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Derek Fisher deserves more than what Lakers are offering


Before the Lakers began their playoff run, Lakers guard Derek Fisher gathered the team together.

They had gone through ups and downs with injuries, inconsistency and chemistry issues with no visible signs that it could all come together. The problems seemed so troubling that it appeared uncertain whether the Lakers could defend their championship. So as the Lakers geared up for their first-round matchup against Oklahoma City, Fisher stressed the importance that everyone temporarily forget about their individual play and off-season uncertainty and lock in toward a common goal in winning a championship.

I wrote at the time how Fisher's speech served as a perfect example why the Lakers need his leadership and how it was a sign of things to come in the postseason. Even though speeches may sound like cliched scripts out of a movie, this truly illustrated how Fisher is universally respected in the locker room and how he helps reemphasize the coaching staff's message. The speech also showcased a pretty logical perspective that focusing on the sole purpose of winning a title bodes more importance for everyone, even free agents, because a title usually helps take care of the aftermath that is the off-season.

That's why it's ironic, and incredibly unfortunate, that the man who delivered the speech stressing that a championship run will help alleviate off-season concerns is currently left wondering his literal value to the team. Fisher and the organization unanimously agree that it's best for him to re-sign with the Lakers, citing his leadership, his five rings and his playoff performances that propelled the Lakers to a second consecutive title. But those are only words. The Lakers need to take action. Unfortunately for Fisher, The Times' Broderick Turner reports the Lakers don't want to pay Fisher anything more than $2.5 million for one season, while Fisher, a 14-year veteran, wants to make a similar figure as last season ($5.048 million) with a multiyear deal. Sources close to Fisher told Turner that Fisher strongly believes this should happen and that he's willing to go on a prolonged negotiation with the Lakers or go to another team if a deal can't be reached.

Before you cringe and say this is another example of a well-compensated athlete showing his entitlement, consider a few things first. This isn't about a dollar figure. This is about Fisher appropriately assessing one's market value. This isn't about trying to keep the same lifestyle. This is about Fisher wondering if the Lakers truly value what he brings to the team. This isn't about ignoring the realities that the Lakers are over the luxury tax. This is about properly determining one's assets in a tough economy.


"Sometimes it's hard to quantify that and put a price on it. In our business, you have to find a way to put a price on things with some things you can't quantify," Fisher said last week during his exit interview

In other words, Fisher, is diplomatically saying what I'll say straight forward. If the Lakers truly want to win a third consecutive championship, they need to re-sign Fisher at a price he's asking. The Lakers have to find ways to shed costs, but they must do so with things they can do without.

Lakers reserves Adam Morrison, D.J. Mbenga and Josh Powell all had great attitudes and gave a good effort in practice. But the Lakers can easily afford to lose them and find similar hardworking reserves at a lower rate. Lakers guard Shannon Brown, who recently opted out of his contract in hopes of a long-term extension, brings great upside and potential. But they can always look for a young player with those same qualities. Sasha Vujacic ($5.5 million, one year) and Luke Walton ($16 million, three years) are still making more money than Fisher, but re-signing him at a lower price only highlights the disparity even more.

"I think with Derek, we'll sit down," General Manager Mitch Kupchak said. "I don't think he wants to go anywhere, and I don't think we want him to go anywhere. So there' s a hope that you sit down and work something out and I believe that will happen."

In an interesting twist, the Lakers agreed to terms with former Clippers guard Steve Blake to a four year, $16 million deal not too long after Kupchak made those comments. I welcome the move given Blake's skillset, and it appears the Lakers are properly addressing their backcourt needs. But this move should serve to complement Fisher's presence and building for the future instead of just replacing him. That's because Blake, or any other free agent for that matter, can't duplicate what Fisher brings. Fisher is the one who routinely made sure the team stayed together throughout the playoffs. Fisher is the one who made clutch shots in Game 3 of the Lakers' Western Conference semifinals series against Utah as well as in Game 3 and Game 7 of the NBA Finals. And Fisher is the one who has the rings to prove his worth and the clout to criticize Kobe Bryant, two qualities that aren't developed over night.

"I don't care what anybody says about Derek," Lakers forward Ron Artest said during his exit interview. "He's a leader. He's an All-Star. I say that because it depends who you want. Do you want someone who's making $20 million a year, averaging 30 points but don't show up in the fourth quarter? Or do you want someone who's going to show up when it counts? Who's going to play big when it counts? Who becomes the second-best player in the league when it counts?"

Fisher foot that bill. Now it's time for the Lakers to foot theirs.

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Lakers guard Derek Fisher and the team haven't come to an agreement on a deal. Credit: Alex Gallardo/Los Angeles Times.

Photo: The Times' Broderick Turner reports the Lakers don't want to pay Fisher anything more than $2.5 million for one season, while Fisher, a 14-year veteran, wants to make a similar figure as last season ($5.048 million) with a multiyear deal. Credit: Lori Shepler/Los Angeles Times

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To build up to a NBA title: Jerry West. Yes he only won one ring but there's a reason he was Mr. Clutch, be able to bring the Lakers to the finals even before Wilt, and being the Logo. Can't fault him for not beating Bill Russell but then again not even Oscar Robertson could. (And Wilt only did it once).

The most accomplished as a player: Larry Bird. No doubt about it.

"Best white American born player in the NBA TODAY?
David Lee or Chris Kamen?"

David Lee, rdlee.

I've said it once and I'll say it again, Pay the man. That's why it's called NEGOTIATION.

D Fish is and will always be a Laker legend, however for most of the 82 game schedule he was nothing more than a speed bump for the opposing point....If you look at 2.5 mil for 3 mo's of work Apr/May/June(playoffs)...It's a very fair offer...

With his "one-offer-take-it-or-leave-it" attitude, Mitch Kupchak already proved last year with Trevor Ariza that he is not an honorable negotiator.

I hope he doesn't do the same with Fisher this year.

I hope Derek stays.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


I agree that Fish deserves more than $2.5 mil on a one year deal. How about splitting the difference at $3.75 mil? He's not expected to play as many minutes, but when the playoffs roll around, we want him out there in clutch situations.
I also agree with those who say he is sturdy enough to run through picks and tolerate the bumps and charges that he gets better than most anyone out there.

It's time for the Lakers to pay the price of loyalty and gratitude to Derek Fisher. Without him, the Lakers would not have won back to back titles. Not only because of the clutch shots he's hit since his return to the Lakers but more importantly for the intangibles he brings to this Laker team. Jerry Buss needs to step up and "pay the man his money."

Are they seriously going to offer Steve Blake more than they are going to offer Fish? This is insanity.

Nice Thread, Mark, it pretty much sums up how I see the whole situation.

I feared that the Lakers would try to really low ball Fish as opposed to just low balling him. It can't sit well with Derek to hear about this, you'd think he'd get some time to make a decision, but again I'm sure there are limited windows. Sounds like Blake turned down either more years, dollars or both elsewhere to go for it here.

Stop being a shill for Fisher. What other team will give him $5 mil? If he can get it elsehwhere he should take it. Why should the Lakers bid against themselves for a player who has been TERRIBLE the last seasons till he hit big shots in the Finals?

I hope they work things out but he doesn't "deserve" more money than he's worth just because he gives a good speech. This blog post is embarrassing...

Bring back Kwame Brown!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


C-Bynum, Kwame
Pick whoever you like for the inactive player.

Wow, I could not disagree with the thesis of this post any more. A far more compelling title and post could have been "Derek Fisher does not deserve what he is asking for".

First things first: I really, really like Fish, and I hope he returns. However, this notion that the Lakers have "disrespected" him with their initial offer is preposterous, and every bit as unreasonable as the idea that Fisher is being unreasonable by asking for a 2 year $10 million deal. These are the initial offers in this negotiation. Derek understandably wants a multi-year deal, and by offering one year at $2.5 million, Kupchak has set the stage for a deal to be struck in the 2 year $6 million range.

Such a deal is likely, and would be fair to both sides, but lets not get too carried away with the "Lakers can't win without Fisher" stuff. There is no doubt that his play was key during this year's run (after getting smoked in the first round, where he was totally outplayed by Westbrook), but this playoff run included a one-legged Andrew Bynum and a very much out of sorts Ron Artest (until the end).

Next year's playoff run is likely to be made with a team that is vastly superior to this year's, which will lessen the need for Fisher's heroics. I still want him back, mind you, but only on terms that are reasonable to both sides. To me, that means 2 years, $3 million a year (max).

Here's how to solve the Fisher dilemma:

1. Pay him 4M for one year only and renewal will be subject to his performance.

2. Raise another 0.5M from marketing promotions of D'Fish Market to be created by non-Laker organization but solely run by enterprising fans. Fish will promote all fish products being sold in the Southland. The other 0.5M will come from Hollywood sitcom or this talk show from Jimmy Kimmel or George Lopez, Fisher will promote these shows.

Other than that, Fisher as a commodity is subject to demand and supply. The demand may be higher with Heat or Cavaliers because of low salary caps while with the Lakers, there is abundant supply of youth that could replace him who are willing to play at vets min. It is a calculated risk and happens to all teams, at a certain point old players are weed out and replace by new breed. Kobe should have shared a portion of his pay if he wanted to retain his buddy, Fish. JB has over stretched his finances to please all fans, to pay all players and to pay an outstanding coach. He has the right to pay himself too with decent returns on investment as well.

if we can continue to go over the cap to re-sign our free agents then I think Buss will do it---my bet is that Fisher for sure will work out, I would be extremely surprised not to see him on the Laker roster next year... and Brown may just work out too maybe, gotta stay optomistic and keep our faith in Mitch and Dr. Buss (the best owner in the league per Magic)

we know Kobe is strongly suggesting to the powers that be for Fisher to stay, and I would think he wants Brown back as well...and I think Mitch's statement regarding Fisher is real...

who knows, maybe they already know that Luke may not be able to continue, which if I remember LTLF's explaination of that, we would still have his money on the books for this year, and then insurance pays the rest at 80%---that would mean they could better afford to get Fisher and Brown what they are looking for---of course that's just wild speculation, seemingly...I am sure Walton will try his hardest to continue to play etc.

I don't know why I still can't shake the feeling that a semi-big name vet will sign for the vet minimum---hope my feeling is feeling groovy...

nor can I shake the feeling that Mitch is a long way from being done and or predictible...

but I don't forsee a trade this summer, unless a sign and trade for one or more of our FA's--but I could see a trade by the trade deadline this year if someone with the initials LO is sleep walking again AND an opporunity arises---though that's pretty obvious crap, as it were...

wonder if Washington would dig Farmar, Morrison and Powell in a sign and trade for Miller---of course all those guys would have to agree as well---long shot, but hell it's fun to dream big isn't it?

speaking of dreaming big...I heard Johnny and the Moondogs are getting back together...all four of them...

enough ramblings....


I don't agree with the article at all. Derek Fisher has been a scrub his entire career. Save for 5 minutes of spectacular playoff basketball, Fisher has been a liability on the court for much of his playing career. I wouldn't pay him a nickel more than what he was offered.

i think the blake move was more to fill the gap with farmar going. and he certainly is an upgrade over farmar - better shot, smarter decisions.

as for fish, i think the deal will be done. they might have to be creative though with incentive schemes, a future job with the lakers, that sort of thing rather than just a full out salary

what i'm more interested in at this point actually is what they'll do for a big man - caracter is right now maybe a third stringer replacing powell or mbenga

Fisher truly deserves to retire as a Laker. Considering what some players were getting paid (Sasha, Walton) Fisher was underpaid. The Lakers initial offer was an insult, granted this is negotiation but offer 2.5 mils to Fisher who just had a big hand in helping the Lakers won their 16th championship and not just this year, last year Finals as well, seems to indicate the Lakers are being too cheap.

They'll pay Fish.

It might not all come in the form of salary per, but they'll pay the man to stay in the organization. Could be some deferred guarantee of an after retirement compensation... whatever, but this is a deal that needs to get done.

GO FIsh, go Lakers

I'm guessing 2 years at 6-8 mil

I'm not trying to be sentimental about Fishers contract, but I believe in the Bible principle, "the workman is due his wages".

For three years, Fisher has started and played, and lead the Lakers to three NBA Titles and has been paid for less than his market value. The Lakers have had him as a real bargain.

He was offered much more from other teams three years ago, and declined. He wanted to be a Lakers and build something special with Kobe. The Lakers could not afford anything more at the time, but that was alright, he would take the offer.

Now he has the Bird rights. He is still considered to be our starter, not some old guy off the bench who lends his support, but a main contributor to a possible Title again. And the Lakers want to pay him half his worth now?

We positively would not have won without his efforts and next year, would struggle to win again. A new point guard Blake, could not do what Fisher could do next year in this triangle and with our defensive scheme.

The Lakers know his value and somewhere in the middle, I'm confident they will come to an understanding.

Is a player’s new salary supposed to be a reward for his past contributions – or a predictive gauge of his future ones? As much as we’d all love to spend Buss’s money for him, HE'S the one faced with dishing out $20 million (when you factor in the over-the-cap tax) for Fisher’s upcoming services. I love Fish’s leadership and tenacity, but can he deliver twenty million dollars’ worth in the next two years? I doubt it.

Fish made the Lakers at least 5 million by winning game 3 against Boston for them this year and another 5 for winning game four against orlando last year. His leadership skills are invaluable and can't be replaced. The man may be 35 but he was the only Laker to play all 82 regular season games and every playoff game last year. Pay him 9 to 10 for two years and thank him for being one of the greatest Lakers of all time. D-Fish is the man and they will need him come playoff time next year. Do you want Steve Blake or D-FFFFIIIISSSSHHH taking that clutch three with a man in his face and the game on the line? Enough said.

This is stupid.

Just get rid of walton and give fish his salary.

I wish. Walton worst laker ever.

Magic wanted to step up and pay PJ. Will he do the same for Fish?

Here, here MM! Of one mind...DFish deserves all the accolades, the payoff and more.

I don't care if I have to pay 10 bucks via paypal every month this year but sign the man. He is an integral part of our championship run, make no mistakes about it.


The Lakers as a team have collectively exceeded the cap, not just one player.

Using your logic, Blake would be adding 16 million in lux taxes just as a bench player in the next two years alone.

I'll admit it sure SEEMS like Fisher deserves more than he's getting from the Lakers. But I also have to ask how does anyone know what he's getting? It is still early. Fisher took considerably less than he could have had elsewhere when he came back, and he has certainly paid off.

One thing I don't understand from these reports: What is the big deal about giving him a 2-year deal? There is a good chance there isn't going to be a second year (lockout) anyway.

The Lakers kind of laid down a marker when they signed Blake. But not too much should be made out of that, as far as their seriousness about wanting Fisher back. They needed another guard, anyway.

Still, Fisher isn't getting any younger. The playoffs are still where the money is, but you still have to play a season to get there. And truth be told, Fisher has dropped off during the season, and probably will not be able to give long minutes at high effort through a regular season grind, if he is going to have anything left in the tank at the end. So there is a lot to consider.

I still think they'll end up signing him - maybe $5 mil for one year, or 8-9 mil for two years, with Fisher gaining a player option on the second year.

I hope D Fish stays. He is a clutch and necessary part of our Championship resolve. And, when it comes to the last games, resolve means everything.

Terrible Rumor. Laker Tom is reporting that Ammo might not come back. As we've gotten older as a team, I've really thought that a recovered Ammo would be the key to our 3 peat. I hope that the rumor of Ammo's leaving isn't true that we can free up some cash to bring Ammo back. Perhaps, recognizing the importance to the 3 peat, Kobe can take a salary cut to help pay for Ammo.

Is it too late? Might we not be able to retain Ammo? Do we really want to face the rath of a scorned Ammo playing for another team next year?


Et tu, Mark? C'mon, the organization knows Fish's worth. I truly believe that both sides will come to a number they can live with. Not at all sure that the flames have to be fanned this early on.

The Lakers are showing what they really are about if they fail to bring back Derek Fisher- and I will go as far to say they do not deserve another championship if this how they treat a player who has given so much in meaningful ways on the court, in locker room, on side lines, and has the complete respect of your star player. SHAME on you Dr. Buss, Mitch and all who made this decision- should you lose next year the dirt is on your hands.
Mr. Jackson, you really need to speak up...
P.S.Shannon, I hope they find a way to bring you back. You trusted them by opting out, hoping to return and they let you... Hmmmm.
Laker brass you reap what you sow.
Business is business, but GOOD BUSINESS IS BETTER...

Me thinks the Lakers should offer up 3.5 - 4 mil to Fish and figure out how to unload Sasha or Walton to teams with cap space. Maybe offer a future first round pick with Luke to a team with cap space for a conditional second round pick just to unload his contract. That would essentially pay for Fish.

Fatty, yes, Blake’s contract IS adding an extra $16 million in luxury tax. And that doesn’t negate the fact the difference between a $2.5 million-per-year, 2-year contract for Fisher and a $5 million-per-year, 2-year contract for him is an ADDITIONAL $10 million in tax. I don’t think Buss is concerned with the fairness of this at the moment; he’s simply concerned with how much deeper into his pockets he’s going to have to dig.


This is exactly what I'd hoped you'd do. Take a stand and go out on a limb. I know it's genuine, based on remarks you've made previously, but a full blown commentary is exactly what this blog is all about.

I have mixed feelings on this, being a latecomer to the D-Fish bandwagon. But I think that with PJ back and the rest of the team being fans of Fish, Mitch doesn't dare let this one get away. Give Fish enough to feel loved, but not as much as he's demanding. A 2-year deal at about 6+ feels right to me.

Fish's value as a leader diminishes on any team that's not a contender. He's smart enough to know that. He's also smart enough to know that Father Time orphans no one.

With Blake on board, Fish doesn't have to play as many regular season minutes, but his value as a compass and a leader means something to a team going for the 3-peat. No way the Lakers hold back on supporting Phil and Kobe as they go for the ultimate challenge. Dr. Buss has rarely been penny-wise and pound-foolish. I don't expect him to do less than the right thing when push comes to shove.

I agree totally with D-Fish's value.

I say we pay him big bucks (4 to 5 mil) but for ONE year only. Complete the 3-peat with Kobe, Fish, and Jax.

Then next year Phil retires, Shaw becomes head coach, Derek becomes the new assistant coach, and Blake starts at PG, with a year of triangle under his belt.

That's how it should go down.

"It is still early. Fisher took considerably less than he could have had elsewhere when he came back, and he has certainly paid off. "--Posted by: DHSmd

I'm not so sure about that. True, he took less money than his then-current deal (with Utah at the time) paid, but there was no other team in the league that would have re-signed him to the deal that the Warriors did (the deal that Utah assumed when he was traded there).

What is readily apparent from reading this blog is that there are not very many negotiators among us. People being shocked or outraged or offended at the Lakers offer are merely reflecting an ignorance of the negotiation process. I've had my issues with Kupchak in the past, but one thing I'm happy to say about him is that he seems to have learned his lesson and does not jump to overpay guys (the way he did with Luke, Vlad, Cook, etc).

Derek is an old player who is only valuable to a title-contending team. There aren't many of those in the NBA, and even fewer who can afford to pay a guy like Fish more than $3 million a year for a multi-year deal. Seriously, at this point in time, who will pay him $5 million a year? He is useless to a team that doesn't contend for a title, because his value is in stepping up in those key playoff moments. But what teams are title contenders right now? Besides the Lakers, you can really only count Orlando and one of Cleveland, Miami & Chicago, depending on which one gets LBJ and Bosh/Wade. At most, throw in Boston if they bring everyone back and Perkins is healthy (but this is a stretch).

That's probably no more than 3 teams besides the Lakers who are title contenders. Of those, Chicago, Orlando, Cleveland & Boston all have point guards who are VASTLY superior to Fish, and could never come up with the money to pay him. That pretty much leaves Miami, if they can keep Wade & sign Bosh or LBJ--and that is sounding more and more like a stretch.

Simply put, Fisher has nowhere else to go to either play for a title OR to get paid. The Lakers are doing what any prudent organization would do, which is not overpay and see where the market is. This notion of "rewarding" Fisher for past services is the kind of thing that only fans who don't write checks would say. I'd say that at $15 million over the last 3 years the Lakers have "rewarded" Derek just fine....

Pay Fish - for the love of god - get it done. Sheesh - thought this one was a no-brainer.....

People may ask Derek why subject himself to another 82 games of trying to chase around the fastest players in the league and all the criticism that comes with being the 36-year old point guard of the league's highest-profile franchise?

Maybe he doesn't want to leave Phil and his fellow Laker veterans. Maybe he loves living the life of a professional athlete. Maybe he wants to prove to himself and everyone else that he can still hang with the young guns.

Or maybe he's just afraid that he'll retire with one more perfect moment still left in him, and he'll be sitting at home when the Lakers end up needing it.

Derek puts a lot of work in the offseason to maintain his match fitness.He loves being a NBA player.Also Derek Fisher is the President of the NBA player union.He has a great life at the moment.

Retirement is not an option.

A lot of good thoughts and opinions today. I think all of the ones I was going to inflict got covered.

I'll think of something to post later.




Hey phred - thanks for the props on my comment about condolences to pfunk. I think he'll be ok, don't you? LOL!

Derek Fisher is a bum.

Derek fisher is greedy and a bum.

Tom - ummmmmm actually YOU are the bum. Coming on here and talking smack against a 5 time world champion and instrumental player in our recent repeat? A guy who the great Kobe Bryant says these last 2 championships would never have happened without him? Go home son and get an education. Your ignorance is showing.

Check this out, Steve Blake is the point guard that we've been waiting for.

Excellent write up MM!
Also, great take by "A."

Hey "Tom," how can you call Fish a bum and still call yourself a Laker fan? You are a disgrace to yourself, the Purple and Gold, and to the rest of us true Laker fans out there.

Finally the Lakers fans prayers were answered. For the last 10 yrs, all they keep asking for was Steve Blake.
Now he's a Laker. Who's next? Earl Watson and Carlos Arroyo?

I agree with this blog wholeheartedly. The thing is, although of course you need talent on any professional sports team to win championships, talent alone is no guarantee. Talent plus chemistry is what wins championships. Anyone who just looks at stat sheets, and disregards the intangibles, is not seeing the forest for the trees. Derek brings HUGE intangibles. Please work something out, Lakers.

The Pink elephant in the room of Derek Fisher's and Mitch Kuphak's negotiations is.....(drumroll please) Luke Walton's remaining 3 guaranteed years!

Luke Walton who will be 31 years old before the end of next season is making over $5 Mil next year. Luke contributed nothing in another injury riddled year and continues to get a pass from this increasingly dumbed down local media

How can anyone justify Derek Fisher getting offered 2.5 Mil while Luke Walton makes more than double that? How can Derek justify it?

This Luke Walton signing has been a constant albatross around the Lakers neck.........Luke Walton can't be included in a trade because no other team in the league wants him...............YET HE IS MAKING DOUBLE THE PROPOSED AMOUNT TO OUR BELOVED FISH...........INCREDIBLE!

Steve Blake a Laker?

Guys thanks for the feedback both positive and negative. Obviously I know this is the early round of negotiations, but I thought it'd be good to make it clear on where I stand. Rick, I'm glad this is something you were hoping I'd do. I think over the months, I've gotten more and more comfortable expressing my opinion because I feel I've built more credibility to state so. I was by no means ignorant to some of the topics and issues when I first started, but I remained hesitant to take a definitive stand on certain things just because you inevitably pick up and notice certain things that can bolster or hinder an argument when you're on the beat.


I do not believe the Laker's organization does not know or appreciate the value of DFish in this team. They do, however in a bargaining agreement there is what we call the minimum and maximum target value that we can offer. The amount of 2.5mil in 1 year is the minimum meaning that is the start of the bargaining amount, it can go up but not down. Along with that is the package, what are the other things attached to that package. I also believe the Laker organization has another plan for Fish after this coming season, not just as a player. That's is the reason they signed Steve Blake, this could be the "Passing of the Baton" year for Fish. Mitch is doing a very great job of looking for players who will benefit the team not only for this coming season but also in 3-4 more years. I think Fish and the Lakers management will have a very long talk about this and I do believe he will stay as a Laker. But for Brown I think the management will let him's time to sign Raja Bell or JJ Reddick...I still want DJ Mbenga to stay in case Andrew gets hurt's not easy to put things together to have a 3 peat....but we will.....3 peat!!!!!

I think offering Fisher only 2.5 million is an insult. He's worth much more.

I'd offer him 5 million/season for two years, then a coaching position after that. Fisher should be a Laker for Life, and treated with respect


Good grief, pay the man! You'd think the FIVE TITLES Fisher helped win would be worth the price he's asking--which, by the way, is not exorbitant or ridiculous for a 14-year veteran who has been so important to the team. Pay him, already.

Stop being a shill for Fisher. What other team will give him $5 mil? If he can get it elsehwhere he should take it. Why should the Lakers bid against themselves for a player who has been TERRIBLE the last seasons till he hit big shots in the Finals?

I hope they work things out but he doesn't "deserve" more money than he's worth just because he gives a good speech. This blog post is embarrassing...

Posted by: John | July 02, 2010 at 08:53 PM

Beautifully said. I know people in america often have bad and short memories but this is pathetic, playing wise, for most of the year Fisher looked like he didn't belong in an NBA court now he hits big shots in month and half stretch and he suddenly deserves much more than he's worth it?. All assistant coaches I'm sure give all beautiful speeches and represent being leaders of their teams but I don't see any NBA franchise shooting itself on the foot in order to pay one.

I don't know how else to put this without being harsh but this is terrible journalism. You obviously like Fisher (don't we all?), so you're writing about how he "deserves better" with no objective look at the Lakers point of view.

IMO, it's one thing to write about how the Lakers need to keep him for his intangibles but implying that their offer isn't "fair" is a pretty one-sided way to look at it.

You posted ZERO objective analysis of the Lakers cap situation and ZERO mention of Derek's struggles all year. Is it "fair" to the Lakers that he stunk up the joint during the 2nd half of last season and ALL of this one? Yet he got his $5+ mil both years. Do some clutch shots in the Finals and lockeroom speeches erase all that? Derek isn't paid to be a motivator. He's paid to play basketball and truthfully he's been overpaid the last 2 years.

Also, you just posted Sasha's and Luke's salaries as if those mistakes justify another one. Unreal...


Surprised myself u took such a strong stance but nice to see nonetheless... This is what a blog should be all about.. more than just reporting news.

That said I completely disagree with u.. Dfish is goin on what 38 and past contributions should have little impact on future earning power.... Its all about what dfish can contribute in the NEXT two years and in reality he really is diminishing returns with rapidly declining skills

But I agree its hard to put a real dollar figure on a guy like dfish.. Bordeline liability in regular season but indispensable in the postseason... What I do know is paying him should be based on fair market value.. That is why kupchak is doin the right thing.. There is no other team out there crazy enough to give their full MLE to aging 38 year old guard whose regular season contributions are minimal... If dfish thinks he deserves more he should test the market to leverage himself.. Until then its hard to justify givin him more than 2-3MIL

MM way to take a stand.... I like it even better!!!!!!!

pfunk36 | appolo c. vermont,

Great posts. I couldn't agree more. Regardless of Tom's idiotic remarks, our Lakers would be a completely different team w/o DFish. He's the Team's Captn. as is Kobe. However, The Black Mamba is a bit more detached from the players than DFish who knows how to tune in and motivate them to succeed. On the Johnny Kimmel's Show, Sasha referred to DFish as 'El Presidente'. The team and the Lakers organization want and need him back. I trust Mitch and Dr. Buss will do the right thing.



Check out the big brain on MM!

Nice to see you planting your flag. Our flags been flyin!

DFish is coach on court. He's been there for the last five, and he'll be there for many more (not just next year!)

I'd like to welcome the latest Clippers/Lakers to the team.

Favorite Clippers/Lakers of all time (meaning Clippers first, then Lakers)? Benoit Benjamin?

Ron Harper gets my vote... unless you count Bob McAdoo!

I'm really diggin the blake acquisition..

But lakers go after miller and now blake... That tells me kupchak is very intent on addressing our need for an outside shooter first and foremost.... Blake not only solves that problem but also fills our biggest void at the PG position.. That's killin 2 birds with one stone.. Also lakers are stacked with forwards so minutes couldve been hard to find for miller anyways.... Blake though will find plenty of key minutes off the bench and as starter where he may mesh even better.

Blake also (much like miller) another nice triangle addition who comes with a high bball IQ... What a nice treat that will be at the backup PG position after 5 long painful farmar years.. Blake is fundamentally sound.. Everything farmar lacked.. He's also a MUCH better passer rebounder and defender than any pg we've had in a while including dfish.

Two words of response to whether Fish is 'worth it'.....

Game Three....

PJ is paid for his past accomplishments molding teams with needed but difficult to handle guys like Rodman. Likewise Fish has indespensible qualities needed by this team: leadership, courage & mental toughness that only he & Kobe possess during critical times of the playoffs. Celtics understand this and along with Cavs, Magic, Rockets or Chicago would be willing to pay Fish ~ $8 million over 2 years to remove Laker leadership & major source of mental toughness and increase title chances. PJ, MK (pay up for past contract mistakes), KB, LW, MagicJ, JB(reduce gambling) can all chip in to pay for Fish luxury tax, get Mike Miller/T-Mac; Shaq or Mbenga; & Brown/Raja Bell or Tavaris Critticten for bench depth.

Just in. It's official. Derek Fisher has just signed a ($6.053 million) contract each for three years, and made Grand Marshall of the Angelino Burrito and Salsa Festival of El Monte. Other terms of the contract were not disclosed.



"He's a leader. He's an All-Star. I say that because it depends who you want. Do you want someone who's making $20 million a year, averaging 30 points but don't show up in the fourth quarter? Or do you want someone who's going to show up when it counts? Who's going to play big when it counts? Who becomes the second-best player in the league when it counts?"

Is it Vince Carter or Lebron?

The worst part is that Sasha and Walton both make more money than Fisher. That is truly a crime.

And make no mistake about it: When Fisher made those late-game shots in the playoffs, those were "leadership shots" - that was a leader taking and making big shots because that's what his team needed at that moment, and Fish was going to lead the way.

We shall see how the negotiation plays out . . .


It is simple. Kobe and Phil has not won the the last 5 NBA FINALS without D-Fish. Kobe makes 30 Mil, Phil 12 MIL, and FISH 2.5 Cents? C'mon!

You want to talk about regular season or NBA finals, to judge what a player can do? Are you kidding me!

Nash is 36, Bibby is 36, Kidd is 36. How much do they make? Have they won anything? Fisher is 36, 5 RINGS and continues to WIN.

Something needs to be done. Pay the WINNER!

Kobe's real ROBIN to BATMAN is D-Fish... not Gasol, not Bynum, not Artest, and defintely not Odom. When Gasol and Odom gets soft, who provides the punch, who carries the team, D-Fish. Yes he is not part of the BIG five, but he is the D-Fish, the Leader of the big five.

since Mitch will not discuss what the Lakers do or don't offer ANYbody untill it's done, i doubt anyone but Fish, his agent and Mitch himself know what the real story is. this angst is irrelevant.

that said, Fisher DOES deserve better than 2.5 mil, considering what he does and what others make.

One interesting thing about all this money being spent at the start of free agency, and on players that are nice, but not necessarily max of franchise guys, is that it will eventually produce a market where a lot of quality guys are without teams and only able to sign for the vets min. When this happens we'll be in position to sign any number of guys we maybe didn't expect to be there on the cheap.

I believe a couple of things. First, the Lakers are done spending except for the vets minimum and whatever they pay Fish. No Mike Miller, no Raja Bell, and no Shannon Brown. Shannon is gone. He's been gone since the second he opted out. The Lakers under Mitch have set a new standard of not waiting or playing games with potential players, and I personally love it. I love the way Mitch has sharpened the Lakers' FO reputation. It's obvious to all the players that the Lakers will move on without you if your don't jump at their offer.

I think Derek is an exception. Give him time, but also give him money. He deserves what this new guys Blake is getting, at least....right? Maybe not as many tears, but 2 at least/most.

I don't get the knock on Mbenga's D. I guess that's why their thinking about letting him walk even though he makes hardly nothing.

I have to believe they'll sign Fish still. He meant too much to the team to sign some some stranger off the street to replace him, right?

But, I can see a budget being pushed thru to fruition. Powell's salary and occasional rebounding will be replaced by Caracter's wide body, how successfully, I don't know. Shannon's 2 million will be turned into Ebanks' half mil. I have to think DJ stays, unless we're giving Andrew's backup minutes to a rookie or stick with Gasol. But I think a backuo center should be a bench player, not our starting PF.

This doesn't mean we're done adding players, either. I think we add TMac for the vets min, just as insurance off the bench, and I think the move pays off big time. We just need a backup for Kobe, and after a slow rehab, he might be the man. For one million, why not try?

But there are only so many spaces on this team.


This team cannot be complete without Derek Fisher.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


It's easy to say "pay Fish $5 million" when it's not your money


In negotiations, you don't get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate.

Are any other teams going to pay Fisher 5 million dollars a year? "NO" would be my guess.

It seems to me that you are painting Jerry Buss as a stingy bastard who won't pay up. Buss is already spending the most payroll of any other owner in the league. Maybe Jerry Buss deserves more than what Fisher is offering.

Lakers would be nuts to sign him at that figure or give him more than a year. If Phil is willing to take a pay-cut, Fish should follow suit as well. At most I'd give him 3 mil.


With his "one-offer-take-it-or-leave-it" attitude, Mitch Kupchak already proved last year with Trevor Ariza that he is not an honorable negotiator.

I hope he doesn't do the same with Fisher this year.

Posted by: HCE | July 02, 2010 at 08:39 PM

that's wrong, Ariza and his agent fucked him up (but eventually, fucked themselves up) with insane $9mil offers.
I think they'll work this out, though, since they both want the same thing. reminds me of Lamar last year.

Derek can't be measured based on stats alone. His most important statistic is that he's the only point who Kobe respects enough to follow. The Lakers can only be beaten by internal turmoil. (Well, other than injuries).

Because Derek's greatest value likes outside the stat sheet this works in LA's favour. There's a huge risk to other teams that Derek's value (outside of LAL) is similar to what it was when he was in Golden State or Utah.

This is a tough time of year. Every Laker fan on the planet wants him to retire in LA. At the same time we have an expensive roster in a tough economy and every player has a use by date.

Mitch Kupchak, Jerry Buss, Magic Johnson aren't cheapskates. They aren't overpaying suckers either.

The Lakers front office know a bit about negotiation tactics as well as player, team and agent politics. So does Fish and his camp.

I'd like to welcome the latest Clippers/Lakers to the team.
Favorite Clippers/Lakers of all time (meaning Clippers first, then Lakers)? Benoit Benjamin?
Ron Harper gets my vote... unless you count Bob McAdoo!

Lamar Odom, Byron Scott?

LA Lakers 2009-2010 Back-to-Back NBA Champions.

Blake took me by surprise, especially with all the Mike Miller talk.

Now that I've had time to sleep on it, I've come to this conclusion. We are very fortunate to get him, and at that price. He could have easily received more, but decided to play in the limelight with the great Lakers franchise.

He is what we needed, maybe not what we wanted. (See Rose, Deron, etc..)

He just makes sense. LTLF said he was the best point guard available, certainly the best available that we could afford.

With Blake, this team has improved. And in the end, that's what counts.

Next need: Back up to Artest. LO says he was told to prepare for that. I think his shot is too inconsistent for that, but we will see.....

Free Agency is actually like a combination of warfare and chess match. While you are hatching an attack, you try to create a ploy to delay any kind of moves of the opponent. I think that is what the negotiations about on Fisher, Brown and other rumored F/A's sought by Lakers. The perennial contenders like Heat and Cavaliers are reserving Fisher as a main piece in case they hit the horse race of trifecta of Bosh/James/Wade, the old fisher becomes their veteran guard to lead them to Championship. On the other hand, they also freeze him from signing at the Lakers offer so they dangle the temptation of $ 10M for 2 years. Any future retiree will be enticed by that offer so he is willing to wait and hold on to his first love which is the Lakers.

Laker fans like those here on the blog are going nuts of not having Fisher after giving them a lot of memories like clinging to an old dog about to put to sleep. The attitude permeating is that I don't care if he's an old dog, he is our dog with lots of memories and happiness to recall. They would not want to get a young puppy and be mixed with the pitbulls in Artest, a Mamba and a Spanish Labrador, even if that puppy is a good shooter, a fast PG we want to cling on what was working in the past. It all boils down to Fisher as a Championship player and no other player can do it, not Jemaine Nelson nor Rajon Rondo.

For all intense and purposes if Heat and Cavaliers did not hit the bonanza, they will also withdraw on Fisher, Fisher goes back to Lakers while it may be too late for his team because Lakers may have entertained another good F/A's willing to play for the minimum. JB may also be lukewarm to pay more bucks if all the positions are filled. Shannon's adventure also could hit a dead end, he'll be like Ariza or Turiaf, a professional journeyman hopping from one team to another with a little more cash in their bank accounts but lots of expectations and responsibilities from the teams that hired them. Ariza is being peddled today to Toronto while Turiaf could be his last season with cellar dweller Warrior. His next stop could be vet min or no offer at all. If Turiaf stayed with the Lakers, he has two rings and his stocks will still be on the rise not on a plateau.

To solve the stalemate, Fisher & Brown should relinquish those "few millions greed" and have a foresight of the future. Fisher can be an assistant coach or an assistant GM in the future. He is popular in Southern California, he could pitch anything and make more money on the side. On the other hand, Shannon could go back to his opt out contract or go for a $3M one year only and compete with Sasha for #2, he could raise it to $5M. If he proves to be valuable, Lakers could give him an MLE. Like Fisher, with Shannon's special talents, he could put up a good school for incoming hoop players.

In a nutshell, basketball players should not just think of contracts and chasing more money in a bad economy but think outside the box, be an entrepreneur by promoting your good name and goodwill.

I don't think our biggest need now is a back up to Artest. Luke, Kobe and Ebanks can play that role. I think our biggest need is a to re-sign Fisher or another part-time starter at PG. Then we need a back up center. We need to replace Mbenga with a guy Phil will actually play.

I love Fish. A lot of his detractors just don't get it. Derek does so many things for this team. No, he isn't quick. But he is tough, smart, reliable and clutch. He is a good ballhandler and floor leader and can score when called on. He is also a good defensive player. No he can't contain quick guards, but that is a team defense thing. He plays good tough defense, fights through screens, has active hands that he gets on the ball a lot and has the strength to battle mismatches on the low post.

Kobe and the Lakers were the only team in the playoffs to bottle up Rondo. Meanwhile Fish chased Ray Allen through screens tirelessly. Ray Allen had only one good game out of seven against him (and Ray lit up anyone the Lakers put on him that night, including Kobe). So if the Lakers were the only team to slow down Rondo (and they beat teams with Nash, Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook), that really isn't a team weakness is it? They will still have Kobe next year (and Sasha is pretty good on some of those guys too).

Look, Fish was never an all-star, but he's been an incredible role player. Games like game 3, where he took over in fourth quarter hitting a series of tough, defended shots, are part of his legend. But mostly it is steadyness, tooughness and leadership that distingiush Fish.

Having said all that, he is 36. He and the Lakers are going to have to negotiate to determine what it really makes sense to pay him next year. I have no problem with that on either side. I see no lack of loyalty in Fish looking to make the most he can, or on the Lakers' side in trying to control a bloated payroll. The rough part of it is that the negotiation is carried out in public, and gets Plaschke'd to death.

Another comment on Fish. If I were another true title contender I might make a run at Fish.

1) I get a steadying veteran PG who has been there and done that and who provides leadership.

2) I get a guy who knows the two time defending champs inside and out. He knows tendencies. He knows what they are likely run a to certain times. He knows Kobe's mentality better than anyone. It is excellent industrial espionage.

3) The Lakers don't have him for the playoffs.

Seems like a good deal.

didn't fisher mentioned "money is not the issue" he just wanted to retire a laker, so why hasn't fisher accept any offer the lakers put on the table? that said, he shouldn't be a starter but have him come off the bench.

Look, Fish had ONE good game in the Finals. Yes, he hit some open shots here and there, but as I said before, any competent NBA starting guard should be able to hit open shots.

If you look at his stats for the entire playoffs, including the Finals, Fisher has his usual bad shooting percentage. I'm sorry, but it's true.

Yes, Fisher SAVED us during the finals. But if we had a quality PG to begin with, perhaps we wouldn't have needed any big speeches from Fish, or being saved by his heroics that one game (which was probably 50% skill/50% luck, making those bank shot layups in heavy traffic...c'mon...)

If Fish wants the full amount of money, then designate him as a player/coach, give him specific coaching duties, and have a portion of his salary taken out from the coaches budget. Put all type of conditions and incentives in his contract.

The only thing I will say about Fish is that he's been there in the trenches with Kobe. When Kobe gets wild-eyed and starts shoot excessively, then it's been proven even Fisher can't stop him from doing that. But Kobe does have someone that can be that team leader and voice of reason, since Kobe admits he doesn't have the personality to do this. This is why I suggest we get Shaq. A humbled Shaq is the only other Laker that has been down in the trenches. He can help be that leadership voice in the Lockerroom.

Otherwise, sign Fish not as a player, but as a dual-roled player/coach. Load his contract up with incentives, and lets get Shaq baq on this team.

One more Fish comment. No he cannot contain the quick PGs in the league.

Who can? More specifically, who can that teh Lakers can sign for $3-5 million? The Lakers' big contracts are committed to Kobe and Pau. The Lakers are not going to have a world class PG unless, like Boston, they stumble into a kid who develops more than expected.

Except for Russell Westbrook, which PGs can guard Russell Westbrook? No matter who the Lakers sign at these $$$, it will be a team effort, and sometimes a Kobe effort, to contain the quick guys.

The Lakers wisely spent their cash on Kobe and some big guys and won two titles. They will have to deal with Westbrooks and Rondos and such. It will be a team defense effort, like it is for the rest of the league. The fact that Fish can take SGs like Allen (a lot of the smaller PGs can't) when Kobe takes the PG is actually and advantage. A guy like Deron Collison cannot contain Westbrook or Allen.

rdlee -

Signing Fisher is a given.

The indicators are that the Lakers are planning for Luke not to be able to go. Counting on an unproven rookie to step into a key position would not be wise. But is we have no choice, it would be a definite let down in play.

True Kobe can play the three. But I was thinking, when Ron Artest gets his rest in the first, that surely can't be Kobe to back him up, and Lamar is usually replacing Pau or AB.

So if not Luke, then who?

Tom Daniels -

Very good points, well said.

Everyone, have a great 4th of July!

Even those Lakers fans from around the world, you enjoy your weekend as we celebrate the birth of our country.

See you guys on Monday.....

Many have advocated Shaq or Brad Miller as a back up Center. Firstly, those guys have big egos and won't accept veteran minimum. Secondly, we're endangering the Lakers camaraderie that gave us two championships, Kobe could turn ballistic, Artest could go harikiri and the sensitive Catalan or the young Drew would be jealous on these veterans getting their spaces and touches. If we get a back up Center, get a young dude. One who is interested to learn from the masters not replace them immediately. One who can rebound, follow-up and imitate Joachim Noah faces every time he blocks someone's shot. Thirdly, we need to re-seed the Lakers and think of the future in post Kobe/Gasol era. Train the young greyhounds today. Fourthly, JB does not have anymore profit margins, we kept on demanding more players, more salaries, more luxury taxes. For few minutes of presence or relievers I think Gasol, Bynum, Odom and these 6'10" from the Summer league can do the job.

Luke Walton is a good rebounder, make him work during garbage time. lol!

Derek Fisher will be signed as a Laker. Phil Jackson will have a say on this. And so is Kobe Bryant.

DFish is a wonderful player who's value to the Lakers far exceeds his value to any other team which makes for a difficult negotiation because both the Lakers and DFish know this. Would you pay $5 mil when you knew no one else would?

pfunk & others,

re: Fish's salary

pfunk36 wrote: The Pink elephant in the room of Derek Fisher's and Mitch Kuphak's negotiations is.....(drumroll please) Luke Walton's remaining 3 guaranteed years!

Luke Walton who will be 31 years old before the end of next season is making over $5 Mil next year. Luke contributed nothing in another injury riddled year and continues to get a pass from this increasingly dumbed down local media

How can anyone justify Derek Fisher getting offered 2.5 Mil while Luke Walton makes more than double that? How can Derek justify it?

my response:

y'all are looking at this the wrong way. In my opinion, so take that for what
it's worth. Here's a different perspective:

Luke Walton's contract, while absurd, is now an operating cost. You can't
get rid of it just like you can't do with electricity at Staples. Y'all are
looking at how much Fish makes vs. how much Buss will pay out. That is
exactly backwards. There is *not* an unlimited supply of money. This *is*
a business venture for Dr. Buss.

So. The other old players in the league ... How many of them have had
multiple shooting nights of 2-10? In the past season?

Y'all are going to argue that Fish's leadership/intangibles are worth more.
Is it your position that after 3 trips to the NBA finals & back-to-back wins
in the NBA finals the Lakers need a leader to understand what they're
playing for? Don't get me wrong. I'm not against Fish making more. I *AM*
saying that D-Fish is a MULTI-MILLIONAIRE, with at least one product
endorsement. He doesn't have any financial worries.

This is the *REAL* question: Does D-Fish want to be part of history? There
is a *MASSIVE* reconfiguration taking place in the NBA, right now. This
year will be HISTORIC!

D-Fish, are you in or you out?

ps. I don't care how much he makes. There are good pts. on both sides of
the argument. Ultimately, this is about ... does D-Fish care more about
a championship than he does about $$.

It appears from this article, Lakers are lining up some guards as back up for Fisher and Brown.

If Fisher negotiations botched up, then they could go for Watson or Tony Allen. If Shannon goes away, they could revive JCritt interest.

There is always insurance on the original.

I therefore ask Derek and Shannon, why fret on the small stuff? There's danger in delaying the progress of the negotiation, why not get aboard to Lakers express and start your summer jobs. Create more jobs in this bad economy than getting more money on JB coffers or contribute taxes of Stearn's retirement options. Lmao!

Do we need a Pay Fish Suburban...

I see both sides point of view...

But Fish should at least make as much as Blake which is still less than Sasha or Luke...

That's all Fish is saying...Give me my worth...and Fish is worth more than 2.5 mil...

OMG, $2.3 for 1 season? Not even $5 mi for 2 seasons? That's way too little...
What Fish wants is too much, but what the Lakers are offering is way too little.
Can we find a common ground here?
Say, $6.2 mi for 2 seasons?


By signing Blake, the Lakers also leave just $1.8 million available of their mid-level exception to sign another free agent to something other than a league-minimum deal.

That means that the reported interest in players like Mike Miller in Washington, and Anthony Morrow and Raja Bell in Golden State, will become a moot point, unless one of those players agrees to a heavy paycut for the chance to win a ring or the Lakers can work out some sort of sign-and-trade involving one or more of the seven players they already have signed for next season.

Where is D'Fish, the blogger? During the playoffs, we got a lot of his posts torturing every Fisher fan, now at the middle of negotiations he is so quiet and meek.

Where is Mr. Mike T, the basketball mind? His fascination of players with big calves did not work on Kwame nor on Perkins & the Baby. Suddenly, he went on retirement too.

What is the position of D'fish or he is also Eric Wright who could no longer go wrong on the Lakers? What does the philosopher say on all these equations?

Bloggers should not be one dimensional fan whether a hater or a homer. There is a room for both camps. Love the sport not the individual.

Someone who can handle Kobe, have a huge influence in the locker room and hit very clutch shots is worth having.

This team is all about 2 stars and excellent role players who fit together perfectly to complete a puzzle which is called a team.

Do not underestimate the importance of team/player dynamics.

There are other PG's who can put up better stats or are faster, but there is no other point guard in the league who can do for the Lakers what Fish can do.

Kobe needs him, Phil needs him, the team needs him.


10. Derek Fisher, 35, Los Angeles Lakers
7.5 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, .380 FG%, .348 3P%, 11.5 EP40

Fisher is much more valuable to his current team than he would be anywhere else. Among free-agent point guards who played at least 1,000 minutes, only Farmar dished out fewer assists per 40 minutes. Fisher's numbers were down in the regular season, but he had a better postseason than he did in 2009. He's another that, depending on the situation, is more of a shooter than a floor general.

Ultimately, this is about ... does D-Fish care more about
a championship than he does about $$.

Posted by: hobbitmage | July 03, 2010 at 07:56 AM

Let me ask then... does Buss care more about a championship than he does about the $$?

His track record says he cares more about the championship.

Fish's salary will not make or break the teams profit.

No other Laker was asked to take a pay cut, why should Fish be the only one?

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