I can’t remember the last time a 37-year-old point guard shooting 32 percent from the beyond the arc, with a PER so miniscule he looks down at Samardo Samuels, Vladimir Radmanovic and John Salmons, was being recruited as heavily as Jesus in He Got Game. Buffy and Suzie haven’t been offered yet – at least to my knowledge – but they’re putting everything else on the table. Everyone wants a piece of Derek Fisher, and the ones pushing the hardest all happen to have a larger stake in this game. Chicago. Oklahoma City. Miami. You might as well roll out the Vegas odds and take bets on where the former Laker will end up because he damn sure isn’t going to New Orleans.
Blindsided by a deal to Houston at the buzzer of the trade deadline, Fisher is in his Brett Favre stage: teams want him, but they don’t really want him. He’s a great person to have on your squad, but he’s not really that great. He’s like Cocoa Puffs. Good in theory; Average in taste (Cocoa Krispies all day).
Starting and playing nearly 30 minutes a night in Los Angeles wasn’t working. But if someone signs Fisher to give him 15-20 minutes of PT a game as a backup, I think he can make some noise. The Rockets formally released him earlier this week before he even had a chance to suit up in Houston, and now he’s taking calls from teams around the league.
He was officially placed on waivers at around 6 p.m. last night and over the next 48 hours teams under the salary cap can claim him.
But besides that, here are the five best destinations for Mr. .4.
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5. L.A. CLIPPERS
It’d make sense wouldn’t it? They could use another veteran, another voice in the locker room. Most of all, it’d be a great way to tell the Lakers to go f— themselves, especially if the crosstown rivals were to meet up in the first round of the playoffs.
But the Clippers are intent on moving forward with what they have: Chris Paul, Mo “Mr. Regular Season” Williams and some spare parts someone left stranded on the side of the road. L.A.’s stepchild can’t defend, and they can’t shoot free throws. Call me dumb, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to work out in the playoffs. I can already give you the end result for the Clippers this season: A matchup in the first round without homecourt advantage…they give us a ton of highlights, lots of dunks and lobs…one PHENOMENAL game from CP3 and Blake Griffin…and too many mistakes will send them home in six games.
It’s not like Fisher would change that. He can’t defend either. But at least he can make free throws and at least he has about 3/5’s of the Robert Horry gene in him.
Fisher might express interest in playing for the one coach in the world who could turn him into a defensive beast. But the Bulls aren’t interested, or at least aren’t interested enough to shift priorities from obtaining another big man.
With Derrick Rose, C.J. Watson and even John Lucas III all in the Windy City, there’s not much room as is. Chicago’s two backup point guards both have a PER above the league average and both are younger and more dynamic. But if I was Chicago, I’d still take a look at the old man. They could use a calming, fourth quarter voice because we all know what happened in the fourth quarters of their Eastern Conference Finals losses against Miami last year. Call me stupid, but I’d rather have Fisher playing a few minutes in a big, road playoff game than Watson or Lucas.