OKC Thunder needs a Derek Fisher plan

COMMENTARY — Thunder would be wise to bring back the veteran point guard with an eye toward keeping him fresh for the playoffs.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: July 13, 2013 at 10:00 am •  Published: July 12, 2013
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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.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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