By Ben Golliver
Veteran guard Derek Fisher is apparently headed to Dallas.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told reporters following a Wednesday night loss to the Bulls that Fisher, 38, would be signing with the team on Thursday. ESPNDallas.com reported Thursday that forward Troy Murphy would be released to clear a roster spot for Fisher.
Fisher's path from being a 5-time champion with the Lakers to an unrestricted free agent who wasn't signed during the 2012 offseason was an interesting one. The Lakers traded him to the Rockets in advance of the 2012 trade deadline. The Rockets then bought Fisher out of the remainder of his contract, which ran through the 2012-13 season. Fisher later signed with the Thunder and played key postseason minutes for the Western Conference champions, until they were defeated by the Heat in the Finals. Oklahoma City got Eric Maynor back from a knee injury this summer, though, making Fisher redundant.
In Dallas, Fisher will join a backcourt that includes starters Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo. Collison missed Wednesday night's game due to a finger injury. Reserve guards Dominique Jones, Jared Cunningham, Dahntay Jones, Vince Carter and Rodrigue Beaubois are also on the roster. The Mavericks released guard Delonte West in October after he was suspended on two occasions.
Fisher averaged 5.6 points and 2.7 assists per game in 63 appearances for the Lakers and Thunder last season. Honestly, he doesn't have much left in the tank. He's a low-risk, low-reward player whose best days are years behind him. His most valuable skill at this point is his ability to draw charges, which says a lot. Even his career 37.3 percent three-point shooting stroke deserted him last year, as it fell to 32.1 percent. You won't find a better locker room guy. Just don't ask for anything more.
Through Wednesday, the Mavericks are 7-9 and have played the entire regular season without All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who is sidelined with a knee injury.
Fisher also serves as the president of the National Basketball Players Association.