Marc Stein reports that the Raptors have agreed to terms with Knicks RFA guard Landry Fields, at three years for around $20 million. That's exactly the sort of backloaded, poison pill deal we wrote about yesterday—the Knicks have the right to match the offer, but probably not the financial wherewithal. So the Raptors take advantage of a CBA loophole to overpay a not-very-good player. Why? Steve Nash.
Both the Knicks and Raptors are in on Nash, with Toronto being able to offer superior money, and the Knicks only a midlevel exception worth $5 million or so. But there was hope in New York's front office that they could work out a sign-and-trade with Phoenix, where Nash could get paid closer to what he deserves in exchange for some flotsam and expiring deals. The most valuable piece in any potential trade the Knicks could offer would have been Landry Fields.
Fields is serviceable, but not for $20 million over three. But if that's what it takes to muscle the Knicks, Toronto's only real competition, out of the Steve Nash sweepstakes, then it's a brilliant move. The Raps have the cap space to overpay Fields if it guarantees them Nash, so the move is worthwhile, underhanded, and completely within the rules. Bryan Colangelo is an evil genius.