(EL SEGUNDO, Calif) — The Los Angeles Lakers parted ways with five-time NBA champion guard Derek Fisher on Thursday before the 3 PM Eastern trade deadline.
A co-captain, who was drafted by the team in 1996, was sent to Houston along with a first-round pick acquired from Dallas when they traded forward Lamar Odom in the beginning of the season for center Jordan Hill.
Before trading away 37-year old Fisher, they also sent forward Luke Walton and guard Jason Kapono along with another first-round pick to Cleveland and acquired Cavaliers guard Ramon Sessions and forward Christian Eyenga.
Both moves cleared cap space for Lakers’ general manager Mitch Kupchak and made the team younger. Whether it adds up to another championship in Los Angeles, we’ll have to wait and see.
“I’m concerned, yes,” Kupchak said in a news conference Thursday afternoon. “I’m not sure that it will translate into a team that performs any less … but, you can’t underestimate Derek’s contribution from a chemistry point of view and on the court that he’s given to this organization. It can’t be underestimated and you can’t say that this team is going to wake up tomorrow and play as if he was never here.”
Sessions backed up the first pick of the 2011 NBA draft, Kyrie Irving, averaging 10.5 points and 5.2 assists this season in Cleveland.
Despite all the trade rumors that surrounded Pau Gasol, he wound up staying with Los Angeles.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN