Report: Heat and Thunder are 'frontrunners' for Derek Fisher



Who wants a 37-year-old point guard that doesn't play defense and can't score?

Evidently two contenders do, as according to ESPN.com, the Thunder and Heat have emerged as the top two destinations for recently bought out point guard Derek Fisher.

The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder have emerged as the early leaders in the race to sign veteran guard Derek Fisher after he clears waivers on Wednesday, according to sources close to the situation.

With the Chicago Bulls needing another big man more than another guard and the San Antonio Spurs still hopeful that they can complete the signing of guard Patrick Mills by week’s end, sources told ESPN.com that Miami and Oklahoma City are the current frontrunners to land Fisher, who was formally waived Monday night by the Houston Rockets.

The Heat seem to be ready to poach any and every veteran player that's available. Despite not really having major point guard issues with Mario Chamlers and Norris Cole, the Heat always feel they can use more depth and the allure of a title run with LeBron and Dwyane Wade is tough for players to say no to.

The Thunder though could use Fisher, sort of. Kevin Durant now shares the same agent as Fisher in Rob Pelinka, which might have some kind of factor in this.

Here’s a crucial factor though: Fisher isn’t that good anymore. He’s a poor defender and doesn’t add a whole lot offensively other than the ability to knock down an open 3. The thing everyone cites that he adds is veteran leadership and championship mettle. Those two things aren’t exactly tangible items and while I do believe they exist, the question is whether or not you go sign a guy just for them. The Thunder are led by young players but it's not like they lack veteran, championship experience entirely. They have Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed, two vets with rings and Nick Collison who has a solid voice in the locker room.

Really, it's just more of a question if Fisher would be a more reliable backup than rookie Reggie Jackson who has filled in since Eric Maynor was lost for the season to an injury. Jackson hasn't been all that great, playing as rookies tend to do -- inconsistent. The Thunder also have veteran Royal Ivey on the roster so really the question might be if you don't like Jackson, do you like Ivey or Fisher more?

The Thunder did browse the market at the trade deadline for point guard help according to a league source, but that’s not really a surprising thing. But it’s not even a guarantee he’d become the backup point guard though. That role could still fall to Jackson. Maybe the Thunder just want Fisher’s experience in the locker room. Maybe they feel his voice would blend well in there. There’s no doubt Fisher is a tremendous teammate and an outstanding leader, but is that enough to pay him and cut a player?

Fisher clears waivers on Wednesday. Miami, Oklahoma City or something else -- I guess we’ll probably know then.

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