Before Landry Fields became a member of the Raptors, most Torontonians only knew him as the guy who let Jeremy Lin crash on his couch last season when they were both still members of the Knicks.
But over the summer he took his talents to Hogtown and Raptors management expects him to provide some missing ingredients to their locker room.
Namely, the Raptors hope that he will improve team chemistry and become a player that provides intangibles, a role that Fields is happy to take on.
When he was recently asked what role he saw for himself within the system the first two words out of his mouth were, “glue guy”.
“Complimentary. I think we have great pieces in the forefront with DeMar (DeRozan), Andrea (Bargnani) and getting Kyle (Lowry),” Fields explained. “They can do a lot of the scoring so if I can just kind of be there to take care of some other things. It will help us win ball games.
“There’s really only one ball to share so the guys that go out there and do the little things to try and help the big guns out, really make a great team.”
He has been compared to Shane Battier and points to the Heat forward’s — along with teammate Mike Miller’s — invaluable contributions to Miami’s title run as to how he hopes to help the Raptors.
“They’re game and what they brought to the playoffs is what really pushed them over the edge to the title,” he said.
Fields spent the first two seasons of his career in New York which, as most people know, comes with an intense media spotlight. Fields got an opportunity to see it at its brightest with Lin-sanity around.
“It was crazy,” Fields said of his time in New York. “Especially during Lin-sanity. Looking at the world’s most popular human being for a stretch of two weeks and you get to play with him every game. It was nuts.
“I was just happy to be there and go through that. I can tell my grandkids, ‘I was part of Lin-sanity.’”
Unfortunately one of Field’s special momentos from the Lin-sanity era is gone now.
“It was a rental couch,” Fields told the New York Post at the morning shootaround before the Raptors battled the Knicks in Montreal. “I had to give it back. I wonder if they even know (the history). It’s probably boxed up.”
During his time in New York, Fields played for two different coaches — Mike Woodson and Mike D’Antoni — so Dwane Casey will be his third head coach in three years in the NBA.
Fields believes he will be a good fit in the Raptors system which focuses on defence and is expected to be more run-and-gun than a year ago.
“It’s definitely something I can thrive in,” he said.
Casey set the tone on the defensive end last season but along with Fields and Lowry, the Raptors are bringing in at least four other new players on the roster when the season begins, which the former Knick believes will allow the team to thrive if they follow their coach’s lead.
“We have this new team. Fresh start,” Landry explained. “Coach Casey’s been great so if we buy in to what he’s been trying to teach us and come together as a group, we should be fine.”
He also thinks that could lead to a place that the Raptors haven’t been in four years: the playoffs.
“Right now, that should be our goal and our main goal, a realistic goal,” Fields said.