The Oklahoma City Thunder had an open roster spot and a need for a point guard and some more experience for their upcoming 2013 playoff run, so it made perfect sense to inquire about Derek Fisher’s availability after the trade deadline.
According to the organization’s official Twitter feed, the West’s No. 2 squad has reached an agreement to sign the 38-year-old for the remainder of the season. Fisher inked his signature to the deal on Monday morning.
OKC THUNDER @okcthunder
News: #Thunder signs veteran guard Derek Fisher. Details coming to http://t.co/RbwgO9EbzS http://t.co/oCrHYD5A532013-2-25 16:16:19
This isn’t the veteran’s first rodeo with the Thunder, as the franchise claimed him on waivers last March and utilized him in the backcourt rotation for a run that culminated in an NBA Finals appearance in 2012.
During 20 regular-season contests with the team, Fisher averaged 4.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 20.4 minutes per game. In as many postseason appearances, the 17-year veteran was counted upon to log 22.3 MPG and piled in 6.3 points, grabbed 1.6 boards and dished 1.5 dimes.
His leadership capabilities were also invaluable, as he was a guiding voice in the huddle and locker room. Fisher's playoff experience is something that the team’s two best players, Kevin Durant (24 years old) and Russell Westbrook (24 years old) simply didn’t possess at the time and still could use more of.
After dealing away third-string point guard Eric Maynor at the Feb. 21 trade deadline, the Thunder needed to bolster their depth behind Westbrook and Reggie Jackson, and Fisher seemed to be the best option due to his familiarity with both the squad and coach Scott Brooks last year.
In those nine contests—he started in each—the 6'1" guard averaged 8.6 points, 3.4 assists and 1.7 rebounds over 25.4 minutes, proving that he is still a valuable asset in the right system.
With OKC still looking to overtake the Spurs for the top seed in the West and hoping to make another push back into the Finals, Fisher will once again be counted upon to assist the effort.
This signing looks to be a wise move by general manager Sam Presti, and we’ll see if it pans out in a few months come the postseason.