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Derek Fisher Will Not Be Taking His Talents to South Beach

Well, that ended quickly. In a statement on his website posted 30 minutes ago, Derek Fisher announced that he's returning to the Los Angeles Lakers. According to ESPN Los Angeles, it's a three-year deal, with the third year at Fisher's option. No immediate word on what the dollar amounts are, or how much Vitamin Water was in the background when the decision was made.

Fish made clear that Kobe's recruitment is what brought him back into the fold. From the Master of Intangibility himself:

At the end of the day, there's one person I could not turn away from. Kobe Bryant asked me to stay but supported whatever decision I made. He and I have played together for 11 seasons, came into the league together as kids, and has been loyal to me even when others had doubts. We have won five championships together. . . . I have decided to continue with Kobe, continue with our teammates and the fans of Los Angeles. While this may not be the most lucrative contract I've been offered this off season, it is the most valuable. I am confident I will continue to lead this team on and off the court. Let the hunt for six begin.

Translation: suck on deeez, Pat Riley.

The Lakers' depth chart for next season is starting to round into form. Here's how it looks at the moment.

  Starter

  2nd String

  3rd String

PG

  Fisher

  Blake

SG

  Bryant

  Vujacic

SF

  Artest

  Walton

  Ebanks*

PF

  Gasol

  Odom

  C

  Bynum

  Caracter*

* = not yet signed

Assuming that Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter make the team, which seems likely based on their strong play in the summer league so far, the Lakers will need to acquire two more guys to get to the mandatory 13. A deep-reserve center seems like a must, and then maybe a reserve swing guard. Will Shannon Brown and DJ Mbenga be getting the next phone calls from Mitch Kupchak?

In any event, welcome home, Derek Fisher. It wouldn't have been the around same here without you.

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