In a move widely expected ever since they acquired Derek Fisher last week, the Houston Rockets have agreed to a buyout with the 37-year-old guard.
The Los Angeles Lakers shipped Fisher to Houston just before the NBA’s trade deadline last week along with a first-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, in exchange for forward Jordan Hill. While the Rockets are thin at point guard with starter Kyle Lowry recovering from a bacterial infection, the two parties had no intention of establishing a relationship.
Houston traded Jonny Flynn to the Portland Trail Blazers in a separate deal last week, which leaves them with only Goran Dragic on the roster to run the point. Still, Fisher’s contract contained a $3.4 million player option for next season that the Rockets wanted to get off their books.
Now that the buyout has been agreed to, the Rockets are set to officially waive Fisher. If no one claims him by Wednesday he would become an unrestricted free agent and could sign with any team except the Lakers. The Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are all rumored to have interest in Fisher as a veteran presence who happens to have five championship rings and a knack for nailing big shots.
We think Fisher will sign with a contender. While he’s not what he used to be and is too slow to be an effective defender, his presence will elevate any locker room he walks into and he has always been able to hit big shots. I guarantee the Lakers would re-sign him for the remainder of the season if they were allowed to. He might never play, but his personality would be welcome in the team’s locker room.