Jul 3, 2012, 1:47 PM EST
This is an expensive but smart play by the Toronto Raptors.
Sources say that the three-year deal offer sheet to Fields, with the Year 3 jump a la Omer Asik, approaches $20 million
What that means is the first couple years of the deal are in the $5 million range, the third year jumps way up — a poison pill deal.
Is that overpaying for Fields? Yes, but there are reasons.
First, Fields is a solid two-way player who can give the Raptors 25 to 30 quality minutes a night, especially if he feels comfortable in the system. He had a better rookie season in New York, especially when the focus of the offense was Amare Stoudemire, but he struggled to adapt to the Carmelo Anthony Knicks. He would play well next to a strong point guard. His impact lessened as the season wore on and the Knicks became ‘Melo centric. In a new setting he could give more than the 8.8 points per game he averaged last year.
Second, and more importantly, this complicates the Knicks pursuit of Steve Nash — if New York matches the Fields offer they will have some serious cap issues in a couple years if they give Steve Nash a three-year deal (like the Raptors just offered him). Also, Fields might have been part of a sign-and-trade for Nash but if he signs the offer that is out. (He could change his mind before July 11 when he could sign the offer sheet, but this complicates matters for New York.)
My guess is the Raptors just won this bidding war and will have Fields next season. But the Knicks have something to think about.
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