The Lakers needed to move Derek Fisher for political reasons in the locker room — can you have a guy the Lakers fans love and the team signed because Kobe Bryant wanted him to sitting at the end of the bench? Almost never in the game? His play warrants him sitting, but fans won’t see it that way. Media would ask Kobe what he thought, it would be a topic for talk radio, it would be a distraction the Lakers don’t need.
Fisher has a player option for $3.4 million for next season that he certainly was going to pick up. The Rockets will certainly have to compensate him for that.
Once he is bought out, he will be a free agent. There was interest from the Miami Heat last year, and it wouldn’t be stunning to see a contender or near contender add him for the stretch run.
And no, the Lakers are not going to be that team. Aside the reasons mentioned above, the CBA prevents the Lakers from re-signing him until July after trading him.
Also, we have to say this — Fisher the player does not bring much at all to the table any more. On any contending team he is likely the third point guard (as he would have been in Los Angeles behind Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake). Lakers fans are understandably sentimental about him, but the reality is if he were any other player with another franchise he would not have gotten his last contract. A team might bring him in now to provide championship experience in the locker room and a little guard depth, but he can’t contribute much on the court anymore. Even in the final seconds.
This ending is not how I will choose to remember Fisher. But this is pretty much the end.