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Fisher close to signing with Thunder, Heat still in the mix

Mar 20, 2012, 5:47 PM EDT

Derek Fisher Getty Images

The ultra-reliable Marc Stein of ESPN.com has the report:

Derek Fisher is in advanced negotiations with the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Western Conference leaders after clearing waivers, according to sources close to the situation.

Fisher is scheduled to clear waivers Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. ET. One source with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com that Fisher is “very close” to committing to sign with the Thunder once he becomes a free agent.

ESPN.com reported Tuesday that the Thunder and Miami Heat had emerged as the two frontrunners to sign Fisher, who was officially released Monday night by the Houston Rockets after securing a buyout from Houston in the wake of last week’s trade that brought an end to Fisher’s second stint with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Fisher would fill a need for the Thunder, who have been searching for a solution at the backup point guard spot ever since Eric Maynor went down for the season with a torn ACL injury — rookie point guard Reggie Jackson has struggled badly for the Thunder, and is currently averaging just 3.5 points per game on 33.8% shooting from the field and 22.4% shooting from downtown.

The Heat have less of a pressing need at the backup point guard spot, as rookie Norris Cole has played very well in stretches, but the Cleveland State product has struggled lately, and may be hitting the dreaded “rookie wall.”

Fisher, who has won five NBA championships as a member of the Lakers, will provide a good locker-room presence, be a good, physical defender, and stretch the floor for any team that signs him, even though his individual statistics have never been particularly good and he lacks anything resembling speed at this point in his career.

Fisher is rightly renowned for his clutch-shot making, but with Mario Chalmers (who nearly saved the Heat’s Finals by tying game 2 with a 3 on Miami’s final possession of that fateful game) and Russell Westbrook firmly embedded as the starting point guard for both the Heat and the Thunder, it seems unlikely that Fisher will be on the floor during crunch-time if he signs with either team. Still, the allure of a 5-time champion is hard to resist, and the front-runners in both the East and the West both seem to want Fisher on their roster very badly as they search for the final piece of their respective championship puzzles.

  1. sellahh - Mar 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    “Fisher, who has won five NBA championships as a member of the Lakers, will provide a good locker-room presence, be a good, physical defender.”
    Say what?!?!

    • John Krolik - Mar 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM

      Fisher gets a tough rap on D because of his glacial movement, but he draws charges, knows how to force guys into help D, and is able to make things uncomfortable for opposing points because of his strength. Plus, nobody can stay in front of the fastest PGs in the league with the new rules anyways.

      • sellahh - Mar 20, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        And he’s like 80 years old. And if I want somebody not to stay in front of the fastests PGs in the league with the new rules anyways I sure don’t want it to be Fisher.
        Knows how to force guys into help D? Reminds of some hilarious bball sets of Toronto Raptors drawn in MS Paint with everyone screaming HELP D.

  2. shockexchange - Mar 20, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    38 year old point guard who cannot play, yet still in the league … and ya’ll wonder why there was a lockout.

  3. alan82386 - Mar 20, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Don’t be lakers foe my darling

  4. lakerluver - Mar 20, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Much rather see him with the Thunder than the Heat.

  5. isujames - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    either team will beat the lakers.

  6. 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 20, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Is Jeff Ireland doing the interviews for the Heat too?

  7. pastortodd78 - Mar 21, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Anyone think that possibly the Thunder ended any trade discussions for DJ Augustin when they heard Fisher was going to the Rockets and possibly going to be bought out. Maybe Presti decided to hang on to everyone he had and make a run at Fisher rather than part with a couple of bench pieces for a rental of Augustin. Just a thought.

  8. adnan604 - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    OH MY, I stopped reading after the very first paragraph where they said he would be a solution for the backup PG of Maynor…..

    I would take Maynor with a torn ACL over Fisher at this point, literally no joke….

    onto the next article, nothin to see here people….

    oh and didn’t the Heat already try this veteran PG bs with Bibby and failed hard ?

  9. adnan604 - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    OH MY, I stopped reading after the very first paragraph where they said he would be a solution for the backup PG of Maynor…..

    I would take Maynor with a torn ACL over Fisher at this point, literally no joke….

    onto the next article, nothin to see here people….

    oh and didn’t the Heat already try this veteran PG bs with Bibby and failed hard ?

  10. losangelasbasketball - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    I’m going ignore Fisher’s career from now on and just pretend he’s working a desk job at the staples center… my mind can’t handle anything else…

  11. therealhtj - Mar 21, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    How much is OKC gonna charge him for a prime bench seat? I mean seriously, that dude should be a paying spectator at this point, not an NBA player.

  12. jumbossportsblog - Mar 21, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Reblogged this on jumbossportsblog and commented:
    The Thunder gains more depth with Fisher. June looks to be very anticlimatic with the Heat and Thunder on a crash course to the Finals

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