Fish Back on the Menu

Gatinho —  July 10, 2007

Fisher changed agents over the weekend to be represented by Rob Pelinka, Bryant’s agent…

The OC Register is reporting 3 years at about 16 million dollars.

Is this too much money for an aging but gutsy player with playoff, triangle, and Kobe Bryant experience?

If you saw his performances in this year’s playoffs, you know the same heart still beats big in this man’s chest.

Kurt has posted his defensive stats here recently, and they were not promising and at this point in his career can they get better?

But for all his past gloriesFisher returned from injury to convert 35 three-pointers throughout the playoffs, setting an NBA record with 15 threes in the four-game series against San Antonio… and his veteran and stabling presence, his ability to tutor these young bucks in the ways of the offense…

There are intangibles in play here that can’t be measured.

Welcome back Mr. Lucky Shot.




to Fish Back on the Menu

  1. GR8 dunk, you are on top of things!


  2. I commented this in the other post, but I’ll comment again here:

    That’s “most” of the MLE according to the article. How much of it is left?


  3. It’s about 6 milliion, so that doesn’t leave much.


  4. totally not worth it.


  5. Assuming the $16 million figure is true and assuming the contract is structured for him to get maximum raises, the starting salary would be just under $5 million, which leaves less than half a million of the MLE (which was set at $5.356 million today).

    Personally, unless there was some sure fire MLE signing out there that I’m unaware of, I don’t see a problem with it. The Lakers organization is loyal to a fault sometimes, so it’s not that surprising that they would offer Fisher a contract like this.


  6. Everybody is saying that giving Fish the MLE is not worth it. But who else are we trying to sign? We have already told Blake that we are not interested in giving him the full MLE and no other PGs are worth the MLE. If we are trying to use it on a big, then there werent really any difference makers we could get for the MLE right now either. And we still have the veterans minimum that we can offer to a PJ Brown or a Chris Webber or somebody like that.


  7. And what a turnaround from one game to another for Jordan and Javaris. Jordan had 18 points 11 assists and 5 boards tonight while Javaris was held scoreless (although he did have a sick behind the back assist).

    I think Jordan and Javaris competing with each other for PT might bring out the best in both of them.


  8. It’s not my money! Welcome back DFish!!!


  9. Welcome Derek Fisher.

    This is Mitch’s 3rd positive achievement of the summer.

    Could have gotten him for a lot less, but I guess the Lakers gave him a veteran’s maximum on this one. Nevertheless, I’m fine by it.


  10. If the OC report is correct, I’m very proud of the Laker organization. The Lakers not only signed Derek Fisher: they symbolically signed him with dignity and class.

    Our leader-unawares from champion days returns with new authority: head of the NBA players association. Derek returns most immediately from a team that hadn’t even made the playoffs the year before. You saw him lead them into the 3rd round this year.

    We need DFish to bring that leadership back home. It’s really hard to imagine a better mentor for Jordan–or a better student for Derek!


  11. Some of my obviously subjective thoughts on the signing I’ve long been hoping for:


  12. dfish has nowhere else to go. he doesn’t want to be any where else. do you ppl realize this?!! sheesh, kupchak is bargaining from a position of total power, and he’s totally caving in. it will be an absolute fricking travesty is fish sign for a dime more than the previously talked abt 3 yrs ~ 9/10 mill.

    he is the worst gm in the whole sport. that is saying something.


  13. We’re all tied up on the inside,
    No one knows quite what we’ve got;
    And we know that on the outside
    What we used to be, we’re not anymore.

    Kobe spoke to people like me,
    But I couldn’t make the connection.
    He walked one road to set us free
    I think he went the wrong direction.

    But theres no need for turning back
    `cause all roads lead to where we stand.
    Derek can help us walk them all
    No matter what we may have planned.

    Can you remember that 0.4? can you still feel it?
    Can he find our pain? can he heal it?
    We need his hands upon us now
    To cast this darkness from our soul.
    Fisher can surely light our way.
    DFish can make our Lakers whole–once again.

    We’ve walked both sides of every street
    Through nasty times and playoff weather.
    But that was never our defeat
    As long as we could walk together.

    So there’s no need for turning back
    Championships are where we stand.
    And I believe we’ll see more
    No matter what we may have planned.

    Adapted from “Crossroads” by Don McClean


  14. Bottomline: in a first round series against say Phoenix, does Fish make a major differnce? for sure. Does he help in grooming Critt and Farmar? for sure. Does he help in quelling Kobe? for sure. Good signing.


  15. I saw a “likely” and a “probably” in that OC Register article. I don’t see anything that says this is a done deal, and nothing on the LA Times site except a report that says they’re not going to rush into free agency.


  16. 11- Thats exactly what I was thinking. I did not see a report anywhere else about the amount of a possible contract with Fisher. I think they were basing it off the fact that his agent said he wanted the full MLE. A 5 yr contract does not work, so I think they wrote they said the full amount/yr but for shorter. However, Fisher fired his agent and hired Kobe’s agent. I think fisher was mad that his agent made it look like it was about the money, which obviously it is not, so he fired him. I don’t think fish cares about the money, he just wants to play basketball in a city where his daughter can be treated.


  17. You are absolutely right. But Fisher firing his agent and hiring Bryant’s, plus Marc Stein’s article seems a pretty likely sign.


  18. Also, the article has been re-written since kast night where it’s tone was more of a done deal.


  19. My thoughts are they are still negotiating the money, but it will get done. And it’s a good thing.

    To me, the key is the three year deal. Fish will play more this year and then his minutes can go down so he can stay fresh as Jordan and Jarvis mature. In three years he retires a Laker.

    But (and it is a big but) this is a small step to where the team needs to go. We need defense, and Fish is good at drawing charges and gets the occasional steal. But what the Lakers really need now is a big defensive presence in the paint.


  20. 14. Bottomline: in a first round series against say Phoenix, does Fish make a major differnce? for sure

    Really? I like Fish but in that series he alone was not enough to turn the tide for a game, let alone the series. With all the injuries the Lakers were several steps behind the Suns (and even if everyone was healthy I don’t think it would have been a Laker win).


  21. I consider the Fisher signing an average move. It helps the team short term, but it is not an impact signing. The Miami Heat on the other hand have got Mo Williams seriously considering taking the MLE to sign with them. THAT is an impact signing.

    I understand that it is difficult to get a player to take less money to play for you, but it would have been nice if the Lakers were in the running.

    To a lesser extent Darko would have been a better route to go than Fisher. He is 21 with much upside for a MLE signing. It isn’t like paying Kwame 9 mil a year.

    I would have been much happier if we convinced Fisher to sign for the Vet min and went after a better long term solution with the MLE.

    Shrewd moves like that make a good FO, not overpaying for a low impact players.


  22. overpaying for experience and loyalty is not the worst idea of the summer. I’m suddenly excited for our team again, when in reality we haven’t done a thing.


  23. There’s no one that I rather overpay for than Derek Fisher.

    That being said, re-signing Chris Mihm (if he’s healthy) should be our next move.

    I was trying to think of available players who can score in the post, as true post players, and overlooked Mihm.

    For all his defensive short-comings, the guy is talented offensively, as hard of a worker as anyone out there (still remember a Laker-Celtic game I saw at Staples two years ago that made me a Mihm fan), and is actually a decent weak-side defender (a great defensive match with Kwame, but Kwame sucks at the 4).

    I then take this team into the season unless the price comes down on an impact guy.


  24. having Fish back will pay immediate dividends. a big problem last year with all the injuries and young guys was uncertainty. Fish will make the right decisions in the Triangle and teach Jordan and Critt how it’s done. it’s unfortunate we’ll likely overpay him, but that’s kind of the nature of Free Agency. now bring on that dad-gum trade, we need a Big who knows what he’s doing.


  25. Signing DFish sends a message to Kobe and to all Laker fans that the Lakers are trying to win NOW. Signing someone like Steve Blake would require a significant amount of time for him to learn the triangle and use it to his fullest advantage. No learning curve for DFish.


  26. Do we really need to argue whether or not Derek Fisher vs. Crittendon (or Steve Blake, etc. etc. if you wish) would do a better job against Phoenix or some other hypothetical team in the playoffs next year?

    Last season, there were some of us who wanted Smush Parker to be benched in favor of Jordan Farmar–or even dismissed from the team. Others , relying on games in which he was a major offensive force, felt that young athletic Smush (an inch taller than Javaris) had proven himself in the NBA as a reliable and durable starting point guard. The only issue was whether we would be outbid by others when he became a free agent. Denver was mentioned specifically.

    Right now, Denver has been rumored to be talking to Chucky Atkins. The bidding war for the Smusher has yet to begin.

    We don’t have NBA playoff data on Javaris or Steve, but we DO have very recent data on Fish as a member of the Jazz. He played a significant number of minutes against Baron Davis and the Warriors and the Jazz won mostly on good team defense. The Jazz lost to speedy Tony Parker and San Antonio, but Fisher was a positive force for the Jazz.

    Now maybe if Smush Parker, Chucky Atkins, Steve Blake, or some other free agent MLE level point guard had played as a member of the Jazz instead of Derek, “stats” would have favored one of them–and the Jazz would have lost in the first round to Houston.

    Where is this OVERpaying coming from? If we ignore artificial statistical obfuscations which can’t distinguish between the Smusher and Derek Fisher and go to the market, there are other teams even on Derek’s short “list” that seemed willing to go the full MLE for FISH.

    For example, the Grizzlies, looking for identity and failing to sign others, were/are excited about the possibility of bringing Derek “back home” since he originally came from nearby Little Rock. I didn’t see the Grizzlies hoping to pounce in and steal him for a vet minimum due to a family hardship.


  27. If we could convince Minny to go for an Odom/Bynum/Vlad/Sasha for KG ( I think salaries workout), we would have a pretty mean team:

    PG: Fish/Farmar/Crit
    SG: Kobe/Evans
    SF: Luke/Cook
    PF: KG/Turiaf
    C: Kwame/Mihm

    We probably need a little more depth at the shooting guard position, so Evans can play the 3 from time to time, but maybe we get that with the veteran’s acception. If the Wolves don’t go for Sasha, I ‘d give them Evans instead.


  28. Heres something interesting.
    heard it this morning on Fred Roggin and Simers Square. Near the end of the show, Fred told TJ Simers that Phil Jackson wants Artest. Fred said that Jeanie Buss had told him so. He went on to say that Phil Jackson is the only coach who can control such a player. Whether he can control Artest or not, that is not the issue, it’s weather we can acquire him. Do we really need another Rodman or Isiaiah Rider. Can we come up with a decent package. I think he would be a better fit and a better defender than Kwame.

    I don’t know if that is true. Nor do I think SAC will trade with th lakers unless they thought Artest would sabotage the team. But it would make for an interesting season.


  29. Let me rephrase that. I doubt the source is reliable. I was just saying a trade for Artest would make for an interesting season.


  30. I’d rather trade for Shane Battier than Ron Artest. Character is important. We don’t need any more drama in this town, and Artest is just the type of guy that could rip this team apart.

    Charlotte is lacking shooters. Maybe we do a sign and trade for Gerald Wallace (nasty defender) that includes Vlade and other pieces.

    Atlanta needs shooters as well. Why not try and trade for Josh Smith, another really good defender (2nd in the league in blocks last season).


  31. 28. I have little doubt Phil said that, but for all his strengths as a coach his ability as a player and talent evaluator can be questioned. There’s a lot of history and he hasn’t always wanted the best player.


  32. Renato Afonso July 11, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    I like Fisher, but he’s not worth THAT much money… simply because the team has other needs and (if confirmed) it makes any other signing far more difficult…


  33. I’m surprised no one’s bantering about Stevie Franchise. Not quite the player he used to be, but neither is Fishy. Lot more scoring, little less defense… I know, I know…he’s not tall enough for Jax.


  34. 33-Francis does not fit in with the triangle offense. If they lakers got Francis, then they would have three players on the team that require the ball to be effective (Odom, Kobe, Francis). Having a bunch of players that all require the ball to be effective does not make a very good team, too much one-on-one or one-on-five basketball. Besides that Francis’ effort is inconsistent on both ends of the floor, and he is one of the leagues worst malcontents. He has only won 1 play off game in his career, so stevie “franchise” is not much of a franchise player.


  35. Steve Francis is known for being an over-dribbling PG. In Houston his biggest problem was that he was always dribbling out the shot clock and not leaving his team with enough time to get a quality play off. He has (had) great individual skills, but as far as a triangle PG, we just need someone who can play solid perimeter D and hit open outside shots with regularity. Steve Francis meets none of these needs.

    However, I do think he would fit in nicely with the Clips. He and Mobley are really close and the Clips could use his scoring if (when) Sam Cassell gets hurt.


  36. Derek Banducci July 11, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Here’s my cynical take on the Fish signing, assuming the OC Register report is true.

    The thing that jumps out at me is the fact that Fish fired his agent and signed up with Kobe’s agent. Why would he do that? Well, here’s my completely baseless theory…

    1. Kobe hears that Fish is available and calls Rob, his agent, to put some pressure on Mitch;

    2. Rob calls Mitch who says, “yeah … absolutely … we’ll do whatever it takes to get Fish … you have my word”;

    3. Rob calls Kobe, who calls Fish. Fish tells Kobe that his own agent is getting the run-around from the Lakers, who are only willing to offer Fish up to $3mil a year, which is not enough;

    4. Kobe calls Rob and Rob tells Kobe, “Mitch told me he’ll ‘do what it takes’ … I can get it done for the full MLE if Fish hires me.”

    5. Kobe calls Fish who calls Rob who calls Mitch and Rob says “Remember that conversation we had about Fish the other day, well I represent him now, so let’s get this done.”

    6. To which Mitch says “—-ing Kobe.”


  37. A good read by Eric Pincus at


  38. I never understood the draw to Pincus at Hoopsworld. He is a master of the obvious.


  39. 35- I will completely agree with you. No need to read that unless you’re trying to save time by not looking at the 4 stories he compiled, coupled with the wild/whimsical proposals he passes off as actual rumor. Not to single him out, besides Kurt (and Gathino and Reed etc.) most basketball “commentators” are guilty of the same thing. Just makes FB&G that much better to me.


  40. If signing Fish prevents you from being able to offer enough money to a better player, then it is a bad signing. If it really does not effect what you can get, then why not. It probably was a favor to Kobe and that is worth the extra money. There is still going to be a big name coming to the Lakers, just wait.


  41. re: 26. I’m not sure why you think Fisher was so special in the playoffs last year. In the playoffs, he averaged 1.6 boards, 2.6 assists, 9.5 points in 28 minutes and had an effective FG% of 45.5. Those numbers coorelate fairly well to his regular season. His PER/Opponent PER in the playoffs was 11.7/19.4, which is slightly worse than his regular season.

    The Jazz won 9 games, and he played very well in two of them, and about average in another one. He sat out one game, barely played in another, and played relatively poorly in the remaining four games.

    Look, I like Fisher, but even in his prime, he was a questionable starter the Lakers could afford because they had the two best players in the league. At this point in his career, he’s a decent back-up, and should not be starting on any team hoping to contend for a championship.

    Given that the Lakers are capped out, and the MLE represents one of the few ways they could improve, using it on a decent back-up strikes me as a mistake, even one who is a solid guy and knows the triangle.

    Perhaps there are no better options. I’m not sold on Blake necessarily, nor anyone else, but if you’re using your one resource and all you can get for it is Fisher, why do that early? Why not wait and see how things shake out, see if someone more interesting drops in value? Why settle for the okay right out the gate, when you could get that later, and if you miss out, you miss out on relatively little?


  42. How many PGs do we need? I love Fish as much as the next guy but this is a decision fueled too much by sentimentality. Again, as much as Fish will have (I imagine, he will at least for me) a special place in the hearts of Laker fans……this would be a decision which I think would hinder us from signing a swingman or some other player who might be more helpful. I just think at this price…no Mitch, no.


  43. James (41)

    You want a wheel to get us down the street.

    We’ve reclaimed some grease–so the wheel doesn’t fall off!

    At the end of the season most of us agreed that the MLE should address the PG situation-at the veteran level-someone who could play defense and team with Jordan Farmar–our young starting point guard. We weren’t looking for a starting PG. An MLE does not buy a quality starting point guard in the NBA.

    Steve Blake was at the top of our list, but he doesn’t know the triangle. Rather than teaching Jordan Farmar, Farmar would be teaching him. Besides, he wanted at least a 5 year MLE and was looking at multiple possibilities. With Blake as our top MLE propect, things were looking grim. We’d already slid through two years of such negotiations with catastrophic results.

    We were NOT looking for an athletic showboat 6′ 4″ point guard who did not understand team basketball and (to quote a generality from Phil Jackson) had the “mentality of a slug.”

    During the playoffs, a number of us burst with pride at the inspirational play of Derek Fisher. That was once the type of veteran basketball that typified the Lakers (see Reed’s comments below about veteran teams). Some of us realized that Derek himself was exactly what we needed–if only he were available. Some of us schemed for ways to lure him here away from the Jazz.

    See chopperdave:

    Derek can be point guard or shooting guard. He can score, defend, or command defense from his teammates. Jazz teammates felt privileged to play with him. He raised their level of play on an already tough nosed defensive team. He was in there with the game on the line.

    He was like that with the Lakers before–but we gave him no credit and lots of blame. Now we can see that Derek and Kobe are almost polar opposites.

    Derek is no better than average as an individual, but he is a truly spectacular team player.

    Kobe is spectacular as an individual, but no better than average as a team player.

    They need each other and we need them.


  44. Apparently Darko is going to Memphis.

    The Grizzlies have a nice starting 5 now…Conley, Miller, Gay, Gasol, and Milicic. The Western Conference is just getting tougher and tougher…


  45. can anyone explain why orlando would agree to a sign and trade with seattle? for the pleasure of giving up a second round draft pick and a trade get to extend lewis’s contract for one more year and another 20 million if the original contract wasn’t bad enough..


  46. 44. i was wondering the same thing. If Orlando had any sense, they’d sell the ‘no state income tax’ as an automatic raise to Rashard, and say they can use the rest of the base salary they don’t give to him to make the team more competitive.

    Oh wait, nevermind, Rashard Lewis is a $me$ first NBA player who will never win anything meaningful, and only cares about his wallet.

    Maybe I’m just being cynical, but to me the league is filled wilth 11th-15th men on the roster who just want to play basketball no matter what, 5-10 superstars who just want to win, and a bunch of other players who just want a big check. Oh, and aging supporting players on the Spurs and Pistons who just want to win. That still leaves about 2/3 of the NBA who wants nothing more than grills and bling.


  47. Goo,
    It’s because the Magic are run by idiots. Any team that would hire a hockey guy to be it’s GM is not the most astute Organization to be found.


  48. drrayeye,

    I dispute that Kobe is merely an average team player. The only other player to play with a team whose only other threatening (and I say this with a grain of salt) was Lamar Odom was Dwayne Wade, and he struggled to do much better with that MIami team than the present Lakers in a much weaker Eastern conference. Dwayne Wade did win one championship with Shaq, but Kobe won three. And don’t tell me that a 16-1 playoff run, and a sweep of a very good Spurs team had nothing to do with Kobe’s ability to play team basketball. Wade ain’t doing this even with Shaq in his prime. Remeber, in that Spurs series there was a game where both Kobe and Shaq scored 40 points and I believe that they beat San Antonio by around 40 in San Antonio. Kobe, compared to most NBA players is a great passer and a great defender. No, as a passer, he is not Kidd or Nash, and maybe not Jordan. But, aside from Jordan, these are all point guards, and their job is to be the best passer on the team. No, the tragedy is that most great players like Kobe and Lebron are with teams that leave them open to be maligned by guys like Chris Wilbon who have nothing else better to do. It’s not really the salary cap, which is not a bad thing, but the trade restricrions within the cap that are resulting in stagnation in this league. I’m sorry, drrayeeye, but



  49. Seattle did it because 1) Rashard was a good loyal player for them. 2) Trade Exemptions can be valuable in future deals (Indiana used their exemption last off-season to acquire free agent al harington from the Hawks via a sign and trade).


  50. Derek Fisher’s reported salary

    yr1 – 4,300,000.00
    yr2 – 4,644,000.00
    yr3 – 5,015,000.00

    Luke Walton has also agreed to make his 1st year salary at 4M.

    This means we will be right on the luxury tax threshold.


  51. Re: 43

    Fisher, Blake, Brevin Knight, Daniel Ewing, Earl Boykins and perhaps Mo Williams will all sign for the MLE or less. So will Mikki Moore, Brian Skinner, Corliss Williamson, Melvin Ely, Calvin Booth and Danny Fortson. Some of those guys will sign for 1/2 the MLE.

    When the Lakers are trying to make major moves, and could see their roster change significantly in one of them, I’d personally wait until said move was made before committing almost all of my only other resource to one decent player when many others are available who are similarly decent.

    Perhaps a Laker trade brings back a decent point guard, but leaves the Lakers thin up front. I’d sure like to have the MLE to sign Maggliore, or even push to see if an extra year might have convinced Darko (who signed for $1 million more than the MLE but for only 3 years).

    Perhaps a Laker trade doesn’t bring back a point guard, but still costs the Lakers several big men. I’d sure like to be able to sign split the MLE to address both needs–perhaps Moore and Boykins.

    Or perhaps Mo Williams really will settle for the MLE, and would look at LA as an attractive place after a major trade is made.

    And, if at the end of the day, there’s no trades made–a problem, but one I’ll set aside–wouldn’t Fisher likely still be available in a week or even two or three? And if he’s not, wouldn’t Knight or Boykins provide at least close to the same value (more I’d argue, but no matter), such that taking the risk to see what else can happen is worth whatever security blanket is provided by locking up Derek Fisher on the first day or two of free agent signings.

    Fisher can contribute something, but I think the Lakers overvalue him precisely because he calls to mind better days. Since I think we can all agree his presence doesn’t bring back their better days, that strikes me as the wrong basis for such decisions.


  52. Paul (48),

    In Kobe’s first year as an all star, Karl Malone offered to set a pick for Kobe as a friendly gesture. Kobe refused, saying he didn’t need anyone to set picks for him to score.

    It was true–but certainly not “team.”

    Kobe’s got team skills, but not team attitude.


    The strategy you suggest for point guard was what led to the Smusher as our starting PG for two years!


  53. Another Divac, Payton or McKie blunder all over again, Signing a 12 year guard to a 3 year contract is sheer lunacy. If we question what he is going to provide next year, what about in 3 years. Phoenix gets Grant Hill for under 2 million and the Lakers get Fisher for over 4.

    They would have been better off not using the mid-level and trying to get under the cap next year, when Kwame’s contract is up.

    No wonder Kobe is questioning the Laker management. This is another bonehead move in a long series of bonehead moves. I assume this will be followed by resigning Mihm to get the team further over the cap and into luxury tax territories.

    When is the Laker owner going to hire a basketball man to run the front office. Sticking with a proven loser and nepotism aren’t getting it done.


  54. “And if he’s not, wouldn’t Knight or Boykins provide at least close to the same value (more I’d argue, but no matter), such that taking the risk to see what else can happen is worth whatever security blanket is provided by locking up Derek Fisher on the first day or two of free agent signings.”

    I’m sorry james I have to disagree with you there, I don’t think Knight or Boykins can provide anything near what Fisher can bring to us. We need a perimeter defender, open 3 point shooter, and a veteran for Jordan and Javaris to learn from.

    Knight and Boykins play no better D than the Smusher, and are both smaller than the Smusher. Both are not 3 point shooters, and both will have to learn from Jordan and not the other way around.

    Brevin is a very good passer who averages a lot of assists, but not in the triangle. Boykins is a “get out of my way and let me score 10 quick points” kinda guy… offense is not our problem.

    As Reed said in his post last week, veteran role players know how to do the little things that championship contenders need. Fisher is at that level but it doesn’t reflect in his stats.


  55. NEWS

    Crittenton Leads Win again

    The Lakers improved to 2-1 in summer league play behind 26 points, on 10-for-17 shooting, from rookie point guard Javaris Crittenton and 17 points from Jordan Farmar.

    Karl, a 6-foot, 4-inch guard from Boise State, has done enough work in the summer league for the Lakers to seriously think about bringing him to training camp in October.

    Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw has won both of the games he has coached.


  56. And lets not forget guys, we still have to veteran’s minimum to use on a big. Most of the bigs left in free agency are not worth more than the veteran’s minimum anyway.


  57. Says here that Fish is signing for 3 years at about $14 mil
    How much exactly does that leave us (if anything) to sign another player if theres any leftover money from MLE??????


  58. james,

    I don’t agree with it, but the Fisher signing is good PR for the front office right now, and they need it. I’m not too high on any of the free agent PGs right now, and Fisher’s history, relationship with PJ and Kobe, and knowledge of the Triangle makes him a tad lower risk.

    I don’t mind the signing as long as the FO brings in an All-Star this offseason.

    We now have one of the better supporting cast rosters in the league, but only 1 All-Star. That makes for a 7-8 seed every year. Time to get more talent at the top and move everyone down 1-2 spots on the depth chart, where they should be.


  59. I agree that we need a big. What we don’t need is Vlade and Cook on the same team. So, let’s trade one for a serviceable backup big.

    I would trade Vlade for Pryzbilla in Portland. They need a shooter in the SF/PF area. Or maybe Seattle would take him back for Wilcox. Just speculating.


  60. On another note, Java looked great again in summer league play last night. 10-17 shooting for 26 points is pretty damn good.

    I like our PG’s for next year a lot.


  61. Pryzbilla has a bigger contract than Vlad and it runs for just as long. Yes Pryzbilla is a big (which is why Portland may be slow to move him right now, giving them a good backup to Oden) but we can get a useful big with a less ugly deal.

    And James, among the PGs you list, Mo Williams has already gotten offers for upwards of $7 mil, so he is going for more than the MLE.


  62. Melvin Ely is still out there in the market. He’s a bigger guy with some nice post moves.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing us trade for Wilcox, but I’m not sure we have what they would want. Cook might be attractive to them. His contract is reasonable and bigs who can shoot like that are always valuable (unless you have two of the EXACT SAME PLAYERS).


  63. James I agree with both your posts. Patience in this situation wouldn’t hurt anything. Fisher may be the right choice in the end, but I would have liked the lakers to let things unfold a bit more before making a move.

    61- Kurt, Mo Williams is getting those offers, but at the same time he is strongly considering sign for the MLE with Miami. So if the Lakers made a strong enough push for him, he may have considered us as well for the MLE.


  64. Renato Afonso July 12, 2007 at 1:13 pm


    Wilcox doesn’t provide any inside D at all, so I really don’t think he’s a good fit for the Lakers.

    If nothing changes, I honestly believe that we don’t need another big body (if we re-sign Mihm) if we don’t make any trade at all.


  65. (63) Miami is a contender in the east and one year removed from a championship. Why would Mo want to come here for the same amount of money?


  66. For Quick Reading Only …

    Man, enough with that already .. Kobe is not going anywhere soon.


  67. 65 – I understand the difference, but the Lakers didn’t even seem to make the effort. The Lakers I am sure could have convinced him to at least consider. Talk about attempts of bringing another super star(garnett) and convince him he will become part of a nucleus that will be built into a Champion. Some sort of BS to get him to consider.

    The problem I see is that the Lakers didn’t give themselves the opportunity to find a better solution than Fisher by jumping the gun on this.


  68. Gr8dunk,

    Thanks for bringing up something positive.

    One would think people would be happy that we have pg prospects who can play now while being shown the ropes by one of the classiest vets in the league who also happens to have championship experience in the triangle and is close to our superstar. The bottom line is that we’ve upgraded our 1 spot for the immediate and long-term future. This is a good thing.

    And, by the way, kudos to Brian Shaw for actually playing Crittenton. I about had a fit watching Rambis mess with his minutes. Rambis, c’mon man. It’s preseason. You play your 1st rounder as much as possible. You do not sit him for most of the game, bringing him in occasionally for irregular spurts of minutes.


  69. 67- How do you know the lakers did not even make an effort to get Mo Williams. Do you work for the FO? Its funny how people think they know what is going on in the FO when less than 10% is ever known. Maybe they called his agent and were told that he did not want to play in LA. I have no idea but neither do you.


  70. Re: 54
    At least shooting-wise, I can’t agree that Fisher’s a better option than Boykins, and maybe not Knight. Fish’s effective field goal percentage last year was 41.8, compared to 42% for Knight and about 48.5% for Boykins (combining his time with Denver and the Bucks). As jump shooters, Fish still ranked lowest, with a 41% eFG (compared to 42.1 and 49.2 for Knight and Earl, respectively), and fewer of his shots were jump shots (75%, compared to 84% and 81%). As a 3-point shooter, Knight’s useless, and doesn’t take them, while Boykins was better than Fish last year (39.7% on 239 shots, versus 30.8% on 156 shots for Fish) and is slightly below Fish for their careers (35% versus 36.8%).

    Any rate, no matter on all of this. Signing Fish isn’t terrible, and the Laker off-season will be measured entirely on whether they acquire a major piece, not on which of the various decent role-players they get and how much they pay for him.

    What frustrates me about this signing is not that he’s terrible, or that there were so many better options. Rather, it’s that I agree with #58–Fish was signed for PR purposes, and to bring back the good old days. Had the Lakers given Boykins $5 million a year for 3 years, it would have been equally silly I’m sure, but I could have imagined the Lakers had some insight or analysis that led them to make this move (a la Vlad or Kwame). Not so with Fish. And that speaks to a wrong-headed priorities and bad decision-making in the front office, and makes me think things won’t get better anytime soon.


  71. 69 – You are right I don’t know, it just feels that the Lakers aren’t looking for the right moves to me. Fisher would be a great backup plan to other deals that fall through…but I would have been more patient when looking for the other deals.

    Fisher seemed like the first option to the Lakers, when I see him as a 3rd or 4th option.

    He will be great for the development of Farmar/Critt but I thought we weren’t aiming for development and were aiming for impact moves towards a championship caliber team.


  72. The biggest need on this team last year was leadership and desire. Kobe was frustrated with losing, and wasn’t taking on a leadership role. The PG position that the offense runs through, was held by Smush Parker. He had talent, but was constantly down on himself and lacked any leadership skills.

    I believe we became a better team when we signed Derek Fisher. It reminds me of when we brought in Harper or Shaw back in our last championship run. Their experience and calm under pressure were invaluable to the Lakers.

    This will be a good team if everyone can stay healthy. But we need another big man locked in. Mihm would be great, but there are no guarantees there.


  73. Bringing in veteran leadership like Fish is necessary to build a championship team. I agree with Reeds outline of building a championship team.

    But there is an order in which it needs to be done. We must FIRST get the stars in place (ex. Garnett, JO, whoever) THEN fill up holes with the remain roster with veteran players.

    That process needs to be followed because:
    (a) You don’t know what holes you need to fill till you make your major trade/signing
    (b) It is the nature of the salary cap. Once you have your big salaries in place, then it is easier breaking up your MLE and vets minimum to sign complimentary players.

    We picked up Fish too early.


  74. Brian P,

    73) Exactly. We’re kind of the bizarro NBA franchise in that regard. We’ve created one of the better supporting cast rosters in the league, but lack the big guns at the top (other than Kobe).

    The fact of the matter is, we need at least two legitimate NBA starters more on this roster to compete. That would move all players on the roster down a couple spots where they truly belong. Luke Walton is not a #3 guy in the league, he’s a #5-#6 guy. I think we all agree that even Lamar Odom is best suited as a #3 or #4.

    Anyway, I think if the deal with Indiana doesn’t include us taking back Troy Murphy or sending Crittendon then we should do it. It would be step in the right direction, securing a #2 guy.


  75. I have voluminous thoughts on signing Fisher. I tried to restrain myself, but here I go. I’ll break it up into a few posts. Sorry for the length.

    1. I am 100% on board with the Fisher signing. We really have two primary needs in free agency: (a) a veteran point guard — Farmar and Critt have potential, but are not quite ready to carry the load alone, and (b) a decent big body in case we lose frontcourt depth in a big trade. If there were a surefire impact free agent at either position that was attainable with the midlevel, I would advocate going all out for them. But, there isn’t. Mo Williams is the only plausible impact free agent that would sign for 5.3M, but he would never choose a paycut from us over Miami (which offers contending in the East with Wade/Shaq and South Beach). So, it makes sense to address our sure need (veteran point guard) over our hypothetical need (frontcourt depth). Especially when we can accomplish both goals by resigning Mihm (who is as capable as any remaining free agent big). Look at it this way: if we stand pat and don’t make a blockbuster, our biggest need is a veteran point guard; if we make a blockbuster for Garnett or O’Neal, we still need a veteran point guard to contend – even if we are thin up front. The best course is to sign Fisher and bring back Mihm.

    2. Fisher is preferable over the other point guard options (Blake, Boykins, Pargo, even Williams). We do not need a permanent salutation at the point. We have two young, skilled, athletic, well-rounded talents in hand. They both have more upside than any free agent point guard (it’s arguable with Williams, but he is not attainable and even if he were I like Crittenton’s future value better – Williams put up big numbers but on an awful, injury-depleted team). What we need is someone that can provide immediate, short term stability at the position to give the Lakers a chance to both win now and groom Farmar/Crittenton. Fisher is the only point guard capable of coming in and immediately meshing with Kobe and the triangle. He also provides needed veteran leadership and experience. Signing Blake to a 5 year full-midlevel contract would be foolish. What would we do with him in years three through five when Farmar/Crittenton had surpassed him? Boykins and Pargo are awful fits in the triangle. They are shoot-first, small point guards. Fisher is the obvious fit.

    3. Waiting out free agency is not a wise option. To the early bird goes the worm. We read with countless signings that it was a team’s early interest that carried the day. While several free agents remain outstanding, I am not optimistic that we could easily swoop in at the last minute and steal a player from a team that had been courting them for weeks. Especially if we are offering a conservative salary (which would be the case).

    4. The Fisher signing affords more financial flexibility. Despite our wishes otherwise, the Lakers payroll does have limits. The team cannot (maybe “will not” is more accurate): (1) sign someone to a full 5 year midlevel deal, (2) resign Mihm for 3-4M per year, (3) give Fisher the minimum, AND still be positioned to (4) take on massive long term salary in a big O’Neal or Garnett deal. While Fisher is getting near midlevel money per year, the contract will have much smaller long term implications. In any big trade (which we all yearn for), the Lakers will be forced to take on massive salaries and luxury taxes — in exchange for largely expiring contracts and cheap rookie scale players. Consider that to acquire Garnett we would almost certainly have to take back both his 23M salary and one or two other bad contracts (Jaric, Hudson, Blount, etc.). Dr. Buss surely has a bottom line for Mitch to work within. I’d rather be a little more prudent with our free agent money (seeing as there are zero impact players who can immediately take us to the finals) and have more flexibility to trade for salary. Taking on a shorter, smaller Fisher contract gives us a little financial flexibility in trades. It also frees the team up to move Farmar or Crittenton in a blockbuster.


  76. 5. Fisher is not quite as mediocre as Kurt makes him out to be. I agree that he alone does nothing to help us overtake the elite western teams. I also agree that he has his limitations defensively (I can still hear myself screaming at the TV for Phil to switch Kobe onto Bibby during those heated Kings series – Fisher got eaten alive in those Bibby screen and rolls). Kurt’s post did accurately confirm that Fisher is a below average one on one defender. However, I think there is more to the story. Further Fisher notes/statistics:

    A. Fisher was forced to play out of position for most of the past three seasons. Golden State and Utah both had dominant point guards (Baron, Deron) and often used Fisher as a shooting guard in a small backcourt. Last season, Fisher played 41% of the Jazz’s shooting guard minutes and only 16% of their point guard minutes. It is understandable that teams often put Fisher at the 2 instead of the 1. In most systems, he is a poor point guard. He is a weak penetrator and playmaker. He does not run the pick and roll well. He does not get into the lane and create open shots for teammates. He is not a great ball handler. So, teams often throw him at shooting guard to take advantage of his shooting. But, he is graphically undersized at the 2. Consider his PER numbers at point guard and shooting guard the last three seasons:

    • 2006-07. Point guard: 18.9 PER, 16.9 PER allowed. Shooting guard: 9.7 PER, 17.2 PER allowed.
    • 2005-06. Point guard: 17.6 PER, 16.9 PER allowed. Shooting guard: 13.4 PER, 16.1 PER allowed.
    • 2004-05. Point guard: 15.7 PER, 17.2 PER allowed. Shooting guard: 12.3 PER, 14.2 PER allowed.

    The numbers consistently show that Fisher was much more effective offensively as a point guard. This makes sense. He is 6’1” and not equipped to succeed against 6’6” wings. The Lakers two point guards, Smush and Farmar, had much worse point guard PER splits last year. Smush had a 12.8 PER and gave up 18.0; Farmar had a 11.6 and gave up 15.2. Combined, the Lakers PER +/- at point guard was the fourth worst in the league at -4.3. Fisher, on the other hand, had a +2.0 PER last year at the position (but a shocking -7.5 at shooting guard).

    Fisher’s offensive talents are best suited for the Lakers. In the triangle, he is not forced to be the primary ball handler or playmaker. Instead, he can focus on doing the things he does well – moving the ball to the right places, making strong cuts, creating perfect spacing, hitting open threes, etc.

    B. Yes, Fisher is a below average one on one defender. He consistently gives up an opposing PER above the league average. He is small and relatively slow for a point guard. However, his opposing PER numbers diminish his broader defensive contributions. Consider:

    Over the last three seasons, Fisher’s teams have been far more effective in team defense when he is on the court, then when he is off the court. His teams’ on-court and off-court numbers (per 100 possessions).

    • 2006-07 Jazz. On court: 111.1 points, 107.5 points allowed. Off court: 112.0 points, 109.4 points allowed.
    • 2005-06 Warriors. On court: 105.8 points, 106.5 points allowed. Off court: 105.5 points, 109.1 points allowed.
    • 2004-05 Warriors. On court: 105.0 point, 107.3 points allowed. Off court: 106.0 points, 109.0 points allowed.

    Over the last three seasons, when Fisher was on the court, team defense improved by 1.9, 2.6, and 1.7 points per 100 possessions. This is significant. I believe it is more significant than opposing PER or opposing eFG%. Basketball is not a game of one on one, but five on five. Over a large sample size, Fisher’s presence has consistently saved his team points. How can that be if he is letting his man score so easily? I believe it is because he is such an intelligent help defender. He understands spacing, effective double-teaming, boxing out, etc. He understands the little things. This is borne out by the fact he is consistently near the top of the league in charges drawn (13th last year and 8th the year before). Drawing charges doesn’t make you a great defender, but it does show an ability and willingness to do the little things that make up strong team defense. The numbers show that Fisher consistently does those things and has a positive defensive impact.

    Additionally, I think Fisher’s low opposing PER numbers is somewhat the product of the teams he has played for. Fisher does not have the size or speed to “lock down” a speedy point guard one on one. However, he is very good at maintaining proper position, moving his feet, and funneling his man into the right spots for effective help defense. However, over the last three seasons, he has been playing for poor defensive teams – the Jazz and Warriors. Both teams boast weak interior defense, without big men who can block/alter shots or disrupt the pick and roll. Now, the Lakers obviously have the same problem right now. But if an O’Neal or Garnett were acquired (or Kwame or Bynum suddenly improved), Fisher’s team defense would become very valuable.

    C. Fisher understands the nuances of the game (see my previous post…). He does all of those little things. His contributions exceed the stat sheet. Despite often playing out of position, shooting a low %, giving up poor opposing PER numbers, and so forth, Fisher consistently generates positive on court/off court numbers. Last season, his +/- was +1.1. The two previous years for the Warriors, it was +3.2 and +2.0. Fisher makes his teams better, on and off the court. (Smush last year? -4.9. Ouch.)


  77. 75. Did I really just type “salutation”? It’s been a long day.


  78. Brian P.

    I agree it just seemed like many people think that just because a trade/signing did not or has not happened that they are not even trying. When in actual reality no one knows what they are doing.

    I’m not sure the Lakers need a all-star caliber forward to contend. I think if you could add a great defensive player to the front court then that would make them that much better. Someone like camby, unfortunately we have no one to offer Denver that entice them to trade us Camby. They need a shooter and the only good shooters we have on the team are cook and Vlad and I do not think they will take either one.

    The JO trade i would not be bad except they want to get us to take murphy. If you could get Indiana to do a trade of Odom, Bynum, Cook, Farmar or Crittenton (or Vlad if they were willing to take him instead of Cook and Farmar) for JO and Foster. That would be a good trade. But I don’t know if Indiana would be willing to trade Foster.


  79. 75, great post Reed, as usual

    70, wow, good job on the stats. I had no idea Boykins was shooting 3s better than Fish, thats kinda surprising. My point is that Boykins is a shoot-first PG. I think thats the main reason Denver traded him for Blake last year. You bring up good argument that Boykins can shoot the ball, but the question becomes… would he shoot the same in the triangle?


  80. Renato Afonso July 12, 2007 at 5:37 pm


    I agree with you in your Fisher analysis, however the point is about the money he will be making. We need Derek Fisher but not at any price…

    Who else are we able to sign to complete our roster?


  81. Reed (75)

    That was very informative. Thank you for that post, it confirms what I have observed by watching Fisher play.


  82. Reed (75) — I don’t know where you find the time for your analysis and writing, but thank you, thank you, thank you! You put nearly all professional basketball writers/analysts to shame with your insightful posts.


  83. Chopperdave, Skigi, Carter, Kurt, Gathino, Westen, Warren, Drew Boy, Reed, and everybody else out there who sees this as a good move and providence for the Lakers.

    We’ve finally got ourselves our first Laker VETERAN. Yes, he was a #1 Laker draft pick at a higher level than either Jordan or Javaris. Yes, he’s proven himself in the clutch in the playoffs. Yes, he proven himself on the NBA market–and Reed explained why. Yes, he is known all over the world–but he won’t look down on any one. I doubt that Phil will ever call him a slug.

    I think he may still teach some newer Laker fans what it means to be a Laker.

    Welcome home, Derek. We missed you!


  84. Drew,
    I would respectfully disagree w/you . The Triangle takes players a while to fully grasp. It is far better that the “supporting cast” thoroughly understands it’s roles before bringing the Stud who will put Lakers over the top than to have the stars ready and waiting while the team tries to find the right role players.(For example Houston is still waiting after 3 yrs.)

    I still feel it is in Lakers’ best interests not to trade for any of the big names mentioned so far-KG,J.O’Neal or Gasol. gasol is too soft and wants to be the focus of offence,Jermaine is too fragile to pin Franchise hopes on. As for KG….
    If KG wants to be a Laker he can do so next yr w/out costing the Lakers anything other than money. Forcing a trade this yr means gutting the Lakers of bigs and the remaining roster will not contend for anything. Further,next yr a number of decent to very good free agents will be available,so he may end up helping Minn more by subtracting his salary than by being traded for a misc assortment of not-spectacular talent.

    It has become obvious that Lamar cannot be traded for a “star” w/out other Laker assets having to be included.The Lakers are not deep enough that they can trade away 2 rotation players for 1. On the other hand Lamar is a big enough talent that he should be able to bring in a solid starter and a talented young,one of whom has to be able to play the Initiator role.
    Two young players who might work as the Initator are Dorrell Wright or Josh Childress. Both defend,pass extremely well,can run and rebound and have no outside shot whatsoever. A viable trade w/Miami might look like Lamar and Evans/Sasha(salary and roster fodder) for Wright,Haslem,Walker and a second.
    The Lakers would be far better defensively by end of yr w/Kobe,Wright,Haslem,Kwame teamed w/whatever PG gets the nod-I’d imagine Crittenton because of his 3pt shot.Bench of Fisher/Farmar,Walton,Radmanovic,Turaif and Bynum is not too shabby. Not a contending team,but almost there and young enough to be together for several yrs run. Add KG next yr(or sign one/two of mant decent bigs next yr and just do what Silas successfully did in Charlotte-run waves of bigs at the opponents),or have Bynum turn into a Bill Cartwright-type center and the Lakers can make their run. This rosy scenario does depend on several things-Crittenton to show potential to be big PG,Farmar to develope into Fish II,Bynum to become at least a 15-18PPG,get the big rebound and throw an elbow or two Center,a Wright to become Pippen-lite,Radmanovic to show he can score off the bench. This season should be about answering such questions,and if too many of them are wrong,blow up the team in March.
    (BTW,Wright is at Kobe’s camp and the two are reported to have good chemistry when on court on same team,and Wright challenged Kobe good-naturedly when they were on oppossing teams.)


  85. Is there any good reason why Bynum isn’t playing summer league?


  86. I was just toying with the Lakers payroll when I came accross several facts that we have to consider in talking about next year:

    1) The current Laker payroll stands at 58,430,946.00. With the signings of Crittenton, Walton and Fisher, we could go as high up as 68M, making us already above the tax threshold.

    2) Walton has reportedly agreed to make his 1st year salary at 4M in order to help the team stay away from the tax territory.

    3) Fisher’s reported salary is as follows:
    yr1 – 4,300,000.00
    yr2 – 4,644,000.00
    yr3 – 5,015,000.00

    4) Crittenton has already signed for 1,285,200.00 on yr1 and 1,381,560.00 for next year.

    5) Assuming we sign Mihm, we will be paying dollar-for-dollar for him.

    6) The payroll next year (without Mihm) will be 62,851,319.00 well above the projected salary cap which will be around 57-58M.

    7) While sporting a 62.8M payroll, the lakers are still without Kwame, Sasha, Mo Evans and Ronny Turiaf.

    8) Assuming next year’s threshold will be at 70M, we will have 7.2M to sign for Kwame, Evans and Turiaf and perhaps Sasha.

    9) Assuming we are able to sign the 4 of them to the 7.2M remaining, we still have to sign a rookie contract and prepare for Bynum’s upcoming extension.

    10) What money are you talking about? We have no money to get KG, unless he takes the MLE next year of around 5.6M. And we will be paying dollar-for-dollar for that.

    Taking it further to 2010, assuming Kobe is still here, we will be sporting a 50.2M payroll STILL WITHOUT Kwame, Odom, and now, Bynum’s extension.

    Just a thought… Hope it helps.


  87. Inflation is a deadly thing… so sad that the league has not updated itself of the intricacies of these things. The lower they set the cap, the lesser players can play in the NBA. The lesser jobs they produce, the worse the income generation can be.


  88. Where you stand on Fisher is where you stand on the game itself. The most polarizing split among fan preferences is also the fault line with Fisher: shooting and intangibles vs. defense and skill sets. Many fans are the former and underplay the latter, which infuriates the defense/skill set group (I’m a charter member) who are in agony over this signing.

    Unless the Lakers can add an impact anchor in trade and Jackson actually practices pick and roll D for once then the season is over before it has begun. All a team will have to do in the playoffs is pick and roll LA into the ground then the Lakers are shredded wheat and go golfing in May.

    Fisher brings the positives of leaderhip, knowledge of the triangle, clutch playoff shooting, infectious hustle, smart anticipation for flops and steals, confidence of Kobe and Jackson. But let’s not neglect the negatives. Extra crispy defensively, nuclear testing on an island, one of the worst p/r defenders in the league, will chronically go under nearly every screen, and on offense lobs post entry and is comically bad in transition and finishing.

    He has great positives and fits as a transiton to when Crittenton can take over. Though I believe Duhon in trade could have filled the same role. The problem is Fisher’s negatives are fatal.

    On a team where pick and roll is already the Jackson kryptonite adding Fisher and not adding an anchor will once again be the cause of an early playoff exit. Signing Fisher mandates landing KG or JO, Bynum lacks the read/rotate skills to anchor. If the Lakers fail to land Garnett or Jermaine imo they will fail in 2007-08, they will not survive Fisher’s defense.


  89. 82. Maybe he’s on the trading block and they don’t want to rick him getting hurt?


  90. 89. I like your analysis of Fisher’s +/-‘s, although i don’t quite get your polarization of “shooting and intangibles vs. defense and skill sets”. I tend to associate shooting with skill and defense with intangibles and see people being split more along those lines (i.e. do you prefer Phoenix or San Antonio?).

    I also agree that Fisher is going to cost us on pick and rolls and that he will be exploited in the playoffs. But I am not convinced that we make the playoffs without him this season. I can’t see how our locker room hasn’t been fractured by Kobe this off-season. Fisher is the the perfect guy for this situation, as he has the respect of everyone involved and is capable of contributing enough on the court to maintain that respect.


  91. Fisher is horrible. He throws up more bricks than my contractor buddies. Look at his shooting percentage, he shoots under 40%. Last year 38% and the last year with the Lakers he shot 35%. He is an offensive liability.

    Moreover, he is a defensive liability . He was always getting burned by guys when he was younger and faster when he was with the Lakers, now that he is older it will only be worse.

    Glue guys and locker room guys are total bs. It is guys with skill who win the game. Fisher has none. Never did, never will. The guy hits one lucky shot against San Antonio and people love him. In reality, Utah is loving it that they got rid of his salary and some chump GM over paid for him.