3 Reasons Why the Orlando Magic Should Sign Derek Fisher
Fisher was dealt to the Houston Rockets along with the first-round pick they acquired from the Dallas Mavericks for back-up center Jordan Hill. The Lakers opted to move Fisher after they brought in point guard Ramon Sessions from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The acquisition of Sessions made Fisher expendable, and Lakers management had no qualms about moving the five-time NBA champion.
This season, while starting at point guard for the Lakers, Fisher averaged 5.9 points and 3.3 assists while averaging 25.6 minutes a game.
His point production is nearly three points below his career average, but his assists and minutes per game are consistent with his career averages.
Fisher has said he wants to chase a sixth ring, but he will be unable to return to the Lakers this season. This is due to the new collective bargaining agreement that does not allow traded players that clear waivers to rejoin their original team.
Here are three reasons that the Orlando Magic should strongly consider trying to sign the 15-year veteran.
Fisher would be an asset to any team in the league. He will help whatever team signs him before he ever steps foot on the basketball court due to his exceptional leadership. Throughout his career, he has shown an ability to unite his teammates and lead them in a positive manner toward the goal of every team, an NBA Championship.
Fisher was a starter throughout the Kobe-Shaq era in Los Angeles. During that time, he was not the first or second option in the offense.
Yet, he found a way to make a real difference through his demeanor and actions. It must be easy to look up to Fisher and to really take what he says to heart.
The Magic would be smart to bring such a strong leader into their locker room before another team scoops him up.
In fact, there are very few teams in the NBA who couldn't use another veteran voice in their locker room.
Now that the Dwight Howard drama is over, at least for the near future, the Magic need to become more unified as a team.
If they fail to play as a cohesive unit on a nightly basis, the end result of their season will be similar to last season, which resulted in a first round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Another veteran voice may be enough to bring this team together and inspire a deeper playoff run.
Fisher is certainly past his prime on the basketball court but his exceptional leadership should make him an attractive option for many contending teams.
Fisher fought hard for the players during the lockout and his peers surely have not forgotten that.
Postseason Experience and Success
Fisher has started in 158 playoff games and appeared in another 51.
In his playoff career, Fisher has averaged 8.9 points per game and has an impressive 2.6:1 assist to turnover ratio.
Clearly, bringing in a player with this much playoff experience will help any playoff-bound team.
The Magic could use an experienced point guard to spell Jameer Nelson when he is on the bench. The need for a backup point guard will only be more evident once the Magic reach the playoffs.
Fisher would be a better option than current veteran backup point guard Chris Duhon.
The only players on the Magic roster that have any real playoff experience are Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu, Glen Davis and Nelson. Moreover, Nelson was injured throughout much of Orlando's playoff run to the NBA Finals in 2009, thus limiting his playing time and playoff experience.
Fisher is as used to the playoff pressure as any player could be, and it would be wise for Orlando to bring him in to create a sense of calm and consistency in the locker room.
The Magic will certainly be the underdogs if they meet the Bulls or Miami Heat in the playoffs. Fisher's playoff experience would help the Magic in their upset bid against either one of these favored foes.
Ability to Hit the Big Shot
The video above shows one of the most clutch shots in Lakers franchise history. Fisher's shot is even more impressive considering that the Lakers as a franchise have enjoyed great success and have hit many clutch shots over the years.
Any team in the NBA can use a guy on their roster that is capable of hitting a game-winning open jumper.
Adding a man who has a history of hitting clutch shots can't hurt.
It may be the case that a playoff game could come down to one final shot from the veteran.
The Lakers may miss him in a big spot, as Kobe will most certainly be double-teamed in final possession situations.
The addition of a clutch shooter like Nelson may just steal the Magic a playoff game, and stealing a game on a last-second shot in May or June could change the future of the Magic franchise moving forward.
An NBA title or deep playoff run would go a very long way in convincing Dwight Howard to sign a long-term extension in Central Florida, and Fisher could potentially play a big role in that title run.