Can we put to rest this nonsense about Landry Fields being overpaid?
It seems to be the go-to blurb for most media articles that start talking about Landry: "despite his outsized contract offer...", "...who was overpaid by the Toronto Raptors this summer...", "...will have to elevate his game to match his contract." These are all quotes from recent mainstream media articles about the raps.
The thing is, the premise is flawed. Landry Fields didn't get a big contract. It pays him 6.25 million per year(flat, no increases) for three years. For 2009-2010 (the last NBA season I could find the data for) the mid-level exception, which is based on the league's calculation of the average NBA salary, was just north of 5.85 million. Even if growth is only 3% per year for the next 3 years, a very conservative estimate, by the time we hit the third year of his contract he'll have a below average NBA salary.
Now, if you want to argue that Landry Fields is a drastically below-average NBA player and that's why you think he's overpaid, that's fine. (I'm gonna respectfully disagree with you on that one, but everyone's got a right to their opinions.) But what I see way too much of is, "Yeah, he's pretty good, but we're paying him way too much." If he's pretty good, or even at the level of 'mediocre starter', we're paying him almost exactly the right amount. Over the course of the deal, we'll be paying an average salary to a player who is a little above average right now, and certainly has the potential to be better than that (if he bounces back to something more like his rookie numbers.)