Derek Fisher will sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder after he clears waivers Wednesday, according to a published report.
Fisher and the Thunder have agreed to a contract for the rest of the season, according to ESPN's Mark Stein. The Thunder has called a news conference prior to its 7 p.m. game Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
To acquire Fisher, the former Los Angeles Lakers guard, the Thunder outbid the Miami Heat, which could offer only the veteran minimum salary. According to ESPN, the Thunder had approximately $3 million remaining of its mid-level exception, and offered a portion of it to Fisher.
Fisher, who in his 16th NBA season, surrendered the $3.4 million he was owed next season after being traded last week to Houston in order to gain a buyout from the Rockets and be able to pick a contender to join for the playoff run.
The acquisition of Fisher comes as the Thunder has lost four of eight and gone 7-5 since the All-Star break, frequently struggling to score in its half-court offense at the end of games. Fisher, who won five NBA titles with the Lakers, is a clutch shooter and proven floor leader. The 37-year-old Little Rock, Ark. native's defensive skills, however, have waned in recent years.
Still, Thunder forward Kevin Durant has endorsed acquiring Fisher.
"Derek is a consummate professional ... an unbelievable leader,” Durant told The Oklahoman Tuesday before the Thunder's loss at Utah. “And he played with arguably one of the greatest players to ever play in Kobe (Bryant), and Kobe really respected him as a player and wanted him on his team, so that speaks volumes."
The Thunder's roster is at the maximum of 15 players, meaning someone will have to be waived once Fisher signs. That player likely would be forward Ryan Reid. But the Thunder would have a good chance at assigning Reid to the Tulsa 66ers and allowing him to remain close to the organization.
In coming to Oklahoma City Fisher will likely be accepting a lesser role. He averaged 5.9 points and 3.3 assists in 25.6 minutes in 43 games — all starts — with the Lakers. In Oklahoma City he may be hard-pressed to get more than 15 minutes a night.