The Toronto Raptors delivered a devastating blow to the New York Knicks' chances of acquiring Steve Nash by signing guard Landry Fields to a three-year, approximately $20 million offer sheet.
The Knicks intended to use Fields as bait to acquire Nash from the Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade deal, but the Raptors eliminated that possibility by offering the lucrative offer to Fields on Tuesday. The deal would mean the Knicks would have to spend $5 million in Year 1, $5.2 million in Year 2, and then $9.8 million in Year 3, according to HoopsWorld.
The Knicks will likely have until July 14 to match the deal once Fields signs the offer, but even if they decide to match the offer, they will be unable to trade him in a sign-and-trade. The Knicks don't have the cap room to match such an expensive offer for a player that struggled to fit into the new-look Knicks offense last season.
The move is a calculated risk by the Raptors in hopes of knocking out the Knicks out of the Nash sweepstakes. The Raptors have offered Nash a three-year, $36 million contract, according to reports, and appear desperate to bring the All-Star point guard back to his homeland.
The Knicks may still have a chance to land Nash if they are willing to part with second-year point guard Iman Shumpert, but the team became enamored with his potential last season before he suffered a knee injury in the first-round of the playoffs.
This move puts the Raptors in the driver seat to land Nash, but should they land Nash, they'll two contracts totaling more than $50 million for a 39-year-old point guard and a role player. It could bring fans to the arena, but it is doubtful landing Fields and Nash will lead to a NBA title anytime soon.