The Derek Fisher has ended. Marc Stein of ESPN.com broke the story that the Mavericks agreed to release Fisher at his request. Fisher averaged 8.6 points, 3.6 assists and 25.4 minutes in nine games (all starts) for Dallas this season. What’s intriguing is the fact that, according to sources, the move to let Fisher go had actually been in the works for a few days, but the Mavericks asked Fisher to stay with the team until another point guard could be secured. Fisher agreed to stay, but ultimately got injured in the game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Does agreeing to let Fisher go mean that another point guard is in the mix or the Mavericks have finally seen enough of Dominique Jones and/or Darren Collison to no longer need a security blanket like Fisher go.
Here were part of Fisher’s comments on the first day he arrived in Dallas: “This is not a pit stop. This is not kind of the final whatever before I decide to retire soon. I’m here to give everything I have to help this team right now and continue to build as we go through this season.”
In a statement he issued, he said:
With this news and the difficulty I have been having being away from my family, I have asked the organization to waive me so I can return home.
“(Mavericks owner) Mark Cuban has been extremely supportive and has granted me this request. I cannot say enough good things about this organization. From Mark, to Coach (Rick) Carlisle, to the players on the Mavericks’ team, I sincerely thank them for the opportunity.
“I have made decisions in the past, leaving money and opportunity on the table, and I will need to do that again. My family is my priority and that is where I choose to be. I won’t close the possibility that I will play again, however for now my family and being close to them remains the priority.”
Stein also reports that sources indicate that the Mavericks will call up Chris Douglas-Roberts from the Frisco-based Texas Legends to replace Fisher and take up the 15th spot on the roster. What does this all mean?
What the Mavericks lose with Fisher departing:
- They lose a veteran who seemed to stabilize the starting unit for the Mavericks. Fisher’s biggest impact on the team had been getting them to start games better. In his first two starts, the Mavericks fell behind by 10 at at Los Angeles against the Clippers and in Phoenix to the Suns. They didn’t have that happen again during Fisher’s time as a starter. That veteran experience Fisher brought to the team was a major positive in the eyes of Rick Carlisle.
- They lose somewhat of a solid defender. The sample size was small but Fisher held his own with his disposition on defense. There were many times where he ended up being switched onto a bigger man and he rarely gave up an inch. It was impressive to see him not back down from the challenge in that department.
- They lose depth at the point guard position. It appears the keys to the point guard position will now be given to Darren Collison and Dominique Jones. Roddy Beaubois…well, he’ll be in the car, at least. It remains to be seen who will be the starting point guard. In my opinion, it makes sense to let Dominique Jones move into the starting position and keep Collison coming off the bench. It makes sense as Collison seems to be more of a natural fit as a change of pace player. Jones has had quite a unique run this season. The Two Man Game will have an interesting look at Jones’ journey next week.
What do the Mavericks gain by losing Fisher:
- The Mavericks are now forced to see what they have in terms of Collison and Jones. Fisher was definitely someone who was brought in to stop the bleeding for the Mavericks. While it remains to be seen what the end result will be for the Mavericks this season, they need to know what those two young guards can do for the big picture. Collison will be a restricted free agent next summer and the Mavericks passed on exercising their option on Jones, so he will be an unrestricted free agent.It might be against some people’s better judgement, but the Mavericks have to sacrifice a little bit more in order to see if they have something to build off of with those two guards.
- They gain what appears to be the most coveted player in the D-League with Chris Douglas-Roberts. Take it for what its worth, but Douglas-Roberts has averaged 22.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.9 steals on 49 percent shooting, 39 percent on 3s, in 38.5 minutes with the Texas Legends. Douglas-Roberts has been rated by many as the top current NBA prospect in the D-League He does bring a bit in terms of being a combo-guard, but he is likely to be more of an added weapon in terms of a shooter.
- They gain the knowledge that it’s probably best to avoid dealing with former Lakers. Lamar Odom, Troy Murphy and now Derek Fisher: former Lakers are bad juju for the Mavericks. Fisher indicated that he won’t close the possibility that I will play again. Maybe things just weren’t working the way he had hoped in Dallas and he was ready to go. The “Fisher Flu” and the injury during the game against Philadelphia will be his parting shots. In my opinion, he didn’t look very sick in the locker room leading up to the game against Philly. If I have the flu, I want nothing to do with anything other than just laying in bed. He was ready to move around and get on the elliptical. Then again, I’m a writer and he is a professional athlete.
Through all of this, Delonte West must be kicking himself when he thinks about how he ruined the opportunity he had with the Mavericks.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.