One of the bigger moves at the NBA trade deadline Thursday came from Los Angeles, where the Lakers sent Kobe Bryant’s backcourt-mate, Derek Fisher, to the Houston Rockets in a cost-cutting move.
Fisher and Bryant have had a formidable and successful partnership, winning five NBA titles, and General Manager Mitch Kupchak admitted the move was a tough one. Bryant wasn’t saying anything, which probably doesn’t bode too well, at least in the short term.
The Lakers also sent Luke Walton, Jason Kapono and a first-round draft pick to Cleveland earlier Thursday for Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga, but it was the deal that sent Fisher and a first-round pick (acquired from Dallas in the Lamar Odom trade) to Houston for Jordan Hill that had a seismic effect, Bill Plaschke says:
Responding to the pleas for a blockbuster trade, the Lakers answered their critics Thursday with a whopper.
They traded their soul.
Fisher likely was headed for an expensive spot deep on the bench, behind Sessions and Steve Blake and not everyone agrees with Plaschke. CBS Sports’ Matt Moore gives the Lakers an A for their moves.
Yahoo’s Kelly Dwyer sides with Plaschke: “To put it like a Malibu surfer, this is pretty messed up. And no, the Rockets cannot buy Fisher out in order for Derek to rejoin the Lakers this year. After a cruel dismissal like this, bent on saving money for a team that just signed a billion-dollar television deal, we can't understand why he'd want to.
“You’ve really made a hash of it, Buss family.”
Will the moves pay off on the court and not just at the bank for the Lakers?