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Derek Fisher Ate Lunch Today

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It's also possible that he ate breakfast and enjoyed a light, late-afternoon snack. The specific items he consumed during the course of these meals is, as of press time, unknown. Also uncertain are his plans for dinner and perhaps a late-night run to Taco Bell. (I'm told it's the fourth meal!)

Wait... let's start over. The news isn't so much that Fish ate lunch, but rather where and with whom. The "where" is Miami, at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel. (I guess they don't have Bennigan's in South Florida.) The "whom" consists of Miami Heat owner Mickey Arison and team president Pat Riley. All this after Fish supposedly chatted with LeBron James at the Miami airport upon his arrival in town. No word on where exactly in the airport LeBron and Fish sat down to have a word together, but let's just assume it was a Cinnabon.

So it seems the Heat are pretty serious about signing the Master of Intangibility. How serious are they? Lay it on us, Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

"They want him to be the starting point guard for the Miami Heat," said an NBA source who was not authorized to speak on the matter publicly. "They are really, really recruiting him. They feel he would be a perfect fit. . . . It's all about options for him and for him to figure out what's best."

You don't say. And I wonder who this unnamed source could possibly be. Hmm... let's see. Who would have an interest in driving up the Lakers' bid for Fisher's services?

It's an open secret in NBA circles that anonymous sources are often, usually even, player agents. They leak quotes like the one above because doing so serves their own and their clients' interests. I would do the same. Given that Fisher almost surely wants to return to the Lakers, this whole Miami trip can be appropriately viewed as a performance engineered to encourage the Lakers to up their offer. The quote included in the Times article is, in all likelihood, a further component of that performance. I'd be willing to bet a few dollars that the source is Fisher's agent. The story also reports that Chicago, New Jersey and Minnesota have expressed interest in Fish, because I guess the Timberwolves desperately need a third point guard (after Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions) to lead their glorious charge to 28 wins next year.

Even if the sources behind this story aren't acting with totally pure motives, that doesn't mean what they say isn't true. Miami does, in fact, seem have a strong desire to reel in Fish. (See what I did there?) What's not clear is the nature of the competing offers. We'd heard up until now that the Lakers had offered $2.5 million for one year and that Fish is holding out for $10 million over two years. Elliot Teaford at the Daily Breeze says no, that's not the case. The Times reports that the Laker offer is actually $5 million over two years.

We don't know whether the Heat have tendered an offer yet. We also don't know what they even could offer. The veteran's minimum for a player of Fisher's tenure in the league is $1.35 million, but the Heat could potentially go as high as $4 million depending on how their other free-agent signings are structured. That would pay for a lot of lunches, even at the Mandarin.

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