In perhaps the best signing of the release/buyout season, the Thunder on Wednesday signed veteran guard Derek Fisher, who was in uniform and scored five points in 19 minutes last night as is new team, the Thunder, defeated the fading Clippers by 23 points.
Fisher has won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, who reluctantly traded him to the Houston Rockets last week. The Rockets bought out the remaining one-plus years on Fisher’s contract, making him a free agent.
“We are excited to add Derek to the Thunder and believe his experience and abilities will make a positive impact with our team,” Thunder GM Sam Presti said in a statement. “He is someone that will enhance our roster’s current and future development on and off the floor through his knowledge, professionalism and approach to the game.”
Why did Fisher choose the Thunder over the Miami Heat. That was one of the topics of discussion this morning as Chris Sheridan made his weekly appearance on the Armando & Perk radio show in Miami. Click to listen.
The Thunder are loaded with talent and have a pair of players with championship rings in Kendrick Perkins (2008, Boston) and Nazr Mohammed (2005, San Antonio). However, during last year’s playoff run to the Western Conference finals, they showed signs of immaturity.
Fisher is a consummate professional who will help in that regard. He also may knock down a big shot or two, as he has throughout his 209-game postseason career.
The Thunder also could some experience at backup point guard. Since Eric Maynor went down with a season-ending injury, they have been using rookie Reggie Jackson behind All-Star Russell Westbrook. Fisher would be an obvious upgrade in experience and savvy over Jackson.
Fisher has slowed in recent years and his defense has suffered. He won’t be playing nearly as many minutes as he did with the Lakers.
The Thunder had to waive forward Ryan Reid to make roster room for Fisher.