This is an expensive but smart play by the Toronto Raptors.
Knicks guard Landry Fields has agreed to sign an offer sheet from the Toronto Raptors, Marc Stein of ESPN reports.
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.
Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.
As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.
Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)
The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.
While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”
Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”
We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.
Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.
Shaquille O’Neal was as dominant a force as the NBA has ever seen.
His peak years came with the Lakers, when paired with Kobe Bryant one the court — and Phil Jackson manipulating both of them — they won three titles (and arguably would have had more if they stayed together). Those Lakers teams were one of the NBA’s great teams.
Friday night, the Lakers unveil Shaq’s statue at Staples Center. Take a look back at some of Shaq’s Lakers highlights.