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Derek Fisher admits possible Chris Paul trade reduces playing time

December 10, 2011 |  5:15 pm

The writing remains on the wall, and Derek Fisher reads it pretty clearly. 

Should the Lakers acquire Chris Paul in a trade, the 15-year veteran and five-time NBA champion would surely lose his starting position and see less playing time. 

"He will be one of the all-time greats as long as he stays healthy and keeps doing what he's doing," Fisher said of Paul. "From that standpoint, of course" he would want Paul on his team.

"But from a personal competitive standpoint, of course I would want to play as many minutes as I can, and someone of his caliber coming to play my position means I would play less."

Of course, few Laker fans are shedding tears for Fisher, who in recent seasons have always sparked some clamorings for the Lakers to acquire a quicker and younger. "For years I've been accustomed to playing with the understanding," Fisher said, "that there's always a need for improvement at the point guard position, so that's not new news at all."

But Fisher's acknowledgement about his conflicted feelings hardly suggests it'd create locker room friction. He said he likes "Chris personally," based on his experience working with him as a player union committee member during the recent labor negotiations. Fisher admitted the demotion would be deserving. And even if he's shared in seasons past he holds a starting position in high regard, Fisher accepted a bench demotion when the Lakers brought in Gary Payton for the 2003-04 seaosn.

Barring the Lakers trading Fisher away this season, he'd still hold value to the team even with Paul in the lineup. 

"What he brings to the table is hard to replace," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said of Fisher. 

Brown already witnessed first hand when he saw Fisher and Kobe Bryant address the team Friday about not letting the NBA's business aspect affecting their on-court professionalism. The media saw it on the court during Saturday's practice when Fisher threw a lob toward Andrew Bynum that he slammed home with one hand. And regardless of whether his statistical performance improves or remains stagnant, Fisher has already proven to be a key piece in helping Brown reach his players. 

"I don' try to overdo it or ovesell what I'm capable of," Fisher said when asked how he'll approach trying to maintain his playing time. "I just try to come in and work as hard as I can."

--Mark Medina

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