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NBA is picking up part of Derek Fisher’s salary

Jul 25, 2013, 12:01 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Three Getty Images

We can list the reasons the Oklahoma City Thunder picked up Derek Fisher on a one-year deal: veteran leadership in the locker room, he shot 35.1 percent from three last season, they needed a shooter of some kind after losing out on Mike Miller, and they had a shortage of guys with shaved heads on the roster.

Another reason — he’s inexpensive.

The CBA calls for the NBA to pick up $515,000 of Fisher’s $1.4 million contract because he has played in the NBA more than three years and signed a minimum deal (the league picks up what would be the cost of a minimum deal for a two-year player). So the Thunder pay a little under $900,000 out of pocket and don’t flirt with the luxury tax.

The rest is picked up by the league. The other 29 owners are subsidizing Fisher on the Thunder. And it isn’t just Fisher, it is any veteran who signs for the league minimum, such as Kenyon Martin with the Knicks among others.

As for the Thunder remember, the league also picked up the tab for part of Kevin Durant’s max salary.

Derek Fisher on the Thunder isn’t a game changer. In fact, if Scott Brooks plays Fisher in front of Reggie Jackson in the point guard rotation there will be a few articles about that at PBT. Jackson showed in the playoffs he is ready to break out. And with the lack of moves made by the Thunder this summer the team is going to need Jackson and Jeremy Lamb to step up this year. Fisher is just insurance on the bench.

  1. asimonetti88 - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Thunder are cheaping out. Look at the champions over the last 10 years, they’ve all been willing to pay to win.

    • sylpkt - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      2003 – Spurs paid $187k in Luxury Tax
      2004 – Lakers paid $8.5M
      2005 – Spurs paid $900k
      2006 – Mavs paid $7M
      2007 – Spurs paid $0
      2008 – Lakers paid $7.1M
      2009 – Lakers paid $21.4M
      2010 – Lakers paid $19.9M
      2011 – Dallas paid $2.7M
      2012 – Heat paid $6.1M
      2013 – Heat paid $13M

      Following the Spurs model, and to an extent, the Mav’s model, your theory proves false. If for whatever reason Lamb doesn’t work out, they might trade some assets for a role player at the deadline and go slightly into the tax, but at this point, what is this team missing?

  2. ohioteamsusuallysuck - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    He will probably “retire” and then sign with the clippers and he will say because his daughter needs medical services only la can provide

    • fanofevilempire - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      Dude, that is low, real low.

      • stoudemelo - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:44 PM

        But true. Fisher has screwed over too many teams to not deserve it.

  3. dirtydavis - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Credit for D fish being able to land a job at this age

  4. caeser12 - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Veteran leadership in the locker room.

    This can only get you so far, his Championship “experience” has expired, he brings nothing to them ON THE COURT. Make him an Assistant Coach, and get a useable body out there, OKC has no room for error this year.

  5. spursareold - Jul 25, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Meh. He gets to still lead the players association because he’s on an NBA roster. That’s probably the biggest ramification of this signing.

  6. adoombray - Jul 25, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    The part that nobody wants to talk about is it’s a political move. Derek Fisher has been done as a basketball player for 3 years, but just like Kevin Mawae had a job 3 years past his expiration date in the NFL, Fish is an extremely powerful voice among the players who still has Billy Hunter’s blood fresh on his hands. Fish will probably be the new head of the NBAPA and will probably have a large part in negotiations that generate clauses like the one he is getting paid behind right now to be a name on a jersey.

  7. snoopy2014 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    From an outsider’s perspective, when I look at the Thunder, I see:

    -Players who work their a**es off day in and day out to better their team. The players (especially the leaders) have demonstrated great work ethic, leadership, and involvement in the community.
    -Fans that go all out in supporting their team
    -A front office that has (until recently) made largely intelligent moves

    -Ownership that has repeatedly skimped on the bill.

    When your players are that dedicated, the fans and the community are so involved, it has to be incredibly frustrating for all involved for the OKC ownership to be so miserly. Harden was the rare franchise player content with being #3 on his own team. How can you break something like that up? And getting the NBA to pay part of your superstar’s max salary … financially prudent, but all signs point to them being cheapskates for the forseeable future.

    It’s too bad. The players and the fans deserve more committed ownership willing to pay the luxury tax, at least to some degree.

    • fanofevilempire - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:02 PM

      Thunder will not win with Scott Brooks.

      • snoopy2014 - Jul 27, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        To some extent, I agree. Brooks’ system and play calls are far too simplistic for today’s NBA defenses. With that said, coaches have room to grow too. Doc Rivers was awful in the mid 2000s. So there’s room for Brooks to grow, but I purposely left Brooks off my list because he definitely is a weak link right now.

  8. sportsnut101 - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Thunder will not win ring they traded harden to fast and got nothing to show for it a yr later and rockets have a franchise guy for 10 yrs for nothing
    Spurs look like FAv this yr. they shoulda won it last season

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