Derek Fisher and the Lakers have reached an impasse in contract negotiations, and the free-agent guard has flown to Miami to meet with Heat President Pat Riley on Saturday to see whether a deal can be reached to Fisher's liking.
Fisher departed Los Angeles on Friday for Miami, said a source close to Fisher who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, because he wants to play for a team that has a shot at winning the NBA championship.
The source said Fisher would like to remain with the Lakers and that negotiations are amicable, but that Fisher wants to explore his options, especially now that Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh have joined forces on a Heat team some consider one of the favorites to win the NBA title.
But with each of the three stars agreeing to a multiyear deals just under the maximum of $16.6 million a year, and with the Heat nearing a five-year deal for almost $30 million with free-agent sharpshooter Mike Miller and close to an agreement with free agent Udonis Haslem, Miami can probably offer Fisher only the veteran's minimum of $1.352 million.
"He's there to hear [Riley] out," the source said. "I think he's going to take everything under consideration before he makes a decision."
Fisher, who will be 36 next month, earned $5 million last season in the final year of a three-year deal.
When the free-agency period began June 30 at 9:01 p.m. West Coast time, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak reached out to Fisher first. But no deal has been reached.
"We're having ongoing discussions," Kupchak said Friday. "Both parties want to be back, and hopefully that will happen. We are continuing a dialogue. Hopefully at some point and time we get something done. It's not moving as quick as we all would hope."
The Lakers signed guard Steve Blake to a four-year, $16-million deal, but he's the only ballhandling guard they have under contract.
The Lakers are leaning toward not bringing back guard Shannon Brown. Among the free-agent guards still available are Luke Ridnour, Earl Watson, Shaun Livingston and Javaris Crittenton.
Meanwhile, Friday night in Miami, James, Wade and Bosh arrived in front of 13,000 fans. The new teammates were lifted into the air on a forklift, with James dressed in a white Heat uniform for the first time.
"It feels right," James said. "To be in this position, to wear the Heat uniform, everything is nice. We're going to make the world know that the Heat is back."
Kupchak said the Lakers are negotiating one-year deals for assistant coaches Frank Hamblen, Brian Shaw and Jim Cleamons that the GM hopes will get done in about a week. Kupchak said the Lakers first want to get Coach Phil Jackson's deal signed.
"That should be done soon," Kupchak said. "We've had discussions [with our assistants]. I don't see any problems."
Times staff writer Mike Bresnahan and Times wire services contributed to this report.
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