los Angeles Lakers NBA NBA Free Agency New York Knicks Toronto Raptors