Oklahoma City Thunder is clearly the top team in the Western Conference. Throughout the season, Oklahoma City has shown its dominance in the rugged West racing out to a record of 34-11, which is four games ahead of the second placer San Antonio Spurs. Everything has been clicking for the Thunder and with almost a month left before the playoffs, the team is looking to improve their roster by adding a tried and tested point guard. If things go according to plan, owners of Oklahoma City Thundertickets would definitely be very pleased about it.
Based on recent reports from ESPN.com, veteran point guard Derek Fisher is having advanced negotiations with the Thunder after securing a buyout from the Houston Rockets. The 16-year veteran was traded to the Rockets by the Los Angeles Lakers during the trade deadline along with a first round pick for Jordan Hill. Fisher secured a buyout from Houston days after the trade happened. He was still owed a little less than $1 million for the rest of this season and had a player option worth $3.4 million for the coming year. Reports from Houston Chronicle told that the entire salary for next season was surrendered by Fisher.
The 37-year-old Fisher is set to clear waivers by Wednesday and after that he is now free to sign with any team except the Lakers. According to league rules, any team that has traded a player away is prevented from signing him immediately. Aside from Oklahoma City, the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio, and even the Los Angeles Clippers expressed interest in signing Fisher.
Oklahoma Cityhas become the frontrunner for teams looking to sign the five-time champion because of its financial flexibility and their ability to offer more role. The Thunder is clearly looking for a steady backup to all-star Russell Westbrook after Eric Maynor was lost to injury in early January. Being a playoff-tested veteran, Fisher could be a calming presence inside the Thunder locker room during their post season run. His experience would also be very valuable for the team in their quest for a title especially with all the youth that they have. The average age of the players in Oklahoma City is 25.
The other teams looking to sign Fisher have a feeling that he prefers to stay in the West where he has played his entire career. Fisher also played in Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz from 2004-2007.
The Western Conference-leading Thunder also has some kind of advantage over other teams since Fisher’s agent Rob Pelinka is representing all-star Kevin Durant and swingman James Harden.
Durant strongly endorsed the possibility of signing Fisher stating in a local newspaper interview that he is a “consummate professional” and “an unbelievable leader.” The 23-year-old former Rookie of the Year added that “he played with arguably one of the greatest players to ever play in Kobe (Bryant), and Kobe really respected him as a player and wanted him on his team, so that speaks volumes.”
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