Veteran point guard Derek Fisher signed a contract Thursday with the struggling Dallas Mavericks, who are still playing without injured star Dirk Nowitzki and lost Jason Kidd in free agency during the offseason.
The 38-year-old Fisher, who has played 16 NBA seasons with four teams, could make his Dallas debut in Saturday night’s home game against Detroit.
The Mavericks (7-9) have lost three games in a row and eight of 11, including a 101-78 loss Wednesday at Chicago that point guard Darren Collison missed with a sprained right middle finger. Collison was acquired from Indiana this summer.
To make room for Fisher on their 15-man roster, the Mavericks waived Troy Murphy. Since signing with Dallas on Nov. 2, Murphy averaged 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14 games.
Collison replaced Jason Kidd, the 39-year-old guard who was with the Mavericks the last four years and was part of their only NBA title two seasons ago. Kidd signed a free-agent deal with the Knicks last summer after initially indicating that he was staying.
Nowitzki is recovering from arthroscopic surgery in his right knee, and the 11-time All-Star is still several weeks from returning to the lineup.
Fisher played in 1,173 career games with the Lakers, Golden State, Utah and Oklahoma City, averaging 8.6 points and 3.1 assists in regular-season games. He has also played in 229 postseason games, including last season with the Thunder, who swept the Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs and then made it to the NBA Finals.
Collison has averaged 12.9 points and 6.3 assists per game with Dallas, but has been inconsistent at times.
”We need help at point guard,” coach Rick Carlisle said after the loss in Chicago. ”We feel (Fisher) can help us. It’s not a cure-all to all of our team challenges, but his expertise and experience will help.”
The Mavericks had the day off Thursday, but Fisher is expected to practice Friday.
Fisher was drafted 24th overall in 1996 by the Lakers, and was part of five NBA championships in Los Angeles (2000-02, 2009-10). He also served as president of the NBA Players Association.