The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the top teams in the NBA this season, leading the Western Conference with a record of 34-11 and trail only the Chicago Bulls for the best record in the Association. Over the last few seasons the Thunder have been constructing their roster through the NBA Draft, as well as a trade last season with the Boston Celtics that brought center Kendrick Perkins into the fold. Leading the way for Oklahoma City is forward Kevin Durant; who is arguably one of the five best players in the Association as well as All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, making the Thunder one of the favorites to represent the Western Conference in June’s NBA Finals.
One thing that the franchise does lack is a veteran player who can be a leader; a guy that has been to the “Promised Land” before and can help young stars like Durant, Westbrook and James Harden keep their composure as the pressure starts to mount. The Thunder are exploring filling that void on the club according to a report from “The Oklahoman” that the Thunder are currently in discussions with former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Derek Fisher, who will become a Free Agent when he clears waivers on Wednesday.
Fisher was traded last Thursday to the Houston Rockets for center Jordan Hill, however he never ended up playing a game for the club as the Rockets negotiated a buy-out of hid contract on Sunday night. Initial reports had Fisher centering on the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat as the two destinations he wanted to end with; however the Thunder seem to be taking center stage as the franchise he could join for the stretch drive.
Durant told reporters that he would be excited to have the former Lakers guard as a teammate. The All-Star forward said “Derek is a consummate professional; an unbelievable leader. And he played with arguably one of the greatest players to ever play in Kobe, and Kobe really respected him as a player and wanted him on his team so that speaks volumes. (Fisher) is a Thunder guy as far as character and off the court is concerned. But we’ll see what happens.”
The Thunder already have a lot of depth at the point, with the starter Westbrook, as well as Reggie Jackson and Royal Ivey coming off the bench. The roster ia also already at the Association maximum, so if Fisher would be brought on board, somebody would have to be cut from the roster. The question then becomes will Fisher add enough in leadership to outweigh any changes of chemistry in the locker room? Is Fisher the missing piece that will lead the Thunder to their first NBA Championship in Oklahoma City? We should start to find out the answers to these questions in the next few days.