It's been a busy offseason so far for the New York Knicks, coming to terms with the likes of Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd and J.R. Smith, among others.
Yet, while all eyes will be on the Jeremy Lin situation, the Knicks also have another decision to make—regarding Landry Fields.
While many may feel matching the three-year, $19 million offer sheet Fields signed with the Toronto Raptors would be ludicrous, it is simply something the Knicks must do within the next three days.
First of all, the money and fear of the luxury tax doesn’t seem to matter. The Knicks will match a bigger than market value offer sheet to Lin and should do the same to Fields. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News confirmed that the Knicks aren’t concerned with having to pay the luxury tax, so money here isn’t an issue.
The Knicks don't really care about the paying the luxury tax which is why you can see them matching the offer for Landry Fields.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 11, 2012
Is Fields worth close to $10 million in year three of his proposed deal?
Of course not, but what the Knicks have here is a three-year window to win. Retaining Fields can be a huge part of that, especially this season.
With Iman Shumpert out until January, the club is very thin at the two-guard spot, as Smith is the only legitimate option to start the season. With limited funds to spend, it is extremely doubtful that the Knicks will be able to add a player better than Fields who can contribute to what is hopefully a championship contending team.
If the Knicks are indeed all in to try and win during the next three seasons, then re-signing Fields is a no-brainer—no matter the cost.
He’s versatile and can play either the 2 or the 3, which would give head coach Mike Woodson some flexibility off the bench once Shumpert returns. But, in the meantime, he definitely helps fill a void.
Fields had a down year shooting the ball in 2012, making only 46 percent of his attempts from the floor and 25.6 percent of his attempts from behind the arc. That was down from 49.7 percent and 39.3 percent as a rookie.
What that says is that Fields is capable of shooting the rock and simply had a bad year in 2012. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him have a bounce-back season in 2013, no matter what uniform he’s wearing.
However, where Fields makes the biggest impact is at the defensive end of the floor.
This Knicks team can’t have enough guys who can play defense. If they are to contend, it’s going to be because they can get stops and not because they can score the ball.
Marc Berman of the New York Post adds that the Knicks will go down to the very last minute before making a final decision on Fields.
Source said #Knicks likely to wait the limit on Fields offer sheet.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) July 11, 2012
He adds quality depth that can contribute at both ends of the floor, and he is a good locker room guy.
Those are valuable qualities that can’t be ignored and, since the Knicks are in the spending mood, it makes a lot of sense to keep Fields around for three more years.