Throughout the NBA playoffs, where we Raptor fans are left to wallow, Raptors Republic brings you the 100 Words Series. Calling on RR writers and other Raptor scribes from around the internet and MSM, we’ll provide the Republic with 100-word takes on players, coaches, management and announcers. Look for these two or three times a week, continuing today with Landry Fields. The mission I charged the contributors with was simple: you have 100 words (prose, poetry, song, whatever) to discuss said player.

Arsenalist, Raptors Republic
He needs to become more like Tracy Murray. Some three-point shooting, timely athleticism, a bit of defense, and once in blue moon a highlight play which makes you say, “You know what, if I had some money to waste, I think I’d buy his jersey”. The easiest way to address the lack of flexibility on the roster is for the existing players to improve, and you can make an argument that Fields is at the top of that list. His revival began before the games stopped mattering so let’s not write his improvement off completely; his jumper was better and he appeared more confident on the floor, no doubt helped by his recovery from injury. Whether he goes back to rookie-year levels or sticks to his current form is the question. I say he surprises us.

Blake Murphy, Raptors Republic
Stealing a page from Steve’s book here with a Haiku:

Can’t shoot anymore
Contract is an albatross
Elaine Alden tho

In seriousness, hopefully the offseason to recover and retool his shot following wrist surgery helps fix his stroke. And his confidence, since his 14 three-point attempts were just as troubling as the fact that he hit just two. His defense is fine and the little things he does are great but it’s all not quite enough if he can’t space the floor like he was brought in to do. I expect a rebound year.

Garrett Hinchey, Raptors Republic
Let’s get through the good stuff before we discuss the abnormally-large-even-for-an-elephant elephant in the room: Landry Fields is a character player, a guy who hustles on defense and generally seems to care about his teammates, and a contender for having the most smokin’ hot wife in the league. In all these facets, he’s fantastic.

Now, to the contract. Oh, that contract.

Sure, it wasn’t his fault, but the albatross of a deal that Fields has is an indicator of the moves made by the previous organization: short-sighted, spur-of-the-moment, and quickly fixed through redundancy (in this case, the Gay deal). Do I think Landry could be a solid backup if he fixed his shot? Absolutely. Do I think he’ll be best known as a Raptor for embodying the poor spending habits of the Colangelo regime? Without a doubt.

Tim W., Raptors Republic
The reasoning behind signing Landry Fields was a bad one (to try and sign a 38 year old PG to a $30 million contract), he was horribly overpaid (he probably could have been had for half the amount he signed for), had a previously existing, although unknown, injury and he ended up having, easily, the worst season of his career.

Amazingly, despite all that, Fields is a guy I’d want to keep, and not just because he’s pretty much untradeable. He’s a high IQ player who knows his role, plays good defense and, when healthy, can score a bit.

Sam Holako, Raptors Republic
Not sure what else we could have expected considering he was signed to the wrong contract for the wrong intentions. Didn’t help he was injured for part of the season, but he’s a smart player, and if he can find his three point range again, he can be a valuable backup. I would have ended with an haiku, but Blake nailed it.

  • DryDry

    Is he wearing glasses with no lenses in them? Jesuschrist.

    • Kid-Canada

      Not everyone can afford glasses with lenses, mmkay!?

  • robertparrish00

    New team name: the Toronto Albatross

  • Bendit

    Blake: LF had right elbow (not wrist) surgery to correct a problem with the ulnar nerve. Here’s hoping he bounces back to his rookie season form and prior to the Melo arrival in NY which also derailed his playing time there.

    http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/11/landry-fields-had-right-elbow-surgery-kyle-lowry-out-longer/

    • FAQ

      What if his “ulnar nerve” problem remains chronic for the next several seasons, what happens then? He’s like a bird with only one wing… and hobbling in circles…!

    • Nilanka15

      Hey, at least the Knicks didn’t land Nash…..

  • HaikuCorrection

    Blake, the first line of your haiku has 6 syllables, it needs to have 5.

  • HogyG

    I believe part of the troubles he faced this past season, on top of those already mentioned above, is that he was often misplaced in the lineup by the coaching staff. I see him as a 2/3, though this season he was often asked to play the 4 and be a man who is undersized and willing to battle against the bigs, testing his heart and determination and leaving him only a speed advantage (often only marginal) in an attempt, I assume, to spread the floor.

    I believe he should have been tried at the other side of the court and instead and consider using him as the backup point guard, sacrificing speed and using the heart that coach Casey loves to call upon to, instead of battle, hustle hard and have his advantage be size against his opponents. I seem to recall him running some point in NY when they had a bunch of injuries. It may not have worked here, or been an ideal scenario but it wasn’t even tried out to see. Too bad, as it could have answered some of the concerns going into this off season at our depth in the guard slots.

  • Jack Hodgins

    I think he was to busy with his wife to work on his jumper… personally I don’t blame him.

  • Guest

    Probably first time I’ve completely disagreed with you, Tim W., but what are you smoking, claiming Fields probably could have been had for half the amount he signed for? I don’t usually speak in absolutes, but I don’t see how or why the Knicks would not have matched. He was a RFA, after all.

    Also, just to settle the score once and for all, I hope you (and Sam) aren’t saying that the only reason we signed Fields was to prevent him from being included in a Knicks’ deal for Nash, because ANY offer sheet at all would have gotten that done, *even one that the Knicks would have matched*. The size and structure of the contract indicates that we wanted more than to simply block him from being trade bait; we actually did not want the Knicks to match. The popular opinion that we didn’t actually want Fields except to block Nash from going to the Knicks would only make sense if we hadn’t tried so hard to prevent them from matching! Let’s finally put an end to the lazy analysis propagated by bloggers and bad reporters alike.