The Oklahoma City Thunder had one of the best backup point guards in the game with Eric Maynor, but they were going to lose him after the season through free agency, so they traded him at the deadline.
But they wanted to add some depth, and apparently don’t fully trust Reggie Jackson yet in the backup role, so they are going to turn to an old friend.
Derek Fisher is about to re-sign with the team according to ESPN.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Thunder, after trading Eric Maynor away last week before the NBA’s annual trade deadline, have made plans to sign Fisher, who joined the Thunder for the stretch run in March 2012 after the Los Angeles Lakers dealt Fisher to Houston….
Fisher, who won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, was viewed as a key locker room presence by Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks as the Thunder made it all the way to the Finals, losing to the Miami Heat in five games.
Fisher played nine games at the start of this season with the Mavericks, but asked out of his contract after a knee injury. He rehabbed back at home in Los Angeles.
If you see a lot of Fisher on the court, it’s not a good thing. He knocked down a few shots but was a defensive liability for the Thunder last year — he averaged 6.3 points a game playing 22 minutes a night, with a PER of 10.4. Now he’s a year older and coming off a knee injury. But as a backup in the locker room he can work. He has been there.
In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.
DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.
Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.
Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea.com.
“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”
“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”
The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?
In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.
I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.
Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.
The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:
The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.
Clean, simple, cool — I like it.
That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)