NBA Summer League 2010: Surprise Landry Fields Proving Worth for Knicks

Jonathan GoldbergContributor IJuly 17, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 20:  Landry Fields #2 of the Stanford Cardinal drives to the basket over the defense of the Cornell Big Red during the South Region first round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament at the Honda Center on March 20, 2008 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

The biggest surprise for the Knicks so far in Summer League has been the play of second-round draft pick Landry fields.

The former Stanford star was not on anyone's radar earlier this summer. No one had him in their mocks when draft day rolled around. Despite leading the PAC-10 in PPG, most experts/enthusiasts believed he would go undrafted.

This was no fault of Fields. Stanford was an overall weak team, and the PAC-10 was an overall weak conference.

Through four summer league games (with the 5th today against the unbeaten Washington Wizards), Landry is averaging 16 PPG, 5 RPG, 1 APG, and 1.8 SPG. He is shooting 55% from the field (24 of 44). He will need to improve on his 3-point range (only shooting 30% on 3 of 10 shooting) if he is to break into the eight-man D'Antoni rotation this year.

The most stand out statistic of Landry's brand new career is his EFF rating, which is sitting at +16.25. EFF rating is a way of measuring a players efficiency on the court. The formula is as follows:

EFF = ((PTS + REB + AST + STL + BLK) - ((FGA - FGM) + (FTA - FTM) + TO)) / G

Yes, it's a long formula and no one really uses it that much, ever. But, of all the players selected before Landry in the 2010 draft, only two players have a higher EFF rating; John Wall is at +20.75, and DeMarcus Cousins is at +18.25. Luke Harangody, and Derrick Caracter, both selected after Fields in the 2010 Draft, also have a higher EFF rating than the Knicks rookie swingman.

Don't take the EFF rating to heart though. You cannot judge how a rookies performance will be during the NBA season based on how efficient he is in the summer league.

For a player like Landry, his EFF shows that if he has a high basketball IQ. He takes smart shots, and that's why his FG percentage is high. His five RPG means that he is willing to fight for the ball. His numbers show that he has good, natural, instincts for the game, and it seems he does not mind doing some of the dirty work.

I am not saying that Landry is better than almost everyone who was selected before him, but watch for him to be the sleeper of his draft class. This is a guy who is quickly proving he deserves a spot on the Knicks, and Donnie Walsh will prove once again that he is a genius when it comes to drafting in the second round.