The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent guard Derek Fisher it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Per team policy terms of the contract were not released.
Fisher is now the best point guard option the Lakers have. This despite his lack of real point guard skills. Fisher can bang home open shots and dig down on defense, but otherwise is pretty limited.
“In evaluating our team at the end of last season, we said we needed help in the back court, primarily a veteran ball-handling guard” said Kupchak. “As we began looking at free agents, we never imagined that Derek would be available. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the opportunity to sign him became an option and we are pleased we were able to do so.”
“With Derek, we’ve added a veteran player that is familiar with the offense we run and who has had great success in doing so,” said Kupchak. “He will also be able to mentor and help our young players develop. He brings leadership and stability both on and off the court and is a consummate professional in all that he does. I am very happy to welcome him back to the Los Angeles Lakers.”
“The Lakers are thrilled to get back a key member of our three-time championship team in Derek Fisher,” said Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson. “Derek has been one of the clutch players for our team and I anticipate that he’ll have many more chances to contribute to our successes.”
Fisher, who began his career in Los Angeles, most recently played for the Utah Jazz where he helped lead the team to the 2007 Western Conference Finals before losing to the San Antonio Spurs. The 6-1 guard, who played in all 82 games last season, had averages of 10.1 points, 3.3 assists and 1.8 rebounds. Prior to his stint with the Jazz, Fisher played two seasons for the Golden State Warriors.
Originally selected by the Lakers in the first round (24th overall) of the 1996 NBA Draft, Fisher spent eight years (1996-2004) with Los Angeles before signing with the Warriors as a free agent in 2004. During his tenure with the Lakers, Fisher was a starter on the Lakers 2000, 2001 and 2002 NBA Championship teams as well as a member of the 2004 Lakers team that advanced to the NBA Finals before being defeated by the Detroit Pistons. The eleven- year NBA veteran has career averages of 8.7 points, 3.3 assists and 2.2 rebounds.