It appears that point guard Derek Fisher is on his way to “the Big Friendly”.
According to NBA.com, Fisher has agreed to a deal that will make him a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder once he clears waivers later today at 6 pm. Derek was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Houston Rockets right before the NBA Trade Deadline on the 15th of March. Houston then released Fisher a few days later.
Derek was spotted at the Will Rogers World Airport earlier this morning with members of the Thunder front office. He’s expected to finalize his deal later tonight.
This isn’t the kind of move that will make or break the Thunder’s title chances. With or without the services of Derek Fisher, the Thunder are in a prime position to make a run at the NBA championship this summer.
The franchise has been looking for a backup guard to Russell Westbrook ever since Eric Maynor went down with an injury. Westbrook is currently averaging 35.3 minutes a game.
Fisher is 37 years old and nearing the end of his career. He is averaging 5.9 points a game while shooting 38% from the field this season.
This move was made more for the intangibles Fisher brings rather than his skill-set.
Fisher is a leader. He’s a great locker room presence who has years of championship experience on his resume.
This is a young Thunder team who could use a veteran leader on the roster. Kendrick Perkins is only 27 years of age but is still the oldest member of the Thunder starting five. Everyone else (Durant, Westbrook, Cook, Ibaka) is either 24 years old or younger.
Having Fisher join the Thunder will give the young guys on the team a valuable resource of championship wisdom to learn from. Derek has been to the promised land on 5 different occasions and has enough rings to fill an entire hand.
As far as what he will bring on the court, he won’t be expected to do a heck of a lot. He will play spot minutes here and there as he comes in for Westbrook during games. About 5-10 minutes sounds like a reasonable estimate for Fisher’s playing time.
The Oklahoma City Thunder give Fisher the best chance to win his 6th NBA championship and surpass his friend Kobe Bryant.
Just imagine the storyline’s that a Thunder/Lakers playoff series could bring now.
GRADE FOR THUNDER: B -
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports