NBA Free-Agent Rumors: Knicks Would Be Wise to Let Landry Fields Go

Sam R. Quinn@SamQuinn_Senior Analyst IIIJuly 12, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03: Landry Fields #2 of the New York Knicks drives in the first half against Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat  in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2012 at Madison Square Garden 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 Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Landry Fields is a good player, but he's not three years, $20 million good.

According to ESPN New York's Ian Begley, Fields has signed an offer sheet with the Toronto Raptors that approaches $20 million.

While, at first, it seemed that Raptors' GM Bryan Colangelo extended an offer to Fields specifically to throw a wrench into the New York Knicks' Steve Nash plans, the Raptors are ready to go through with the deal.

In the above report, Colangelo is quoted as telling the National Post that "the Knicks have informed [him] they are very interested in retaining Landry."

However, conflicting reports have come about from Newsday's Al Iannazzone via According to Iannazzone, "Mike Woodson was asked today whether the Knicks would match the offer sheet the Raptors gave Landry Fields and it didn't sound like they would at this point."

As usual in this ever-bustling free-agency market, contrary reports arise from credible parties.

Either way, no matter what is true at this point in time, the Knicks would be making the right decision if they let Fields bolt for the Northern border.

Coming from a huge Fields fan, this is a tough pill to swallow.

The Stanford alum was a revelation to Knicks fans in the first half of his rookie season, out-rebounding bigger guys, throwing down one-handed baseline jams and hustling more than anybody else on the team.

He averaged 10.1 points and 7.1 rebounds through his first 54 games as an NBA player, shooting 52 percent in just under 33 minutes per game.

Then came his decline.

His downfall can be attributed largely to the arrival of Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets. Over the final 28 games of his rookie campaign, Fields saw his output decline to 9.1 points and 4.8 rebounds a night.

You can try to credit that to the fact that Anthony was taking away some of his shots, but that's not the case. Before 'Melo came to New York, Fields took 7.4 shots per game. Once 'Melo got to Madison Square Garden, Fields' attempts fell to 7.2 per game.

His field-goal percentage decreased to 45 percent, which isn't abysmal by any means, but that's extremely detrimental to a player's output when he is taking only seven shots a game.

Fields' sophomore season was even worse. He posted numbers of 8.8 points and 4.2 rebounds a night. Those are solid for a role player, but a role player can't possibly command a salary of almost $7 million a year.

In all likelihood, Fields will head to Toronto and put up numbers better than those that we saw in the first half of his rookie season.

Many Knicks fans will be up in arms about the front office declining to match the offer (if, in fact, they choose not to) and will be calling for James Dolan's head on a silver platter. But, in a rare occurrence, Dolan will have made the right decision. 

The fact of the matter is that Fields is incompatible with Anthony. There's no other explanation for his drop in production once Anthony was acquired. Who knows what the problem is, but it's a combination that won't work out.

Of course, the Knicks have some questions regarding the shooting guard position. Even after signing J.R. Smith, the team is still unsure as to when Iman Shumpert will return to action.

There are other options out there, though, and Fields should not be considered one of them.