Summer league is done for the Thunder, and over the past week, we learned all sorts of interesting stuff.
And not just that they apparently have championship hats for the summer league winner.
We learned that Reggie Jackson could be pretty darn special. Ditto for Jeremy Lamb.
We learned that Daniel Orton is much improved but that the center may struggle to make the roster because rookie Steven Adams is going to play some this season.
We learned, too, that the Thunder desperately needs a third-string point guard. While Dwight Buycks looked promising, he looked so good that Toronto signed him to a deal, and while Lamb, DeAndre Liggins and others attempted to run the point when Jackson sat, no one proved himself worthy. Too unsure. Too inconsistent.
Paging Derek Fisher.
The Thunder very well might've had designs on putting the veteran point guard on the Roger Clemens plan. No, not that plan. We're talking about the one where he sits out the first part of the season, signs late and saves his legs for the postseason.
Worked out pretty well last year.
Two seasons ago when Fisher joined the Thunder at the midway point, he'd been playing a bunch. He started 43 games for the Lakers before he signed with the Thunder.
Even though Fisher played in only 20 regular-season games for the Thunder the rest of the year, he was clearly worn down by the time the playoffs rolled around. He averaged 6.3 points and shot 37.5 percent from 3-point range in the postseason, which were among some of his lowest marks as a pro.
This past season was different.
Fisher joined the Thunder after starting only nine games for the Mavericks. He played in 24 regular-season games for the Thunder, and the difference in the postseason was obvious.
His averages: 8.7 points and 47.1 percent from 3.
Fisher also shot 45.7 percent from the floor, his best playoff average in a decade. Without Russell Westbrook, the Thunder was in desperate need of offense, and it got it from a most unlikely source.
Clearly, resting the first half of the season was a boon for the 38-year-old.
The Thunder could have a fresh Fish for the playoffs again this season, but it will likely take a different approach. For starters, the Thunder will probably need to sign Fisher before the season.
Contrary to popular belief, that is allowed under NBA rules.
These past couple years, the Thunder didn't need to sign Fisher before the season because it went into the year with three point guards on the roster. This year, that isn't the case. It would be risky to start the season with only Westbrook and Jackson.
Sign Fish as soon as possible.
The thing is, we're well aware of Scott Brooks' fondness for playing Fisher. The Thunder coach looked like a genius for using him this past postseason, but he has also been known to play Fisher when he should really be playing someone else.
To help Brooks avoid temptation — and maximize Fisher's postseason potential — the Thunder needs to implement the Fisher Plan.
Fisher can dress out for 10 games before the All-Star break. They can be any 10 games of Brooks' choosing, but the rest of the time, Fisher has to be in street clothes. No jersey. No temptation.
Now, if one of the point guards were to get hurt, then you alter the plan, but if everything goes as planned, Fisher sits most of the first half of the season, plays a bit more in the second half, then is ready to go in the postseason if needed.
Fisher would go for it, too. He only wants to be part of teams that are championship contenders. He only wants to play if he's going to have a chance to win another title.
How can he give the Thunder a better chance at winning?
Be fresh for the postseason.
How can he do that?
Lay low the first half-plus of the season.
After this week of summer league action, it's clear that the Thunder needs another point guard. Kevin Durant, of course, can initiate the offense as a “point forward,” but if the Thunder was down to one point guard, KD wouldn't be a viable long-term option. Fisher has been a good fit in the locker room and on the court these past two years, and he will accept a salary that won't bust the budget. Bringing him back makes sense.
But only if it's with an eye on the playoffs. Only if it's on the Fisher Plan.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.