Fisher bolts Lakers for Warriors

Updated: July 16, 2004, 5:00 PM ET
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Point guard Derek Fisher finalized a six-year, $37 million contract with the Golden State Warriors on Friday, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers for a team that hasn't made the playoffs in 10 years.

Golden State said it will introduce Fisher at a news conference Monday.

The Warriors used their mid-level salary-cap exemption on Fisher despite already having point guards Nick Van Exel and Speedy Claxton under contract.

Fisher averaged 7.4 points per game in his eight seasons with the Lakers. He won three championships with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, but was relegated to the bench last season when the Lakers signed Gary Payton.

Fisher wanted more playing time next season, and it probably wasn't available in Los Angeles. A day after Payton exercised his $5.4 million option for next season on June 22, Fisher opted out of the final two years of his deal with the Lakers.

Fisher, who turns 30 next month, would have made $3 million in Los Angeles in each of the next two seasons. Miami, Houston and Seattle also pursued Fisher.

Even Bryant's return to the Lakers didn't sway Fisher, one of Bryant's closest friends on the team. Bryant agreed to a seven-year deal worth more than $136 million Thursday.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press