Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers

Report: Derek Fisher in Oklahoma City to finalize deal


Derek Fisher has options, but it looks like he is choosing the one that could most haunt the Lakers — the team he will forever be most associated with.

Fisher should clear waivers at 6 p.m. (Eastern) today and he is in Oklahoma City this afternoon to finalize a contract with the Thunder, according to NBA.com.

This is probably the best fit for Fisher. First off, since Eric Maynor went down with a season-ending injury the Thunder have been in need of a backup point guard. But be warned OKC fans — Fisher is not much of a player any more. He is shooting 38.3 percent this season (and hasn’t shot over 40 percent for three seasons), he has a PER of 8.9 (and hasn’t had one over 10 in three seasons), plus is defense is atrocious.

What he brings is an unwavering confidence and an understanding of what it takes to win in the playoffs. No matter how he is playing, Derek Fisher doesn’t shrink from the big moments at the end of games. He doesn’t get tight. There is a reason Kobe Bryant trusted him to take the big shots — Fisher’s self–confidence cannot be shaken.

The Thunder are 7-5 since the All-Star break and have looked vulnerable. This is a team that needs to be reminded of how to win in the playoffs and Fisher’s level-headed demeanor, professionalism and confidence will play well in the locker room. He knows what to say and when to say it, and when you flash five rings, guys listen.

It’s a good signing for the Thunder, who have the talent to be competitors but could use the veteran presence in the locker room.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.