The Dallas Mavericks have reportedly signed veteran free agent Derek Fisher to a deal to bolster their point-guard depth and provide leadership in the locker room.
The Mavericks made the announcement via twitter:
Troy Murphy has been cut from Dallas’ 15-man roster to make room for the 16-year veteran, who will be counted upon to help soak up some minutes at the PG spot while Darren Collison is out with an injury.
According to Dan Loumena of the Los Angeles Times, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is happy with the signing, but he is keenly aware that the crafty guard isn’t the answer to all his 7-9 squad’s problems.
We need help at point guard. I found out ... that [Darren] Collison would be out, and we were fortunate to get [Jared] Cunningham active. We feel [Fisher] can help us. It's not a cure-all to all of our team challenges, but his expertise and experience will help.
While Fisher may not be the most effective player at the ripe age of 38, he is an incredible floor general who is still capable of inspiring teammates and helping a squad during deep playoff runs.
That much was clearly evidenced when the point guard took a roundabout journey that landed him with the Oklahoma City Thunder this past spring.
The Los Angeles Lakers traded him to the Houston Rockets at the March trade deadline, and then he was subsequently cut from the Rockets.
Fisher signed with OKC as a free agent shortly after.
During the Thunder's run through the Western Conference playoffs, there were many instances when Fisher provided the experience, knowledge and a calming presence in the huddle when his young teammates seemed flustered and confused.
Fisher will now be providing those intangibles for the Mavericks, and the signing is a smart one considering the negligible financial risk.
The five-time NBA champion will not even need to see the floor much in order to make an impact this season with Dallas.
He only logged about 20 minutes per night behind Russell Westbrook last season but still chipped in 4.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. However, Fisher’s contributions are better measured by the clutch three-pointers and smart plays he would make down the stretch.
We expect Fisher won’t see that many minutes in 2012-13—especially during the early part of the season—but will make key plays for the Mavericks and swing a handful of games in Dallas’ favor over the duration of the season.
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