Why Derek Fisher Should Take Championship Pedigree to Oklahoma City Thunder

Ethan NorofCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11:  Head coach Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Derek Fisher #2 during hte game against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center on March 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 97-94.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

There were not many who expected the Los Angeles Lakers to trade Derek Fisher before the deadline.

In a move that caught several by surprise, the Lakers sent Fisher and a 2012 first-round pick to the Houston Rockets for backup big man Jordan Hill.

After the Rockets officially completed a buyout with Fisher in order for the veteran to join a title contender, it's looking like there are two teams in the hunt for his services at this juncture: the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder.

ESPN's Marc Stein has the latest on Fisher's future.

The Heat explored the possibility of signing Fisher when he was a free agent in the summer of 2010 and have strong interest again now, sources say, even if they are successful in signing veteran forward Ronny Turiaf this week.

Oklahoma City, meanwhile, is still trying to fill the void created by Eric Maynor's season-ending knee injury and, according to sources with knowledge of the Thunder's thinking, is intrigued by the prospect of adding Fisher's championship know-how to a group that's leading the Western Conference but still young.

Let's compare the two situations from Fisher's vantage point.

Why would the 37-year-old go to a situation in Miami where he knows he's not going to play? Fisher is not going to come into that team to take minutes away from either Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole.

Although Russell Westbrook is obviously entrenched as the starter for the Thunder and rookie Reggie Jackson has looked capable of handling backup minutes when given playing time, this Oklahoma City team could certainly use a leader on the bench like Fisher.

Fisher wouldn't just be an on-court addition, but he's also a huge off-court addition who is capable of teaching and demonstrating leadership to an incredibly youthful bunch.

He's not going to come in and be an impact player.

Fisher is having his worst statistical season since 1998-99 with averages of just 5.9 points and 3.3 assists per game on 38.3 percent shooting.

But this isn't about what he brings on the court—this is about how he fits into the picture this season for the stretch run.

Fisher has been there. He's been at the epicenter of clutch moments and postseason battles.

He's hit the big shots, he's got five championship rings and has played alongside Kobe Bryant in the same backcourt for the majority of his career.

ESPN's Tom Haberstroh makes an interesting and appropriate comparison for how Fisher should be viewed going forward.

And if that is what Oklahoma City does if the team is able to sign him, it will be a win-win scenario for both parties.

It will sure be interesting if the Lakers and Thunder square off in the playoffs and Fisher is sitting on Oklahoma City's bench.