Derek Fisher wants to come back to the Lakers and the Lakers have said they want the point guard on five championship teams to return.
If only it were that simple.
A source with knowledge of the discussions between Fisher's representative and the team says that no offer was made in an initial conversation that took place shortly after the free agent negotiating period began at 9:01 p.m. on June 30.
The team told Fisher he was their top offseason priority, the source said, but Fisher has had to brace himself for the possibility of leaving the Lakers if the team doesn't make him what he'd consider a fair offer.
The Lakers preference is not to offer Fisher more than a one year deal in the $2.5 million range. Fisher doesn't want to accept that much of a pay cut after earning over $5 million last season during the Lakers championship run.
Fisher, who will be 36 next season, told ESPNLosAngeles.com last weekend that he's not set on the terms of the contract, just that it's fair value for leadership, ability and experience he brings to the team.
"I think what's more important is the whole deal," Fisher said last weekend, while participating in the NBA Players Association meetings in Las Vegas. "It wouldn't really just be about one year versus three years or trying to get three just to have some false sense of security. It's really just about the deal itself. If it's one year, it's really just about how that one year looks. Which team it is. If Phil's there or not there. All these different scenarios that come into play.
"I'm not set on the terms. I have a feel for what, at least number wise where we should be, but even that changes if it's more or less years."
Ramona Shelburne is a columnist and reporter for ESPNLosAngeles.com