Feb. 19, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher (2) against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Lakers 102-90. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE.

Oklahoma City a front-runner for Derek Fisher

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat are the front-runners for signing veteran point guard Derek Fisher.

Fisher was traded from the Lakers after 13 seasons with the team to the Houston Rockets at the deadline last Thursday along with a first-round pick for Jordan Hill.

The Rockets have since waived Fisher making him available to anyone other than the Lakers once he clears waivers on Wednesday.

The Thunder have a sure need for a backup point guard since losing Eric Maynor earlier this season with an injury. Rookie Reggie Jackson has been playing in his place and has been unable to produce very much.

Fisher seems like an obvious upgrade at this spot for the Thunder. Fisher also has the same agent as Kevin Durant now.

The Thunder’s best four players are either 23 or 22. Fisher could definitely bring some leadership and experience to the team with the best record in the Western Conference.

The only concern for Thunder fans would be exactly how much Fisher would play. He averaged over 25 minutes per game with the Lakers this season but would likely be getting 15 or under with the Thunder.

Scott Brooks seems to have an affinity for players like Fisher and may even be prone to play him more. That might not be a great thing for the Thunder. It’s not like they’d want Fisher in their crunch time lineup.


Russell Westbrook routinely plays over 40 minutes per game especially with Jackson as his backup. Westbrook really has no problem doing this and when the playoffs come around will probably be asked to play over 40 minutes per game.

It is unlikely that Fisher would do anything to interfere with a title run for the Thunder and may even extremely benefit it tootling Westbrook to some degree.

Imagine a lineup with Westbrook playing off the ball next to Fisher-Harden-Durant-Ibaka. That’s a decent closing lineup if the Thunder can afford to go small. I think I’d rather see Fisher on the floor instead of Daequan Cook in some cases.

I’m just not totally in love with the Thunder closing games by going small and if they add Fisher, I feel they will always do this. I love what Kendrick Perkins or Nick Collison can bring on defense and I don’t know if it is worth it to exchange them for smaller players who stretch the floor on offense.

I’m still more excited about Thabo Sefolosha becoming the fifth crunch time player because of his defense and ability to let the Thunder switch on perimeter players on defense.

We will find out Wednesday if Fisher chooses Oklahoma City. Miami is obviously another place he will consider and would probably be a better fit for him.

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Tags: Daequan Cook Derek Fisher Eric Maynor ESPN James Harden Kendrick Perkins Kevin Durant Los Angeles Lakers Marc Stein Miami Heat NBA Trade Deadline Nick Collison Reggie Jackson Russell Westbrook Scott Brooks Serge Ibaka Thabo Sefolosha

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