Even before Fisher and Jazz amicably parted ways, I was proposing hair-brained schemes to get him through a trade. As much as it looks like that trade scenario was about getting AK, it was really always all about Derek. Then last week when Fisher announced his unprecedented agreement with Utah, I couldn't help but revisit the idea of a return to his roots.
So I'm obviously thrilled now with the news that it looks like he'll be back in Purple and Gold (thanks to Gatinho/Gr8 dunk at FB&G). Most of the MLE (around 16m over 3 years) is probably overpaying a little, but I was hoping to get him back when he costed about 5 million more, so I can't complain. The truth is that in this FA market with everyone going for a few million more than their worth, the Lakers probably couldn't do much better. I was never too sold on how Blake would fit in, and the Greek was really only exciting as an unknown quantity. Furthermore, at three years this isn't the kind of contract that will handicap us much down the line. If this sounds like rationalizing, it's because it probably is. But the truth is I think it makes just enough basketball sense and more than enough sentimental sense that the financial sense just doesn't seem that important at the moment.
Because I've already covered fairly in depth the reasons I think he's a great fit, I'll turn briefly to where this leaves the Lakers going forward. With Fisher, Luke, and Lamar in place, I think the Lakers inch a little closer towards the picture that Reed painted of a contender. I maintain the belief that Kobe is talented enough that the Lakers could make a significant run if you surround him with guys who merely know their roles, which usually consists of little more than playing sound defense, spacing the floor, moving the ball, and hitting open shots. Having a second legitimate star like KG or JO that could shoulder the burden on nights he's struggling obviously would be nice, but I don't think it's actually essential to post-season success for this team. I don't think we actually need Javaris, Farmar, and Fisher, so if this move makes Javaris expendable in return for a solid vet, I won't object despite his strong showing in his first summer league game. His follow-up tonight I think would be more indicative of the growing pains the Lakers would go through if he got significant burn; growing pains I don't think the fans or Kobe are patient enough to wait through at this point. I realize I'm diverging from the topic slightly and should probably dedicate a long overdue post entirely to Crittenton at some point, but am not sure I have much more to say than: he could probably be pretty good some point, but he's clearly nowhere near ready.
In the end, do I think this is the blockbuster move needed to completely appease Kobe or push the team to the next level? Certainly not. Do I think it's a step in the right direction? Without a doubt.
(Then again I probably would've thumbed up moves to get back Horry, George, and Tyronn Lue, so my opinion on this shouldn't be trusted. Anyone know what AC Green's up to these days?)