If Romeo Void taught us one thing, it’s to never say never.
But bringing Derek Fisher back to the Lakers is something that should be right next to never. Mostly because he’s really not good at basketball anymore. Not in the NBA sense. And the Lakers want to win a title.
But the Lakers may be considering it in part because Kobe Bryant loves Fisher, reports Marc Stein at ESPN, who adds that it is a long shot where a lot of dominoes have to fall the right way.
It’s not feasible for the Lakers to bring back Fisher now, because league rules preclude them from signing a player traded away and then waived (in this case by Houston) for one year after the original deal. Which means March 15, 2013, is the earliest Fisher could legally re-sign with L.A.
Yet sources with knowledge of the Lakers’ thinking say that the team is already trying to create a backcourt opening, having made it clear to the rest of the league that Chris Duhon and Steve Blake are available via trade to any interested party willing to absorb one of those contracts.
It is possible that another team — and it would have to be a contender — suffers an injury to a point guard and they go looking for depth and turn to Fisher before the Lakers are even allowed to sign him.
Either way, the Lakers should not bring Fisher back. While he hit a few shots for OKC in the playoffs last year (6.2 points per game) it didn’t make up for all the times he was torched on defense. Notice the Thunder didn’t keep him around.
I get that the Lakers don’t love Duhon and Blake (and they would like to save some money), but it’s a simple fact both of them are better than Fisher right now. (There are some Lakers fans taking my name in vain right now, so I will note I really do appreciate with what Fisher was to the L.A. title teams. But the Lakers don’t need veteran presence in the locker room, they need somebody who can play 20 plus good minutes a night so Steve Nash gets his rest. And Fisher is just not that guy anymore. Sorry, but if you think he is you’ve been watching through purple-colored glasses.)
It really isn’t a great move. Not if the Lakers are about winning a title.
But never say never.