NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03: Landry Fields #2 of the New York Knicks drives in the first half against Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Depending on what the Washington Wizards do with Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis, they could have around $12 million of salary-cap space to spend this summer. It remains to be seen if the Wizards actually use it or bank it towards the 2013 class, but in any event, there are a number of free agents that could help the team's push into playoff contention. We'll take a look at several of those options in this running series. Next up: Landry Fields.
Team: New York Knicks
Type: Restricted free agent.
This past year: Followed up his poor second half of the 2010-11 season with a pretty poor year. Was not nearly as efficient as he was early in his rookie career, and he still looks like he's lost confidence. Was a bit better as a defender, but not significantly so. It didn't take long for Iman Shumpert to become a better player and take Fields' spot in the lineup, and that's concerning.
Why he's fit in well: While he has struggled mightily since the Carmelo Anthony trade, he was much better playing with a ball-dominant point guard in a more wide-open system. Rarely do you see such wild swings in efficiency, which means there could very well be a decent player lurking in there somewhere that was just stifled by the wrong environment.
Why he might not: Fields isn't a great perimeter shooter, doesn't drive all that well to the basket anymore, is an average defender at best and is tentative pick and roll player. In his current state, he's just not very good. The hope is that the Knicks' isolation-heavy system played a major role in his poor play, but he still has a ways to improve to be valuable.
Likely price tag: Someone may overpay him and give him the full mid-level exception, but he's probably in the $3-4 million per year range.
Verdict: I could see Fields playing much better in the Wizards' system than the Knicks', but I still think there are far, far better options out there.