July 15, 2012
Raptors have high hopes for Fields
By RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Bryan Colangelo is taking heat in some corners for inking Landry Fields to a three-year, $19 million U.S. contract given that Fields is coming off of a terrible season.
However, the Raptors general manager is confident Fields will make his team better and return to the strong form he flashed as a rookie.
Fields officially became a Raptor early Sunday morning, when the New York Knicks declined to match Toronto’s offer sheet.
“He’s going to bring a lot to the table in terms of basketball IQ, athleticism. He plays both sides of the ball very well. We think in the flow of our team’s offence he’s going to be an efficient scorer, we feel he’s going to be a vital part of our defensive system,” Colangelo said on Sunday, before a summer league contest.
The GM believes Fields will bring positive intangibles, as well as skills on the court.
“He’s a trustworthy player that’s going to be there every night. You know what you’re going to get from him,” he said.
Colangelo believes Fields will give head coach Dwane Casey more lineup options, since he is able to play either shooting guard or small forward and defends and rebounds at both positions at a high level.
Fields was happy to be a Raptor, tweeting: “Out with the old in with the new! Toronto, let’s do this! #Excited.
Fields headed to Toronto on Sunday and is expected to be introduced with newly acquired point guard Kyle Lowry as early as Tuesday.
Fields was a second-round pick out of Stanford who immediately made New York’s rotation and starting lineup — which is extremely rare for non-first round selections.
He came to Gotham without any pressure, most Knicks fans had no idea who he was until he took to the court.
As a Raptor though, things will be far different.
Everybody knows who he is now and many fans will put a target on his back because of his new pay grade.
New teammate Ed Davis says Fields will be fine.
“The city’s going to put a little pressure because you get paid, but he’s ready for it, I hope he is, it’s still only basketball. He’ll be good,” Davis said.
Still, it will be a strange situation for Fields.
Out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
Paid in full, yet with still much more to prove.