Derek Fisher Cleared to Return to Lakers: Should LA Bring Back Fan Favorite?

For the Los Angeles Lakers, this past year has been all about starting fresh, beginning a new chapter in their history. We think.

Just when you conclude Los Angeles' roster is set in stone, just when you believe the words "purple," "gold" and "stability" are ready to be uttered in the same sentence, Derek Fisher happens.

All third-string-caliber-point-guard hell broke loose when Marc Stein of reported that the Lakers were attempting to create an opening in the backcourt:

It's not feasible for the Lakers to bring back Fisher now, because league rules preclude them from signing a player traded away and then waived (in this case by Houston) for one year after the original deal. Which means March 15, 2013, is the earliest Fisher could legally re-sign with L.A. 

Yet sources with knowledge of the Lakers' thinking say that the team is already trying to create a backcourt opening, having made it clear to the rest of the league that Chris Duhon and Steve Blake are available via trade to any interested party willing to absorb one of those contracts. 

Surely this meant nothing more than Los Angeles was attempting to shed some payroll. After all, would you want to be paying Steve Blake and Chris Duhon nearly $16 million combined over the next two years?

I didn't think so.

Yes, this was just a case of cutting costs and spending funds more efficiently. Fisher isn't eligible to re-sign with the Lakers until March anyway. This meant nothing.

Or perhaps it meant everything.

Stein followed up his original report with an updated one that revealed it was possible for Fisher to return to the Lakers, to return to the open arms of former teammate Kobe Bryant much sooner. Like right now:

Sources briefed on the discussions told on Monday that Fisher has, indeed, been verified by the league office as eligible to re-sign with the Lakers since July 1, which run...

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