1. Will Derek Fisher be asked to return at the beginning of next season, after next year's trade deadline, or not at all?
Darnell Mayberry: This one could go either way. The Thunder needs a third point guard next year, and historically has preferred veterans at that spot, but likely will want to keep all options open. So who knows? I'll say not at all. Reggie Jackson is getting better every day. And for all we know the Thunder could stumble into a promising point guard prospect like Michael Carter-Williams or Dennis Schroeder in the draft. With its young stars aging into savvy veterans, and taking on more and more responsibility on the court and in the locker room, the Thunder might no longer feel it needs a veteran third point guard. But this team loves it some Derek Fisher. So I wouldn't rule anything out.
John Rohde: For what the Thunder wants, there is no better scenario than Derek Fisher being available at minimum wage, especially with young pups like Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson to take under his wing. If OKC is counting pennies next season, it might not sign Fish until late February at a prorated salary. Either way, Fish has not lost his appeal.
Berry Tramel: I think Fisher will be asked to return, but only with a one-year contract at the veteran's minimum salary ($1,399,507), which would cost the Thunder very little ($884,293) since for minimum contracts only the cost of a two-year veteran is factored in, even if it's a 10- or 15-year guy.
2. Did Fish play better than you expected in the playoffs?
Mayberry: Of course he did. Against the Rockets at least. It wasn't just that he made shots. He made shots consistently, not just one or two big 3-pointers in a game here or a game there. And it wasn't just the shot-making ability. It was his defense, too. Even when he struggled with both areas in the regular season, I figured he would elevate his game for the postseason. I didn't count on him elevating it as much as he did.
Rohde: Anyone who said he expected Fisher to play as well as he did, particularly against Houston, would be lying – and that includes Sam Presti, Scott Brooks and Derek Fisher himself.
Tramel: Fish played better than anyone expected. Including Fish himself. He turned back time. He became almost indispensible against Houston, then was solid against Memphis. The Thunder would have been in trouble without Fisher, at least against the Rockets.
3. Has Fish overstayed his welcome in the NBA?
Mayberry: Not at all. If a team is still willing to pay and play Fisher, clearly he's still welcomed. Besides, six players were older than Fisher this season: Kurt Thomas, Grant Hill, Juwan Howard, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash and Marcus Camby, in that order. Shoot, Howard is five wins away from capturing his second straight championship. If Fish can compete at this level until he's 40, more power to him.
Rohde: Dumb question. (And I should know. It was my question.)
Tramel: No. He's still an effective player. I think he could be the Daequan Cook of next year's team. A marksman who comes in to stretch the defense. He's not a backup point guard anymore, but he can still stand in the corner and shoot, and teams have to respect that. Plus, Fisher's defense was better than maybe we expected.