NBA Rumors: Derek Fisher Would Be Wise Mentor in Dallas Mavericks' Rotation

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2012

Jun 12, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Derek Fisher (37) against the Miami Heat during the second quarter of game one in the 2012 NBA Finals at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Derek Fisher has lost more than one step on both ends of the floor, but that doesn't mean that he wouldn't have value with the right team.

According to Dallas Morning News reporter Eddie Sefko, the 16-year NBA veteran could interest the Dallas Mavericks:

The Mavericks are desperate for more consistent point-guard play. They understand one intriguing name remains on the open market — grizzled veteran Derek Fisher. There has been no move so far to kick the tires on Fisher because owner Mark Cuban said before the Cleveland game that he and the coaching staff want to give the current group every chance to show what they can do.

It makes total sense to see what the current group of guys can do. At 6-5, the team is doing an excellent job without star forward Dirk Nowitzki contributing his normal 20-plus points per game.

But that doesn't mean Cuban should close the door on a veteran like Fisher. Heady, experienced players add value to young rotations, and the Mavericks have that at the point guard position.

Darren Collison has been very good as the starter. He's the third-leading scorer and is averaging over six assists per game, but his backups have not been as good.

After cutting Delonte West in late October, the job has been handed to Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones, but both are extremely unseasoned. Jones is more of a combo guard, and Beaubois averages nearly one turnover per game in just over 16 minutes per contest.

Fisher may not be fleet of foot and he may not be a great defender at this point, but he understands how to play the game as well as anyone. At the very least, he can mentor Beaubois and Jones while providing solid support behind Collison.

That doesn't mean you take the other two players out of the rotation, but you change things around. Play Fisher in crucial moments at the end of the game. Use him almost like a player-coach, showing the younger guards what it takes to make critical plays.

This would also allow Jones to do a little bit of everything. He's a talented player, but projecting him as a pure point guard is tough. He could refine his game while playing around Fisher, but his future is at shooting guard.

Dallas just needs to stay afloat until Nowitzki returns. Waiting to sign Fisher is ideal because it allows the younger players to mature on their own, and it saves Fisher's legs.

Putting a battle-tested player on the roster for a late-season playoff push is never a bad idea, especially one who is as unselfish as Fisher.