Name: Landry Fields
2012-13 statistics: 51 games played, 20.3 minutes, 4.7 points, 45.7% from the field, 14.3% from three-point range, 4.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.8 turnovers, 10.3 PER
Comparison: 3D TV
Remember how a few years back, 3D was all the rage?
Every movie started making a 3D version and it's a trend that's continued to this day. Studios re-issue classics like Star Wars and Jurassic Park in this format, and most blockbusters now have at least a 3D version, if not an IMAX 3D one.
However 3D on the television side of things, hasn't been so successful.
After the wave of 3D movies that began a few years ago, most top television brands began manufacturing 3D TV's in anticipation that the 3D film trend would happen on the TV side.
And maybe it still may.
But it hasn't yet.
ESPN in fact recently announced that it was shutting down its entire 3D initiative by the end of this year, a big sign that if 3D TV wasn't dead, it wasn't exactly growing at the pace most projected.
And let's face it. If there isn't much 3D content available, then there's not much reason to buy a 3D TV.
And if it's extremely expensive to create said content, and the demand for the means to view said content (the TV's) isn't there, then what's the impetus for a studio to make it?
Around and around we go.
Which brings me to Mr. Landry Fields.
Much like 3D TV, Landry Fields when signed last summer by the Toronto Raptors, had the potential to be a big deal for the club, and came with a very hefty price tag.
And so far, hasn't exactly been a smashing success.
As the metrics above indicate, it's hard to justify paying $5M this past season, another $5.2M next season, and uh oh...$8.5M in 2014-15, for a player who's produced fairly meager statistics. I mean, you can likely pay the bulk of the D League under a million dollars to give you five points a game and a PER of 10.3 based on 20 minutes of action a night. Instead of being an underrated acquisition by the Raptors thanks to his advanced stats, Fields has become simply another potential amnesty candidate. (Assuming he actually fit amnesty rules and regulations.)
However much like 3D TV's, Fields isn't a complete write-off at this point, and to be frank, this narrative changes quickly if he can re-discover his shot.
This is a player who shot close to 40 per cent from long-range in his rookie season and while that may have been a bit of an outlier (he was a 34 per cent shooter in college), his norm has to be better than the putrid 13 per cent he shot last year from downtown.
Obviously the elbow surgery is key in terms of him getting back in his shooting groove so we'll see this fall (assuming he's still part of the team) if indeed we can see some signs of improvement.
Because again, this is how he can live up to his contract, and truly help the team out. The Raps desperately need spacing on the court and his combination of athleticism and defensive abilities would be a huge boost assuming he wasn't a complete offensive liability. We saw flashes of how impactful he could be last season, especially in terms of moving without the ball and getting into passing lanes, and despite the fairly horrendous metrics we noted above, the Raps were actually better with him on the court than him off, per 82games.com.
So the signs are there.
It's simply a matter of him getting that shot back and putting the pieces together.
Like HD TV's, the question though is if we'll see the pieces aligned next season, or the season after, or will this simply be a case where the value won't be apparent for years down the road, and for Fields, that may mean he's no longer a member of the team, equating to a sunk cost.
Because unfortunately that's what he represents at this point, another in the long line of home run swings by Bryan Colangelo that didn't make it past the warning track.