The Los Angeles Lakers have had issues recruiting free agents over the last several years. From their failure to re-sign Dwight Howard, to their inability to close the deal with Carmelo Anthony, and most memorably their totally botched recruiting pitch to LaMarcus Aldridge, the team clearly needs some help on that end.
To address that problem, Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported that the front office is looking for "recruiter-in-chief" as their next head coach. If that's the case, former Lakers point guard Derek Fisher thinks he can help in that respect, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Isola wrote Wednesday that while he is a "long-shot candidate" to land the job, Fisher believes his ties to two of the league's biggest free agents over the next two summers should make him an attractive candidate to the Lakers front office as it attempts to hit home runs in free agency (h/t Lakers Outsiders):
Fisher, according to a source, is hoping that his connections to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will make him more attractive to the Lakers, who have missed out on key free agents the past few summers.
Fisher was teammates with both Durant and Westbrook in Oklahoma City and remains close to both. Durant is slated to become a free agent on July 1st and Westbrook free the following summer.
The only issue with this line of thinking is the idea that Westbrook or Durant are going to base their free agency decision on a coach more than the talent on the roster. It's in the latter area where Los Angeles is lacking, and it's hard to believe that Durant and/or Westbrook would want to play for Fisher badly enough to overlook that.
If Durant and/or Westbrook really want to play in Los Angeles, Fisher might help put the team's recruiting pitch over the top, but their desire to play for the Lakers does not appear to be so overwhelming. So what if the team hires Fisher and misses on both players? In that case, they hired Fisher to shepherd their youth through the next stages of their development, and it's not clear just how good of a coach he is.
It's not impossible that Fisher could recruit the Thunder buddies to Los Angeles, just like it's totally within the realm of possibility he could be the right man to help the Lakers' young core grow. But neither of those outcomes are a sure thing, and thus the Lakers might be better off sticking with some of the more promising names on the market that didn't just have a very public flameout in New York.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.