|2010 NBA Draft||NBA||Drafted 39th overall by New York.|
|24th August, 2010||NBA||Signed a partially guaranteed two year minimum salary contract with New York.|
|11th July, 2012||NBA||Signed a three year, $18,750,000 offer sheet with Toronto.|
|14th July, 2012||NBA||New York declined to match offer sheet.|
|2006 - 2010||Stanford (NCAA)|
|July 2010||New York Knicks (Summer League)|
|August 2010 - June 2012||New York Knicks (NBA)|
|July 2012 - June 2015||Toronto Raptors (NBA)|
July 8, 2013
July 28, 2012
The Minimum Salary Exception - which, as its name suggest, is a salary cap exception that allows you to sign (or trade for) players earning the minimum salary - is a maximum of two years in length. This limitation became an issue in the summer of 2004 when Gilbert Arenas, who had signed a two year deal via the MSE in 2002, hit free agency. Arenas signed a two year minimum salary contract using the MSE after being drafted, and then went on to be really quite good. As a result, he merited a big pay day. But the Warriors - over the cap and thus limited to the Early Bird exception, which offered only a contract that started at the value of the Mid-Level Exception - couldn't give it to him. So when Arenas signed an offer sheet with Washington that was higher than the value of the MLE, Golden State didn't have a salary cap exception with which they could match it. And thus they watched him walk.
Arenas's situation highlighted a loophole in the system, one in which a team couldn't pay its own players as much as its competitors could. That's the very thing the "Bird Clock" allegory was supposed to solve. So a remedy was sought. In the CBA negotiations the following summer, the loophole was supposedly closed with the invention of what was subsequently known as the "Arenas provision." The specifics of its details are outside the remit here, but can be found at Larry Coon's CBA FAQ - essentially, it limits the amount certain free agents can be given, while giving the incumbent team the ability to pay it too.
In the first seven years since its invention, this provision was never used. The reasons for this are probably two-fold - firstly, more teams decided it was worth cracking off a chunk of their MLE to sign second rounders (or particularly impressive undrafted rookies) to three year contracts, and secondly, there just weren't as many viable candidates. The only one there may have been was Carl Landry in 2008, yet he managed only a three year $9 million contract, not nearly big enough to invoke the provision.
This summer, though, it's been used three times. Once on Lin, once on Asik, and once on Landry Fields. None of the three offers were matched when all of them could have been. But it is more important to note that at least two of them should never have been in this situation.
As stated above, the Minimum Salary Exception offers only a maximum of two years. But the Minimum Salary Exception is a salary cap exception, meaning it is only used by teams over the cap. Teams under the cap aren't bound by any limitations other than those conferred by the size of their cap space, and in 2010, the Bulls and Knicks (infamously) both had plenty of it.
The Knicks took care of most of their offseason business early, signing and trading for Amar'e Stoudemire, signing and trading away David Lee, and outright signing Raymond Felton. It is understandable that those were priorities. But even after those moves were down, the Knicks had some money to spend, and they did so on Roger Mason and Andy Rautins. Rautins signed for the kind of contract Fields should have done, a three year contract with a slight bonus above the minimum ($600,000) in the first year. And Mason signed for $1.4 million, an odd amount to give to a man you'll play ahead of Rautins, and whose minimum salary would have been $1,146,337, of which New York would have only been on the hook of $854,389. That was $550,000 they didn't really need to spend. Even after that, though, the Knicks were enough under the cap to sign Fields without needing the Minimum Salary Exception to do it. But for whatever reason, they didn't.
[...] This all sounds a bit hindsighty, and that is unfortunately unavoidable. But it is a struggle to see what rationale existed for giving neither of the duo three year contracts. They have now lost valuable contributors they deemed to be of excessive cost when they could have initially been signed at a negligible cost, using only the cap room they already had. Whereas it could have cost very little, it has now cost an awful lot.
February 26, 2011
New York and New Jersey made the two biggest moves by acquiring the two All-Stars, Williams and Anthony. The Knicks finally closed the deal on the Anthony saga, their additional acquisition of Chauncey Billups and their retention of Landry Fields keeping the price tag just about on the right of 'acceptable.' Meanwhile, the Nets's genuinely staggering trade for Williams, whilst ultimately a backup plan, turned out to be better then their original plan. If their intention was to chase Melo for half a year, then give up and trade less in a deal for a better, cheaper player with less mileage on the clock, then they pulled it off beautifully.
July 15, 2010
Fields probably could have gone undrafted, which makes the pick a questionable one. But in hindsight, I think it's a better pick than Rautins was. Fields needs to improve his jumpshot and maybe add a little strength (in lieu of being able to add athleticism), but isn't that the case with basically everybody ever drafted? And don't most people then promptly improve those things? I guess what I'm trying to say is that the Landry Fields selection was OK.
Then again, given that Danilo Gallinari, Kelenna Azubuike, Wilson Chandler and Bill Walker are all ahead of him, he might not even make the roster.
June 27, 2010
Pick 39: The Knicks then immediately pick again, with another terrific opportunity to add either Alabi (run and gun teams need interior defense too) or Stanley Robinson (who struggles with the gunning part, but who would do an awesome impression of an entry level Shawn Marion in the Knicks system). However, the Knicks again fail to deliver, drafting Landry Fields of Stanford about 22 places too high. The reception for Rautins was lukewarm, but the crowd's reaction to Fields was simple bewilderment, as the director cut to shots of fans sprinting for the exits. Running. Sprinting. Couldn't get out of there fast enough. A reaction previously thought impossible from a number 39 pick.
Those who sprinted out of there missed Landry's highlight video, the second clip of which involved Fields making a layup on a broken play that his bad pass had broken. The pick wasn't as bad as the fan's reaction made it seem, and the ever-positive Jay Bilas tried to satiate the wound with his analysis, but the boos rained down anyway.