UPDATE: July 3, 2012, 8:10 p.m. ET by Alex Ballentine
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the New York Knicks will not be matching Toronto's three-year, $19 million offer sheet on July 11th, meaning that Fields will likely be a Raptor.
The signing hurts the Knicks' chances of nabbing star point guard Steve Nash in a trade, as Fields would have likely been a piece in a potential sign-and-trade with the Suns.
—End of update—
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Raptors plan to officially extend the offer sheet to Fields on July 11, the first day that free agents can sign contracts. This would put the Knicks under the gun, as they would only have three days to decide whether or not to match the currently undisclosed terms of the deal.
This agreement is almost guaranteed to be the nail in the coffin for any hope the Knicks had to lure superstar free-agent point guard Steve Nash to the Big Apple, per CBSSports.com's Ken Berger.
Knicks getting Steve Nash in sign-and-trade was "on life support" before, source says. Fields' agreement with Raps may have "killed it."— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 3, 2012
Berger also noted that a team can' t match an offer for one of its restricted free agents and then turn around and trade him. This means that the Knicks have to retain Fields if they bite the bullet and elect to compete with Toronto for his services
A player can't be traded after his offer sheet is matched. So if Knicks match Fields, he stays.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 3, 2012
This new revelation, coupled with Alan Hahn of the MSG Network finding that New York is planning to match any potential deal that gets offered to restricted free-agent point guard Jeremy Lin—even if the contract is of the back-loaded “poison pill” variety—should put to rest any more talk of Nash to the Knicks.
Stay tuned to Bleacher Report throughout the day, and we will update you with any more findings on the terms of Toronto's verbal agreement with Fields, what the Knicks plan to do about the situation and how it impacts their fast-fading pursuit of Steve Nash.
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