NBA PM: Fisher Nearing Deal With Thunder
Derek Fisher will likely sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder once he clears waivers tonight at 6 p.m. EST, according to sources close to the situation. The veteran point guard was considering a number of teams, including the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, but he’s leaning toward joining the Thunder.
The 37-year-old is currently in Oklahoma City, meeting with the Thunder general manager Sam Presti and his staff. Barring an unexpected snag in contract talks, Fisher will sign with the team tonight.
The Thunder is already the top team in the Western Conference, sitting atop the standings with a 34-12 record. While Fisher will have a diminished role compared to his starting job with the Los Angeles Lakers, he’ll be a veteran leader who can help the Thunder as they try to advance to the Finals.
Not only does Fisher have five championship rings, he has played in 209 playoff games, which is the fourth-highest total in NBA history. He trails only Robert Horry, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal is postseason games played. The big knock on the Thunder is their inexperience – they are the fifth-youngest team in the league with an average player age of 25.46 – but Fisher will definitely emerge as a leader and strong presence in the locker room.
When Fisher was bought out by the Houston Rockets earlier this week, he made it clear that his next team would be a contender. Fisher wants to add another ring to his collection and he feels the Thunder is capable of winning a championship this year.
“Derek’s desire to win a sixth championship is what drives him,” said a statement released by Fisher’s camp.
While Fisher’s biggest contributions may come off the court, he’ll also be able to play a significant role behind Russell Westbrook. Oklahoma City has lacked a veteran back-up point guard since Eric Maynor tore his ACL and underwent season-ending surgery. Rookie Reggie Jackson has been filling in, but Fisher gives the team a reliable option off the bench.
When asked about the possibility of adding Fisher, Kevin Durant supported the move.
“We’ll see,” Durant told Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. “We have a great corps of point guards leading off with Russ and then Reggie and Royal. But adding another guy that can come in and give us some good minutes here and there and bring his leadership and winning plays here would be cool. But it’s one of those things that you really don’t know too much about. We got to just see what happens. (Fisher) is a Thunder guy as far as character and off the court is concerned. But we’ll see what happens.”
Fisher is expected to sign the Thunder at some point in the next 24 hours.
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Warriors Expected to Sign Hickson: J.J. Hickson will clear waivers tonight and likely sign with the Golden State Warriors, according to sources close to the situation. Hickson has been telling those close to him that he’ll sign with Golden State and the two sides should complete the deal in the next few hours.
The Warriors were one of the first teams to contact Hickson after he was waived by the Sacramento Kings on Monday. While the Phoenix Suns and several other teams also expressed interest in the 23-year-old power forward, sources say that Hickson chose to the Warriors almost immediately.
Hickson played just 35 games for the Kings before the two sides agreed to a buyout. He has averaged 8.5 points and 5.6 rebounds throughout the course of his four-year career. Two seasons ago, Hickson solidified himself as a starter with the Cleveland Cavaliers and averaged 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds.
The Warriors have two open roster spots and will likely finalize a deal with Hickson tonight.
Kings Sign Terrence Williams: After being waived by the Houston Rockets, Terrence Williams has signed a 10-day contract with the Sacramento Kings, according to a team press release.
Williams was working out in California and weighing his options. He was in Sacramento last night with his agent, Aaron Goodwin, to attend the game against the Memphis Grizzlies. He received interest from several others team, but decided to join the Kings.
Last night, James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom had the chance to chat with Williams, who was excited about the opportunity to join the Kings.
“I look forward to it a lot,” Williams told Ham. “I feel like it’s a great opportunity. It’s a great situation, especially with this style of play. With coach, these guys just play basketball. It’s not really a whole bunch of confusion. As you see, they just play basketball and it’s working right now.”
“My heart told me Sacramento. Me and my agent talked about it, so I definitely feel like it’s the right spot.”
Ronny Turiaf to Miami: Ronny Turiaf is on the verge of signing with the Miami Heat, sources close to the situation confirm. After being bought out by the Denver Nuggets, Turiaf is finalizing a contract with Miami.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported the talks. Turiaf’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed that a deal is close.
Turiaf has played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Washington Wizards. Over the course of his seven-year career, Turiaf has averaged 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds.
HOOPSWORLD Chats: There are two NBA chats on the schedule today. Salary cap guru Larry Coon hosted his weekly chat 3 p.m. EST. Read the transcript of Larry’s chat here. Next up, Lang Greene will be hosting his weekly chat at 8 p.m. EST. Feel free to drop him a line on anything NBA related. You can always find our upcoming chats here.