According to HoopsWorld, Derek Fisher will make $395,417 from the Thunder after signing as an unrestricted free agent last Wednesday.
However, during OKC's 103-87 victory at home against the Miami Heat on Sunday night, ESPN's Marc Stein tweeted: “Tidbit to enhance your Heat-OKC viewing: Sources briefed on deal say Derek Fisher's rest-of-season contract with Thunder is for $2.3 million.”
As policy, the Thunder does not discuss contract terms, but the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
A two year pro-rated minimum deal for a veteran player such as Fisher would be in the neighborhood of $2 million, with the majority of the contract coming in the second season.
After opting out of his $3.4 million contract next season, Fisher likely was looking for some form of guarantee to justify declining his option year. Teams competing for players who have been bought out often do so with minimum contracts. In order to make up a portion of the player option salary, Fisher likely was seeking a multi-year deal.
Because the Thunder wants to maintain future payroll flexibility for pending player extensions to James Harden, Serge Ibaka, Eric Maynor, at al, and because their current payroll remains well below the luxury tax, OKC might have looked to front load Fisher's deal, using a portion of their mid-level exception that was available. This would also have allowed the Thunder to trump offers from competing teams that were limited by using only the minimum player exception.
The Thunder had roughly $4 million available from its mid-level exception at its disposal.
When the NBA lockout was going on during the offseason, unrestricted free agent Shane Battier admitted OKC was on his radar.
“Oh, yeah,” Battier said after Sunday's shoot-around session with the Miami Heat. “This was a very intriguing possibility for me. It really was.”
Battier wound up signing a three-year, $9.405-million deal with the Heat, even though OKC star Kevin Durant even made a sales pitch for Battier via Twitter.
“When Kevin Durant says he would like you on his team, you listen,” Battier said with a chuckle. “I'm no dummy here.”
OKC recalled rookie guard Reggie Jackson after playing Saturday night for the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League. Jackson had 22 points (10 for 27 from the field; 0 for 5 from 3-point range), eight assists and seven rebounds in 41 minutes against Iowa. … The first offensive rebound for either team didn't come until 10:34 in the second quarter by Miami. … The Heat was 14 for 14 from the free-throw line.
The Thunder goes on a two-game road trip to Portland on Tuesday at 9 p.m. and at the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. before returning home for a noon game against Chicago on Sunday.
Sunday was a homecoming for Heat reserve guard Terrel Harris, a former standout at Oklahoma State (2005-09).
“He plays like an Oklahoma State player,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He was tough, physical. He had a defensive mentality from the first day of training camp. We basically brought him in for training camp just to put on Dwyane (Wade) and LeBron (James) for 10 days, and he was dogging them for a week.”
James on getting his teammates to pose for pictures and sign autographs with military personnel when the Heat stopped to refuel at Will Rogers World Airport on the way to Portland three weeks ago: “Those are guys who put their life in danger every day. If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be free. It's ironic they would be at the airport the same time we were there. I had a great conversation with them. They do so many great things for America, for all of us. The least we can do is take a picture with them.”