Would a 16-year NBA veteran, who has played in 1,173, games be willing to wait until March to play for his former team? It may seem like a long shot, but according to ESPN's Marc Stein, Derek Fisher returning to Los Angeles could be a possibility.
Would Fisher be willing to sit out the majority of the season just to sign with a loaded Lakers team that will surely compete for another NBA championship?
Here are three reasons why he should:
I fully expect Fisher to sign on with a contender prior to the season or wait for an injury to happen on a winning team. But, if he does decide to wait until March, Fisher would be rested and fully ready to go for the stretch run and the grueling playoff action from March through June.
Fisher has played in all 82 games in seven of the past nine seasons; last year he played 63 in a shortened 66 game schedule.
Like previously mentioned, Fisher has played in 1,173 regular season games in his career. He has also played in 229 postseason games. That's like adding two and a half years to his resume.
While sitting out the majority of the season by waiting until March 15 isn't ideal, it may be the right call for Fisher's 38 years of age.
Los Angeles has a need at guard off the bench
Despite Los Angeles trading for Dwight Howard, signing Steve Nash, adding Antawn Jamison and more, they are still in need for quality backcourt help.
They need another guy who can come in off the bench to knock down a late shot, make a defensive stand or dive on the floor for a loose ball.
Fisher can still do this. He's a career 40 percent shooter from beyond the arc, and he's proven to be willing to throw his body around to make a play.
Steve Blake and Chris Duhon don't provide what Fisher can. Stein also believes that one or maybe both of these players could be trade pieces when the time comes:
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.
Blake has proven to be a valuable piece off the bench. He isn't starting quality, and he's not going to wow you with his skill set, but he is what he is—a bench player who can knock down the outside shot and spare some minutes for starters without a real significant drop off.
Duhon is the guy I would be willing to move if Fisher is still available come March.
Chance to win another ring
Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Antawn Jamison and Pau Gasol. The Lakers have loaded its roster to win a championship, and they just need role players to put them over the hump. Fisher has been—and still can be—the guy to play that role.
Fisher was a solid fit for Oklahoma City last year, a team engulfed with young talent but not a lot of playoff experience. However, Fisher's game and skill set belongs in Los Angeles, a place where he has won five championships.
At age 38, Fisher won't dazzle you with his skill set, but he can give you exactly what you expect. He is a guy who will do whatever it takes to win a game. You know you will receive his 100 percent effort and his accountability every time he touches the floor.
Signing Fisher in March may seem like a long shot, but the Lakers have a way of making things happen, especially when it comes to piecing together this 2012-13 team.