Should The Knicks Match Landry Fields’ Offer-Sheet?

Yesterday I wrote about a few potential shooting guard options with Dan Gadzuric’s deal, but now, let’s look at one last option that some might believe to be ridiculous, but still an option, non the less: Landry Fields.

After the Toronto Raptors offered Fields an offer-sheet valued around $20 million, Knicks fans took to twitter to say their good-byes. On first glance, matching such a contract for Fields would seem preposterous, as he received even more guaranteed money than Jeremy Lin, but on further inspection, Fields could end up back in New York… It’s up to James Dolan.

Since the Knicks will be capped out for the foreseeable future, they will have a difficult time adding players over the next few off-seasons. Giving JR Smith a partially guaranteed deal was smart, since they’ll hold his early bird-rights next summer, allowing them the chance to re-sign him for his market value (as long as his market value is around $5 million). With the additions of Camby and Kidd, as well as the re-signings of Novak and Lin, Dolan has shown he’s willing to spend, as the Knicks already have about “$76 million this season, $77 million in 2013-14 and as much as $85 million or so in 2014-15, depending on how much Kidd’s and Camby’s contracts are guaranteed that season.” For the next three-years, the Knicks are above the $74 million luxury tax “apron” threshold. Unfortunately, starting next off-season, teams in the Knicks’ position will not be eligible to conduct sign-and-trades, which severely limits a team over the cap’s ability to improve.

After this off-season, the only means the Knicks will have to add free-agents will be by offering the tax-payer’s mid-level exception (~$3.09 million), and the veteran’s minimum. No more sign-and-trades…

JR Smith is signed for this year, and he can opt-out then re-sign for a starting salary of $5 million next year, but there’s no guarantee that Smith will re-sign after this season, as he could receive offers above the $5 million. If Smith were to walk, the Knicks would need to add another shooting guard, but would have limited ways to do so. Also, until Shumpert returns from injury, Smith cannot play 48 minutes a game, because if he was to get injured, we’d be left with no one.

I trust Glen Grunwald and his team to do their due diligence before even thinking about matching Fields’ offer-sheet, but if they can’t find a shooting guard in a sign-and-trade in the next three-days, giving Fields $20 million might be their only chance at a decent shooting guard for the foreseeable future. His salary will have very few implications on the Knicks’ salary cap, just on Dolan’s wallet.

With that said, if there are no other options at the shooting guard position, I think Dolan and Grunwald will actually have to think long and hard over the next three days about matching Fields’ deal and shelling out money to cover the luxury tax implications.



  • Scott Davis

    Really good argument. Re-signing Fields also opens the door for some internal growth within the team. Fields isn’t going to turn into an All-Star, but he’s a young player that can still polish his skills and he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet.

    I think Shumpert will be the long-term 2-guard, and Fields is better suited as a backup SF, but if you don’t re-sign Fields, why go through the same process each year of trying to fill the 2-guard slot? And, really, how long do you want to keep Smith on the team?

  • Anonymous

    Fields is a Bum. Plain and simple. Let him walk. He will be out of the league in 2 years.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a fair point, it’s only money. I realize your point that NY will be in cap purgatory in 2014/15 with 47M tied up in STAT and Melo in the final year of their deals. If the Knicks feel like this is the team that will not change for the next 3 seasons then why not bring Fields back. However, it’s hard to justify going to a salary of 6.5M on average for a guy who’s numbers got worse in his sophmore season. Unless the Knicks think Fields is going to turn into a guy that will start over Shumpert then I don’t see them matching.

    The only reason Lin’s offer will be matched is because he’s projected to be a starter not to mention he’ll pay for himself in merchandise and ticket sales. Fields is most likely at best a 6th man and I think the most prudent decision will be to see who gets amnestied and/or will come for the vet minimum and let him go. JR can start and Kidd can play the 2 as well. I’m sure we’ll wind up picking up a decent player to fill the gap as 3rd PG/SG until Shumpert returns.

  • Knicks Bricks Mike

    “After this off-season, the only means the Knicks will have to add free-agents will be by offering the veteran’s minimum.”

    Johah, are you sure this is true? Won’t they have the mini-MLE to offer every year as well?

    • Jonah Kaner

      Whoops, indeed. Good catch, Mike. I knew I forgot something in this post.

  • My Name is The Fight

    I’m struggling with this too but the luxury tax for having him on the roster vs picking up a guy like Mo Evans is astonomical. Fields gives you a roster that is 10 deep (LF, Kidd, White, Novak, Camby while Shump Shump is hurt) for at least 2 years, which in these parts, is rare.

    The problem is does his game improve enough to warrant it? He rebounds at a decent clip for where is on the floor and the presence of pass first PGs will help him but does he take the next step?

    I don’t envy Grunwald today.

  • Michael J. Johnson

    I like Landry but we may need to say good rid-dens!!! He doesn’t fit Woody offense.

  • LinsaneinLA

    Another reason to keep Fields: So Lin will have someone willing to do the secret handshake! He thnaked Fields at the ESPYs this week for doing the handshake, adding “I forced him to do it!”. Ok, ok I didn’t say it was a GOOD reason to match Fields contract, did I?