Landry Fields was the 39th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, but he finished his first season among the top five rookies in the league. The NBA will announce Wednesday the All-Rookie team for the 2010-11 season, and Fields, a two-time Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month winner, was named to the first team. Joining him is Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin, plus John Wall (Wizards), Gary Neal (Spurs) and DeMarcus Cousins (Kings).
Fields averaged 9.7 points and 6.4 rebounds and appeared in all 82 games, with 81 starts, to become the first Knicks rookie to make 81 starts since Bill Cartwright started all 82 games in 1979-80.
The 6-7 shooting guard is the first Knick since Channing Frye (2005-06) to earn first team All-Rookie honors. In franchise history, Fields is only one of three players who weren't first-round picks to be named to the All-Rookie team. The other two: Willis Reed (second round, 1964-65) and Dick Van Arsdale (third round, 1965-66).
Fields also becomes the fifth draft selection by Donnie Walsh to become an All-Rookie selection. The others include Chuck Person (1986-87), Rik Smits (1988-89), Jamaal Tinsley (2001-02) and Danny Granger (2005-06).
A relatively unknown prospect out of Stanford, Fields had a surprising immediate impact with the Knicks, who entered training camp with questions about the starting shooting guard spot. But Fields, a versatile, high-IQ player who showed off the ability to collect rebounds at that position and finish on the break, became the answer when the regular season began. He averaged 10.1 points and 7.1 rebounds and shot 51 percent from the first in the first 54 games of the season (before the all-star break). His numbers dramatically dipped (9.1, 4.8 and 45.3 percent) after the break, following the trade for Carmelo Anthony, mainly because there was less ball movement and less transition offense.
In the playoffs, Fields struggled mightily against Celtics veteran Ray Allen, while he made just 3 of 15 shots from the field (20 percent) and recorded just five rebounds in the four-game sweep.
The Knicks were pleased to come away from the Anthony trade without having to give up Fields in the deal, but with the new look of the team, there is a debate whether Fields and his skill set fit anymore. This offseason, one of his focuses will be on becoming a better three-point shooter, which is a priority now at that position. He shot a respectable 39.3 percent from downtown during the regular season, but missed each of his four attempts in the playoffs.
Coincidentally, Frye went from being a rookie revelation to a reserve and, eventually, was gone after his third season in a draft night trade for Zach Randolph.