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Thread: Can we put to rest this nonsense about Landry Fields being overpaid?

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    Default 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.)
    Last edited by tkfu; Mon Oct 1st, 2012 at 08:59 AM. Reason: edited for grammar mistake

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Puffer's Avatar
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    There's 450 NBA players. So another way to figure out if he is getting paid appropriately (considering he has an "average" contract, is where he fits in the scheme of things, talent wise.

    According to this Fantasy Ranker : http://www.tsn.ca/fantasy_news/feature/?id=8980

    Fields comes in at #109, just ahead of James Johnson.

    In the NBA.com Post-Seasson Efficiency: http://www.nba.com/statistics/player...ger.offset=100
    ranker, he comes in at #101.

    While I agree that neither of those measures is the be-all and end-all of measurement, they were the first two I could come up with that included all players and Fields is solidly in the top quarter of the league. 'Nuff said.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    Quote Puffer wrote: View Post
    There's 450 NBA players. So another way to figure out if he is getting paid appropriately (considering he has an "average" contract, is where he fits in the scheme of things, talent wise.

    According to this Fantasy Ranker : http://www.tsn.ca/fantasy_news/feature/?id=8980

    Fields comes in at #109, just ahead of James Johnson.

    In the NBA.com Post-Seasson Efficiency: http://www.nba.com/statistics/player...ger.offset=100
    ranker, he comes in at #101.

    While I agree that neither of those measures is the be-all and end-all of measurement, they were the first two I could come up with that included all players and Fields is solidly in the top quarter of the league. 'Nuff said.
    The talent in the NBA should not be graded on a bell curve. So Fields should not be rated as someone better then the 225th best player if you want to go by average salary.

    In fact Fields' has the 103rd richest contract in the league:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/...s/players.html

    If Fields is considered the 103rd best player in the league then his salary is worth it. If you think he's much worse than it isn't.

    According to ESPN he's not worth it since he's ranked 164th in their ranking system. TSN thinks he's properly paid since they have him at 109. It's very subjective though.

    I don't think Fields deserves that contract. Although I'm not the one giving out the cash, so it's not something I worry about. He has a contract that is easily tradeable and that's what really matters to me.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Quirk's Avatar
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    To me the point is that money is just another asset, like players or draft picks. In order to get better, you need to use assets. Fields was acquired for only money, no draft picks, no players.

    It's a fact that to sign a RFA you need to offer a contract his current team cant/wont match. So Field's "value" is meaningless here, the real question is could the team have acquired a better player by using that asset (money) or not.

    The answer, to me, is very obviously no, they could not, and grabbing Fields, a young and effective player, is quite simply a brilliant move.

    Whether he is really better than the 103rd best player in the league is a matter of opinion, the Wins Produced crowd certainly think so, but the fact is that by almost any measue no player better than Fields way availaible for our team for the money we used.

    It was clear that the agenda this off season was to acquire Casey style players, it's hard to argue that there was any real opportinutity for the team to do better than Fields, Lowry and Ross in this regard.

    A lower contract offer would have meant NY would have matched. Anybody that would rather have Landry playing for the Nicks and Toronto keeping their money in the bank, must be a fan of the accounting department, and not a toronto basketball fan.

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    Quote Quirk wrote: View Post
    Anybody that would rather have Landry playing for the Nicks and Toronto keeping their money in the bank, must be a fan of the accounting department, and not a toronto basketball fan.
    Preach it, my brother!

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    Quote planetmars wrote: View Post
    The talent in the NBA should not be graded on a bell curve. So Fields should not be rated as someone better then the 225th best player if you want to go by average salary.

    In fact Fields' has the 103rd richest contract in the league:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/...s/players.html

    If Fields is considered the 103rd best player in the league then his salary is worth it. If you think he's much worse than it isn't.

    According to ESPN he's not worth it since he's ranked 164th in their ranking system. TSN thinks he's properly paid since they have him at 109. It's very subjective though.
    Valid points. Don't forget, though, that his contract doesn't include raises. Three years from now, he's still gonna have the same salary, while salaries around the league will have gone up. And I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that he'll be better over the next three years than he was last season.

    edit: Also, that is freaking hilarious that Utah has a cap hold of $6 million for Greg freaking Ostertag in 2012.
    Last edited by tkfu; Mon Oct 1st, 2012 at 10:43 AM.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Puffer's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=planetmars;154729]The talent in the NBA should not be graded on a bell curve. So Fields should not be rated as someone better then the 225th best player if you want to go by average salary.

    In fact Fields' has the 103rd richest contract in the league:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/...s/players.html

    I was aware of that, but didn't want to get into a mathematical discussion. Just making a point. I expected that his ranking would be somewhere in the range of where his salary said he would be, and glad you cemented what was a gut feeling. The higher salaries paid to top players skews the results.

    On another note, it would appear that the Raptors stats squad helped BC peg the offer number pretty well, and maybe better than well if last year was the aberration they claim it might be. If Fields hits his rookie year numbers, then it might be a very good deal, value wise.

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    It all depends on how you look at it. These media guys probably look at it in terms of player productivity compared to salary. To them, signing Fields to this contract doesn't make sense. But who cares? At this point, nobody understands hows Fields is going to contribute to the Raptors team dynamics. He's a cool guy you want in your locker room, especially when you look at the makeup of this team, and somebody the fans are going to dig. Big time glue guy.

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    Value is directly related to both production and cost.

    Without looking at how productive a player is or isn't (or can be) and comparing to the league, debating this issue is a practice in futility.


    Being the 103rd 'best' player and getting approx. the 103rd highest salary may sound like fair value. But any player who is even 'half as good' as Fields getting paid 1/3rd the salary is much more valuable. A player getting paid twice as much but 3 times as good as Fields is much better value.

    Now we know the average salary is about 5 mil a year. So if we compare to the more common statistics out there

    WP - average is about .100 - Fields was in the .200 range, making Fields well underpaid
    WS/48 - average is about .100 - Fields was in the .100 (and less) range, making Fields overpaid
    PER - average is about 15 - Fields was in the 13 range, making Fields overpaid


    Take that for what you will.


    must be a fan of the accounting department, and not a toronto basketball fan.
    This basketball team exists within an league that is competing within a resource limited (cap) environment, and against other teams with resources (money). Any decision they make regarding how to allocate their resources has both an immediate and long term impact on the success of the team. Recognizing that and its importance makes one an educated fan.
    Last edited by Craiger; Mon Oct 1st, 2012 at 01:14 PM.

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    This basketball team exists within an league that is competing within a resource limited (cap) environment, and against other teams with resources (money). Any decision they make regarding how to allocate their resources has both an immediate and long term impact on the success of the team. Recognizing that and its importance makes one an educated fan.
    The frustrating thing for fans is that we never truly know the 'opportunity costs' of any roster move, so it's hard for us to really discuss moves within the framework of the cap, aside from blanket claims like "maintains flexibility" or "eliminates flexibility". Without being a fly on the wall of BC's office, knowing every move that could have been made and every move that can no longer be made, we're all just uneducated fans arguing opinions.

    I like Fields, as both a player and guy (aka teammate and public representative of the organization in the community). Unless and until I'm told by BC about a move that could have been made but wasn't made, as a direct result of the Fields signing (ie: both the filled roster spot and the spent cap space), I personally see no reason why any fan wouldn't like the acquisition. The only arguments I've heard against the signing are finance-based, but without knowing what else that approx. $6M per season could have bought the team, there's really no factual reason to even worry about the finances.

    On a related note, it would be a really cool read if some big GM were to publish a tell-all book, many years after he quit being a GM, fully exposing the inner workings of a professional sports franchise. I'd love to hear about moves that could have been made, giving substance and truth to all the various rumors that milled about during the GM's tenure... would give an interesting perspective to these sorts of discussions/debates.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    Further to Craiger's comment, it's also about how this organization has chosen to allocate resources during the last few years. In isolation, you could argue that there is really nothing wrong with the Amir Johsnon deal, the Kleiza deal or the Fields deal. However, add them up, and you're devoting a significant cap number (what, like, $17mm?) to 3 pretty average players. This was more my objection to the Fields' deal. The Raps already have too many role players and bench guys. Adding another guy in that vein makes little sense to me.

    As for Fields himself, I do think he needs to prove his worth. He was not good last year. Was that the team, the system? Or was it the NBA figuring him out? Can he adjust? Can he be productive again? These are fair questions to ask.

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    Quote tkfu wrote: View Post
    edit: Also, that is freaking hilarious that Utah has a cap hold of $6 million for Greg freaking Ostertag in 2012.
    What are those cap hits? Is this money that those players still get? Because even Karl Malone is still on the list.

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    No. A cap hold is an amount that is held back against the cap to prevent teams from exploiting the salary cap system. (In Ostertag's case, it's Bird rights. Bird rights are when a team has the right to go over the salary cap to re-sign their own free agents.)

    If you didn't have cap holds, you would end up with situations like this:

    Kobe's $30 million contract expires, putting the Lakers under the salary cap by $10 million. They use that $10 million to sign a free agent. Then, they use Kobe's Bird rights to re-sign him (because Bird rights allow them to go over the salary cap, so it doesn't matter how much cap room they have.)

    Basically, if you want to use the cap room from an expired contract, you have to renounce your Bird rights or re-sign the player first. The specific amount of the cap hold is calculated based on the player's salary in the last year of their most recent deal.

    The reason the Jazz still have Ostertag's cap hold and the Lakers still have Malone's cap hold is that they haven't had any cap room in years, so they had no need to formally renounce their Bird rights. Just a weird quirk of the CBA/salary cap system.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Quirk's Avatar
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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    This basketball team exists within an league that is competing within a resource limited (cap) environment, and against other teams with resources (money). Any decision they make regarding how to allocate their resources has both an immediate and long term impact on the success of the team. Recognizing that and its importance makes one an educated fan.
    Yes, the recognition was clearly present in my post, which expressly described money as an asset, along with picks and players, and addressed comparible value. You seem to have ignored this to make a rather banal point that resources should be allocated wisely. Which is obvious.

    The issue, as I originaly argued, is a question of what other player of greater value could have been acquired by this team with the resources expended. IMO, nobody. Getting a young, effective player that fits both positional need and the playing style the team is working towards by paying a wage that his original team wont/cant match is a great move. The option of getting the player at a lower salary was not present, since NY would obviously have matched.

    His "value" as compared to all other contracts in the legue is irellevant, as this team can not simply acquire any other contact in the league. The only relevant thing is his value versus the value of whatever else we could have acquired with the expended assets, and while we can never know for sure what might have been, I'm pretty comfortable that this was a great acquisistion, based what I believe was out there.

    You mention that a player half as good as fields who is available for 1/3 the price is more valuable. This is so rediculous, I'm going to assume I'm misreading you somehow. Otherwise, I guess we should sign AltRaps and ebrian, both of wich, with some decent training, could probably be at least 1/500th as good as Fields, I mean they are not disabled and human differentiation only goes so far, so if we pay them a nice profesional salary of about 65K they would be far more valuable than Fields! Only an accountant could believe that. And even then, only until the first revenue reciepts came in. As I said, I'm going to assume I'm reading you wrong, and that you don't really mean that.

    In anycase, As Dave Berri has pointed out, as a result of the max salary, the max players are most often the most valuable players in the league. Because value is about wins, and even if AltRaps and ebrian could produce 1/500th of the wins, for 1/1000th the salery they are still not a good deal. A player that produced 10 wins is more that twice as valuable as a player that produces 5, for the simple reason that players that produce 10 wins are more than twice as scarce as players who produce 5. But once again, from your other posts in this forum I'm going to assume you know all this, and meant something else than what your post seems to argue.

    Best,
    Last edited by Quirk; Mon Oct 1st, 2012 at 03:10 PM.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    The frustrating thing for fans is that we never truly know the 'opportunity costs' of any roster move, so it's hard for us to really discuss moves within the framework of the cap, aside from blanket claims like "maintains flexibility" or "eliminates flexibility". Without being a fly on the wall of BC's office, knowing every move that could have been made and every move that can no longer be made, we're all just uneducated fans arguing opinions.

    I like Fields, as both a player and guy (aka teammate and public representative of the organization in the community). Unless and until I'm told by BC about a move that could have been made but wasn't made, as a direct result of the Fields signing (ie: both the filled roster spot and the spent cap space), I personally see no reason why any fan wouldn't like the acquisition. The only arguments I've heard against the signing are finance-based, but without knowing what else that approx. $6M per season could have bought the team, there's really no factual reason to even worry about the finances.

    On a related note, it would be a really cool read if some big GM were to publish a tell-all book, many years after he quit being a GM, fully exposing the inner workings of a professional sports franchise. I'd love to hear about moves that could have been made, giving substance and truth to all the various rumors that milled about during the GM's tenure... would give an interesting perspective to these sorts of discussions/debates.

    Sure you'll never know every individual opportunity cost. But we do know some, and we can have an idea about others and can compare that, at the very least, in general terms.

    I personally don't think one should ever just conclude 'since we don't know everything we should just be content'. Asking questioning about decisions, whether we agree with them or not, is how one creates an informed opinion. If not then its nothing more than a measure of blind faith.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Quirk's Avatar
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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    As for Fields himself, I do think he needs to prove his worth. He was not good last year.
    Says who? Many analysts rate his year last year very highly, even though not as good as his 1st It's plainly your opinion that he was not good last year. WP rates him well, and I'd imagine Rucker's method does too, since they targeted him.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Quirk's Avatar
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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    I personally don't think one should ever just conclude 'since we don't know everything we should just be content'.
    More banality. Nobody is saying that. We are content because we like the player, for the reasons given.

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    Sure you'll never know every individual opportunity cost. But we do know some, and we can have an idea about others and can compare that, at the very least, in general terms.

    I personally don't think one should ever just conclude 'since we don't know everything we should just be content'. Asking questioning about decisions, whether we agree with them or not, is how one creates an informed opinion. If not then its nothing more than a measure of blind faith.
    I agree completely. It's not human nature just to accept something for face value and many people would continue to question even after having been given all the facts. I think it's good to remember to point out the financial implications of various moves - those made, not made, rumored to be potentially made and those hoped to be made - and I think RR posters are pretty proficient in remembering to do so, for the most part.

    It makes sense then how there can be quite a difference of opinions regarding the Fields signing, even without evaluating Fields himself as a player. Some posters believe that Fields was the best value acquisition BC could have made this offseason, while others fear he was overpaid, thus limiting what subsequent moves can potentially be made during the 3 years of his contract. It makes sense why we'll never have agreement, since we'll never truly know what other options were being considered this past offseason, let alone what other opportunities might present themselves over the next three seasons (which may or may not be able to happen, in the wake of signing Fields).

    I guess that sums up my feelings towards BC. I trust that he was thorough in his talent evaluation of all potential targest and decided that Fields was the best option, given his talent/position/salary/overall fit with the Raptors roster. However, I definitely don't have blind faith in him... I support him, especially in respect to the Fields signing, but I will always question/analyze/discuss/debate the merits of every move he makes.
    Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Mon Oct 1st, 2012 at 03:28 PM.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    So the magic number I would (and did use on friday) is $1.47 million per win for the next four years. I would be willing to go as high as $1.86 for Free Agents under the assumption that Iím using my rookie model for the draft.

    http://wagesofwins.com/2012/07/09/ex...alue-of-a-win/
    Not sure if this adds to the discussion but I'll take a stab.

    Using TheNBAGeek.com:
    Fields was good to produce 11.6 wins per 48 minutes in his rookie year and 6.7 wins per 48 minutes in his second year. If we make the assumption that he is neither as good as his rookie year and as bad as last year, then lets average it and come up with 9.15 wins.

    Using Basketball-Reference.com:
    Fields was good to produce 5.3 wins in his rookie year and 3.4 wins in his second year. Same assumption as above and we come up with 4.75 wins.


    Another assumption coming: Raps are aiming for 41 wins (and playoffs at 8 seed) and the cost of that win is $1.75.

    Using TheNBAGeek.com and 9.15 wins produced he 'should' be earning $16M.
    Using Basketball-Reference.com and 4.75 wins produced he 'should' be earning $8.3M.



    No matter how you cut it the man at $6.23M per year (as his salary cap hit, he is getting paid $5M, $5M, $8.7M) he is a bargain!




    ***As an aside, does anyone know the difference between the WS stats at Basketball-Reference.com and TheNBAGeek.com??***

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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    ***As an aside, does anyone know the difference between the WS stats at Basketball-Reference.com and TheNBAGeek.com??***
    They're two completely different stats. B-R's Win Shares are based on Dean Oliver's work in Basketball on Paper, and you can get more info on how they're derived here. Wins Produced are Dave Berri's work in The Wages of Wins, and you can get more info on how they're calculated here.

    The biggest difference is that Oliver believes in the value of shot creation (though to a lesser extent than, say, Hollinger), while Berri doesn't believe in it at all; in Berri's system, shooting at anything less than average efficiency counts against you, while Oliver's system gives a bit more of a break to high usage guys.

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