So, the Raptors carried out a bold plan outsmarted themselves.
Knicks restricted free agent Landry Fields would’ve been a logical part of a sign-and-trade. To preempt that and maximize its chances of landing Nash, Toronto – through agent Chris Emens – offered Fields a three-year, $18.75 million contract.
Fields, via Blake Murphy of The Athletic:
“Wait, did you say eight or 18?” Fields remembers asking.
Emens had said 18. The Raptors were submitting an offer sheet for three years and $18.8 million.
“That number was way beyond what we would have thought would be a home run for me in free agency,” Fields said. “Eight would have been like, ‘OK, cool. I’m good.’ But that, for me, was an absolute home run.”
For perspective, Fields’ annual salary – based on percentage of the salary cap – would’ve been $11,751,861 this season.
The Knicks didn’t match. They didn’t get Nash, either. He joined the Lakers for a couple disappointing seasons to end his career.
The Raptors figured, in this worst-case scenario, they’d still have a helpful – albeit, overpaid – role player in Fields. But like many things in this story, that also went wrong. Fields didn’t stay healthy and really struggled (as detailed by Murphy).