L.A. Lakers: Moving Derek Fisher Improves Lakers for This Season and the Future

The NBA is big business. Nobody understands that better than Derek Fisher.

Mere months after playing a central role in negotiating the league's new labor deal, Fisher was surprisingly dealt by the Los Angeles Lakers to the Houston Rockets for backup big man Jordan Hill.

Faced with the reality of looming salary cap issues, it seems like the Lakers are finally ready to ditch their usual "free-spending-on-veterans" disposition for a more financially feasible plan.

In flipping Fisher, the Lakers brass showed that they value cold-blooded basketball-centric decisions over committed service and loyalty. Despite being a key component of five championship teams in L.A. and hitting numerous clutch shots in the playoffs, Fisher's Lakers run came to an abrupt and unceremonious end on Thursday.

The 2012 trade deadline marked the beginning of a new era in Lakers management. Despite a serious lack of valuable commodities, GM Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers front office managed to swing a pair of deals that not only improved their team this year, but laid the first stone on their path to the future.

By shipping out the 37-year-old Fisher and two 31-year-olds in Luke Walton and Jason Kapono and bringing in three guys ages 25 or under in Ramon Sessions, Hill and Christian Eyenga, the Lakers not only got significantly younger, but also cheaper and, most importantly, better.

Sessions gives the Lakers their best point guard since Gary Payton's brief stint in L.A. (that's a scary thought). Though Sessions is just an average lead-guard in today's point-guard-laden league, average is actually a massive upgrade for the Lakers at the position. Not since 2004 have the Lakers had a starting point guard post a league-average or better PER. Sessions has achieved that mark in three of his four full seasons in the NBA.

In Sessions, the Lakers add a fourth guy who can score in double figures on a nightly basis. Throw in the f...

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