SALT LAKE CITY — Kevin Durant would support the signing of free agent guard Derek Fisher.
But the Thunder star is leaving the decision up to the front office, as he has done in the past when it comes to the team’s potential player acquisitions.
The reigning two-time scoring champ on Tuesday, though, echoed the sentiments of so many throughout the league while sharing his esteem for Fisher, the 15-year veteran and five-time NBA champion.
“Derek is a consummate professional; an unbelievable leader,” Durant told The Oklahoman following the team’s morning shoot-around in preparation of the Thunder facing the Jazz. “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.”
Fisher is now an unrestricted free agent after agreeing to a buyout with Houston on Monday night. His preference is said to be signing with a contender, and the Thunder is among the teams on Fisher’s short list. After being unexpectedly traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Rockets at the trade deadline, Fisher can not return to the Lakers this season.
The Thunder is believed to be interested in Fisher, but with Oklahoma City’s roster standing at the league maximum of 15 players the team would need to waive someone before reaching a deal. The Thunder also must decide if its current trio of point guards, Russell Westbrook, Reggie Jackson and Royal Ivey, is stable enough to help the team win a championship this season. The team has shown confidence in shooting guard James Harden also manning the point guard position in certain situations.
“We’ll see,” Durant said. “We have a great corps of point guards leading off with Russ and then Reggie and Royal. But adding another guy that can come in and give us some good minutes here and there and bring his leadership and winning plays here would be cool. But it’s one of those things that you really don’t know too much about. We got to just see what happens. (Fisher) is a Thunder guy as far as character and off the court is concerned. But we’ll see what happens.”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks sidestepped questions about Fisher’s potential acquisition.
“I’m focused on our guys right now,” Brooks said. “Derek is an excellent player, but I’m focused on the 15 guys we have here. And my focus is tonight’s game. Sam (Presti) has always done a good job of putting this team together. But my focus has always been our guys and getting them better.”