NBA Free-Agency Rumors: What Landry Fields to the Raptors Means for Knicks

Ciaran GowanContributor IIIJuly 3, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20:  Landry Fields #2 of the New York Knicks drives for a shot attempt in the second half against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden on March 20, 2012 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

According to ESPN, Landry Fields and the Toronto Raptors have agreed to a three-year, $20 million offer sheet, which is expected to include a substantial increase in salary in the third year of the contract.

Despite their right to match the offer, the New York Knicks will probably have to let Fields go to the Raptors, since they simply cannot afford to pay a player of his level that kind of money.

Assuming that Fields does end up in Toronto, this deal could impact the Knicks in a number of ways. Let's take a look. 


No Steve Nash Sign-and-Trade

Unless the Knicks are willing to part with All-Rookie first-teamer Iman Shumpert —which they absolutely should not be—this signing should put an end to any talk of a sign-and-trade to bring Steve Nash to New York.

Fields was going to be the key part of a package being sent to Phoenix in exchange for the eight-time All-Star, but with him out of the mix, the trade is unlikely.

Without Fields, the Suns would have no incentive to pull off the deal. To make matters worse, the Knicks wouldn't be able to offer Nash a particularly good salary even if the Suns still agreed to the trade.

As a team pursuing Steve Nash themselves, the Raptors made a smart move in taking the Canadian out of New York's hands. It remains to be seen whether or not we'll still think that when it's the third year of Fields' tenure in Toronto.



Knicks Will Need to Resort to Plan B at Point Guard

With Nash out of the picture, the Knicks will need to turn to some of the other options out there on the free-agent market to fill their need for a back-up point guard.

Jason Kidd—who's interested in both New York and the Brooklyn Nets—could be an option, especially since he appears to like the idea of mentoring Jeremy Lin.

Outside of Kidd, the Knicks would likely have turned to Andre Miller, but that's impossible, since he's returning to the Denver Nuggets instead.

Former Knick Raymond Felton could also be an option, and his below-par 2011-12 season will make him very affordable for the Knicks if they wish to pursue him. 


The Shooting Guard Need Is Doubled

With Iman Shumpert injured, the Knicks already needed to pursue a shooting guard in free agency. With Fields gone too, they'll need yet another.

If J.R. Smith re-signs with the Knicks long-term as expected, that will mean signing just one new two-guard, and it's likely that some portion of the mid-level exception or the bi-annual exception will be used to fill the need.

Since Jason Terry has agreed to join the Boston Celtics, the Knicks will likely look to Ray Allen, O.J. Mayo or—if they're looking for a cheaper option—Randy Foye to replace Fields. 


Toronto Won't Offer Jeremy Lin a "Poison Pill" Contract

With Steve Nash now firmly in the Raptors' grasp, it's highly unlikely that Toronto will give Jeremy Lin a "poison pill" offer sheet, which could have caused some real problems for the Knicks.

As a team with a lot of future cap space, the Raptors were a prime candidate to do this, and at the very least this takes one team off the market for Lin's services.

A "poison pill" offer remains a possibility from another team, but this is one step towards keeping Linsanity at Madison Square Garden.