Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Derek Fisher signs with the Oklahoma City Thunder


Just hours prior to their game against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Oklahoma City Thunder came to terms with veteran point guard Derek Fisher, signing him to the team Wednesday, after the veteran cleared waivers (Thursday, PHL time).

"It's not often that an opportunity like this comes about at this point in the season," Thunder Genreal Manager Sam Presti said in an article on the team's website. "We really like the group that we have, and we have a lot of confidence in it. When this kind of started to materialize it felt like it was something that we had to pursue. Those of you that follow the team know that at the beginning of the year we really felt like the next evolution for the program and for the team would be to continue to improve in some of the smaller, finer points of the game, the things that separate the high-performing teams in the NBA.

"Derek is somebody who has been a part of a lot of those types of teams and really has an understanding of how to impact that," Presti added. "We're hopeful that he'll enhance what we're doing here in Oklahoma City and I think that he'll have an impact [not only] on the floor, but also in the overall and collective development of our team and our roster."

Despite a roster that contains 10 players aged 25 years or younger, the Thunder managed to make it to the Western Conference Finals last season before falling to the eventual champions, the Dallas Mavericks. Fisher, who has hit several clutch shots in the post-season, could push them over the top.

"I'm just looking to be as helpful as I possibly can to every player on this team. I'm not here to take anything away from anyone. I'm here to only add and support and assist what I feel like is a great process that has already been started here," said Fisher, after being signed.

Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, the 6'1" Fisher has also had stints with the Golden State Warriors and the Utah Jazz before returning to the Lakers. Prior to the trade deadine, Fisher was sent to the Houston Rockets in exchange for center Jordan Hill. Houston opted to waive Fisher, leading to him being picked up by the Thunder.

Fisher, who is also the NBA Players Association president, has career numbers of 8.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals, with a 37.3 clip from outside the arc. - AMD, GMA News