The Toronto Raptors have made their first move in the NBA free agent chess match today, agreeing to a three-year offer sheet with Landry Fields that will pay the Knicks' shooting guard $20 million over three seasons.
The news was first reported by ESPN's Marc Stein in a series of tweets.
The offer is considered to be far above market value for Fields, a guard entering his third year who took a step back last season. After shooting 49 percent from the field including 39 percent from three-point range as a rookie, Fields' numbers dipped to 46 percent from the field and a woeful 25 percent average from three-point range in 2011-12.
The Raptors' offer sheet is notable in that it will make it much harder for the New York Knicks to attempt a sign-and-trade deal with the Phoenix Suns for Steve Nash. Fields figured to be an integral part of that deal, and without him the Knicks may not have enough assets to offer the Suns for Nash. Because of that, Toronto looks to be in a better position to land Nash for the 2012 season.