Lakers uni sooner than expected. (Getty Images)

The NBA built this provision into the lockout-induced CBA to prevent the ol' trade-a-player-who-gets-waived-then-re-sign-him-hence-defeating-the-entire-purpose-of-requiring-that-a-trade-be-necessary-in-the-first-place. The provision put a time limit for a return to the team that traded the player originally. When the Lakers traded Derek Fisher last spring, that was part of the outrage from the Lakers' faithful. Not only had they abandoned their captain, but they had made it to where he couldn't return until what was assumed to be March 1. 

Well ... maybe not. From

The NBA's new labor agreement stipulates that a player traded and then waived by the team that acquired him can’t re-sign with his original team for one year or until the traded contract runs out -- whichever comes first. But in Fisher’s case, confusion surrounding his player option for the 2012-13 season led to the belief in some league circles that he had picked up the option before the Houston Rockets bought him out. In reality, sources confirm, Fisher was bought out by Houston before he was eligible to invoke the 2012-13 option, which means that his contract was deemed to have ended June 30, sending Fisher to full-fledged free agency on July 1.

via Sources: Fisher free to return to Lakers now - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN.

The Lakers are still maxed out for roster spots and have three point guards on roster with gauranteed contracts in Steve Nash, Steve Blake, and Chris Duhon. The Lakers are reportedly looking to move one of those point guards, but there's no room for Fisher now. If they do manage to move one of those guards, though, it's not hard to see a scenario where Kobe Bryant would demand manaement get his old friend back on the roster. 

In the meantime, Fisher can sign with whoever he pleases, but is clearly in no rush regardless. One question is why Fisher would want to re-sign with the organization that tossed him out after five championships and years of being captain, years of being Kobe's interpreter to the humans on roster, and years of being the team spokesman. But sometimes comfort and a chance for ring No. 6 outweighs everything else.