Derek Fisher could be returning to a Lakers' backcourt near you much sooner than you think.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the NBA has confirmed that Fisher does not have to wait until the middle of March 2013 to re-join his fellow 1996 draft pick Kobe Bryant with the Lakers—he's been able to sign with the team since July 1.
While bringing Fisher back into the fold would make sense on a number of levels, there are significant obstacles to overcome—the glut of backup point guards currently on the roster.
GM Mitch Kupchak eased the glut a bit on Monday afternoon as the team announced that Chris Douglas-Roberts was one of two players they released:
OFFICIAL: Lakers waive Chris Douglas-Roberts & Greg Somogyi. The roster now stands at 16. on.nba.com/SelbLe— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 22, 2012
It's a good start, but that still leaves three players standing in the way of a reunion with the five-time NBA champion: Steve Blake, Chris Duhon and Darius Morris.
Morris, taken in the second round of the 2011 draft by the Lakers, makes less than $1 million and removing a young, inexpensive player from the equation doesn't make much sense.
Should the Lakers bring Derek Fisher back?
Stein reported last week that the Lakers have told teams that both Blake and Duhon are available, but accomplishing that feat is easier said than done.
The two veterans each have two years remaining on their contracts, with Blake due a total of $8 million and Duhon due $7.6 million.
Unless someone loses a PG to injury during the rest of the preseason, there's little chance that the Lakers will find a taker for either one before the regular season gets underway.