Coming off their second straight championship, the Los Angeles Lakers don't really have many free agent decisions to make. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest are locked up for the next few seasons, so the main core of the team is staying in tact.
The biggest decision Mitch Kupchak and the front office has to make beginning July 1st is who to keep as their starting point guard: the young gun Jordan Farmar or the seasoned veteran Derek Fisher.
There are positives and negatives for both sides and it will be a criticized decision either way the Lakers decide to go, so which way should they go?
Fisher is the ultimate competitor and that is evidenced by his five championships and the amount of respect he has received from Kobe Bryant and others.
Kobe said that the Lakers couldn't have won any of their championships without Fisher and I believe that he truly means that. The 6’1” point guard has hit some big shots in all five championship years and has stepped up his defensive game on some tough point guards in that stretch.
The most obvious plus to re-signing Fisher is the leadership and experience he can provide come playoff time.
At 35 years old, Fisher believes he has enough left in the tank to lead a team for a couple more seasons. However, it's obvious that Fisher has lost a step and can't play as many minutes as he has in years past. Can he really lead a team for the next couple of seasons?
Farmar is the guy the Lakers want to re-sign if they want to look a bit towards the future while still trying to win the championship.
The fourth year guard from UCLA certainly has championship leadership experience, as he was the leader of a team who made the championship game in his sophomore season. He needs some more NBA experience as a starter, but he certainly has the talent to be a starter on a playoff team in the NBA.
During this year's playoffs, Farmar played 13 minutes per game and provided a noticeable spark in a couple key games, including some in the NBA Finals. He has matured since he came out of college as a 20 year old and he could be ready to take over a team.
Farmar has said that he wants a chance to start when he signs a new contract this season, whether it is with the Lakers or any other team. Will the Lakers be willing to hand the reins over to him and let the Lakers legend Derek Fisher go?
If I were the Lakers, I would probably stick with Fisher and try to convince Jordan Farmar that it will be his team in one or two seasons, so he should stick with the team to continue learning and winning championships.
In the end, Farmar could decide that he wants to stay in LA with Fisher. With the Lakers being his hometown team and the team who will probably have the best chance to win the championship next season, it is still a possibility that both come back.
Still, Fisher has a choice as well, so if he decides he doesn't want to come back to the Lakers, the team will have to decide between Farmar (who doesn't seem like a great fit for the triangle offense point guard) and any other free agent point guard.