I think we're in agreement and it kind of shows the contrast of opinions in this thread. I too like Landry Fields, just like I like DeMar DeRozan. I think people see criticism of his contract and assume the person hates that player. My least "liked" player is Bargnani, I think that much is obvious. But when we're playing pretend GM, which I do all the time and is pretty much the point of having a forum to discuss the team, then that's when I have to step back and evaluate things differently.
The thing about Landry Fields is this:
Season Team Lg Salary
2010-11 New York Knicks NBA $473,604
2011-12 New York Knicks NBA $762,195
2012-13 Toronto Raptors NBA $6,250,000
2013-14 Toronto Raptors NBA $6,250,000
2014-15 Toronto Raptors NBA $6,250,000
I'm an advocate of evaluating players based not just on their own numbers but on circumstances. To me, player evaluation has to evolve. It's a moving target that is determined based on their performance relative to different things like pay rate, other players on the team, comparable players on other teams and their own development. I can't just look at stats and say this guy is worth this amount of money, period.
Take Amir Johnson for example. A lot of guys will say he's a steal now and simply accept that when you look at the contract in its entirety it was worth it because on average he made what he deserved. Well, that's fine if you want to look at it right now at this single moment in time. But when you think about 2 years where he wasn't worth that amount, a chunk of financial flexibility was sacrificed each year so that you could enjoy the steal THIS year. Hurray! We got a steal two years later, meanwhile we're going to win 33 games this year. When you look at Landry Fields, it's the same thing.. at the time of his signing, it seemed like a big mistake (to say nothing of the circumstances under which we signed him). $6M for a guy earning less than $1M the year before, where that guy regressed from his rookie year? Yikes.
Will he one day earn that salary? Possibly, but you're still talking about overpaying him for at least a year maybe more. Like Amir Johnson, he could one day step into a role where he's worth that amount but why not wait until that time before offering him that type of contract? DeRozan is the same situation, we offered him $9.5M but to me he's just an athletic version of Courtney Lee. He's not a ~$10M player yet. Far from it.