The biggest surprise at the NBA trade deadline on March 15 last season was the Los Angeles Lakers trading five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher to the Houston Rockets in exchange for forward Jordan Hill. The move came out of nowhere with no one foreseeing the Lakers moving Fisher before the deadline despite talk of the team looking for an upgrade at the point guard position.
As of result of the trade, Fisher agreed to a buyout with the Houston Rockets and became a free agent. Shortly after hitting free agency, Fisher agreed to terms with the Oklahoma City Thunder to play behind up-and-comer Russell Westbrook.
After losing to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, Fisher became a free agent once again with an uncertain future ahead. There was talk of Fisher returning to the Lakers, but won’t be able to sign with the team again until March 15, 2013 due to the rules in the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement).
With Fisher’s return to the Lakers unlikely, the consensus has been that he’d find a backup role with another title contending team with a one-year deal.
Apparently, the search for a new team isn’t going all that well for Fisher according to Sam Amick of SI.com:
“Fisher, according to a source close to him, turned down an opportunity to join Chicago before the Bulls signed Nate Robinson to back up Kirk Hinrich. But he now finds himself in a similar situation to Martin.
“Does he sign on with a non-contender (say, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Cleveland or Charlotte) for the minimum, or wait it out until mid- or late-season and jump on someone’s championship-bound train? And if the ideal situation never arises, is there a chance the 38-year-old calls it a career and retires? We shall see.”
It’s seems as though retirement may be drawing near for the veteran guard as teams appear to have little interest in the former Lakers star. It’d be hard to imagine Fisher playing on a second tier team after some many consecutive years of competing for titles with the Lakers and last season with the Thunder.
Even though Fisher may ultimately decide to call it a career, the window of opportunity isn’t closed yet as there remains a chance he’ll land with a new team before next season. A return to the Lakers is highly unlikely, but possibly not out of the question if he remains unsigned and hasn’t officially retired heading towards March of next year.