Derek Fisher, the longtime Laker championship cog, may be available as an unrestricted free agent. Fisher was traded by the Lakers to the Houston Rockets, and now the Rockets are in the process of buying out Fisher's contract.
If and when Fisher becomes available for any team to sign (except the Lakers), should the Thunder organization consider him? Can the case be made for Fisher? Here are a few of the pros and cons:
Update: Marc Stein reports that the Thunder and Heat are "early leaders in the race" to sign Fisher.
- He has five rings.
- He wants to win a sixth ring and is willing to take on a supporting role to do it.
- He has played with some of the best players in NBA history (Shaq, Kobe) and so he knows how to fill in a specific role and play to the leaders' strengths.
- Fisher is not afraid to take the big shot.
- He brings basketball knowledge and experience that could help the Thunder navigate through the playoffs. On top of that, Fisher was the NBPA President during last summer's tortuous lockout, so he carries a great deal of cache and respect amongst his peers.
- He is affordable and could fit into the Thunder's cap structure without much long-term damage.
- Fisher is a shadow of his former self both offensively and defensively.
- Dan Devine writes:
Derek Fisher has the ninth-worst Player Efficiency Rating among NBA point guards this year. This is his third straight year with a PER under 10; the league average is 15. He's hitting less than 39 percent of his shots, less than one-third of his 3-pointers and he's turning the ball over about 18 percent of the time, a rate significantly higher than at any point since the 1998-99 season. Opposing point guards have been outperforming him by seven points and three assists per 48 minutes of action.
- Fisher would become the Thunder's backup PG. OKC has brought rookie Reggie Jackson along in a trial by fire and he is showing signs of being able to handle the pressure. The addition of Fisher would reverse this progress for the remainder of the season.
- While Fisher has had a history of hitting big shots, it is very difficult to fathom why he would get the nod over Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, or James Harden in big moments.
- There are three general areas where OKC can improve - 1) game experience, 2) perimeter defense, and 3) defensive rebounding. Fisher would help out with #1 a little bit, and in fact that is probably his greatest attribute at this phase of his career. He would not help out with #3 at all. As for #2, Fisher is about five years removed from being a strong perimeter defender. At age 37, he has a hard time staying in front of anyone these days.