Oklahoma City Thunder roundtable: Evaluating Derek Fisher's season

Will Derek Fisher be back next season? The Oklahoman's NBA writers tackle that question and several others.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: May 31, 2013
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photo - NBA BASKETBALL: NBA BASKETBALL: Oklahoma City's Derek Fisher (6) puts up a three-point shot over Memphis' Mike Conley (11) during the second round NBA playoff basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, May 5, 2013. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
NBA BASKETBALL: NBA BASKETBALL: Oklahoma City's Derek Fisher (6) puts up a three-point shot over Memphis' Mike Conley (11) during the second round NBA playoff basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, May 5, 2013. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

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.