3rd year player Landry Fields had one of the rarest off-seasons you will see. Despite being a fan favorite for the New York Knicks, and stats that declined between his rookie 2010-2011 season and last season, he cashed in big-time by coming to Canada. Adding to the roller-coaster of events was the thought that the Toronto Raptors only signed Landry to an offer sheet in order to put a dent in the Knicks chances to land Steve Nash, who the Raps were in hot pursuit of.
Regardless, Landry is a Raptor. 3 years, $19 million. Aka cha-ching. Mega payday for a guy who averages 9.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. If signing Landry was in fact part of a strategy to land Nash we know that failed, but Raps still can end up with an asset here.
Bryan Colangelo insists the plan was to land Landry, period. He likens Fields to a Shane Battier-type player. A guy whose skills are not exactly stat-stuffers, but still a sure contributor. Fields sees himself as a guy who can facilitate good ball movement/good offense. He uses the hockey example of last 2 players to touch the puck get credited with assists. He is a guy who will make the extra pass to be sure the offence gets a good look on that possession.
Fields is not a primary scorer, but the Raps surely require his shooting to get back to his potential. In his 2 NBA seasons his 3-balls were great, then horrid. 39.3% from downtown in his rookie season, but that plummeted to just 26% last season. Raps have struggled from downtown for most of their existence. Fields (when playing to his potential) is a good shooter who needs to regain his form.
Other things regressed last season too. Too many turnovers, too few rebounds. Even with that said we do know that to earn playing time for Dwane Casey you must be committed on the defensive end of the court. Fields addresses defense. He can defend the perimeter well. He can guard the post well. He can guard in transition well. Anyone he is defending will have a very solid guy in their grill. Not a shot blocker, or necessarily a steals threat, but very solid all-around.
The shooting guard spot is becoming crowded in Toronto, but Fields has the skill-set (and contract) to get him playing time for YOUR TORONTO RAPTORS.
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