LOS ANGELES, March 15, 2012 (AFP) – The Los Angeles Lakers traded veteran point guard Derek Fisher to the Houston Rockets for Jordan Hill at the NBA’s trade deadline on Thursday.
On a day when Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard made headlines by opting to stay put, the deadline in this lockout-shortend season passed in relative quiet.
Howard had been widely expected to be traded, but when he agreed to waive his option to terminate his contract early — commiting to stay in Orlando through the 2012-13 season, the Magic were happy to hang on to a star beloved by their fans.
“Now we can get back to playing basketball and having some peace and trying to win a championship,” Howard said.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak confirmed the trade of Fisher, a five-time NBA champion wth the team, in which Houston will also receive the protected first-round pick in the 2012 NBA draft that orginally belonged to Dallas, but was acquired by the Lakers earlier in the season in the trade that sent Lamar Odom from Los Angeles to the Mavericks.
When the Fisher deal was announced, the Lakers had already acquired a younger point guard in Ramon Sessions, brought from Cleveland along with Christian Eyenga in exchange for forwards Luke Walton and Jason Kapono.
Sessions, a four-year NBA veteran, is averaging 10.5 points and 5.2 assists per game this season.
Other transactions on Thursday included Golden State’s acquisition of forward Richard Jefferson, T.J. Ford and a 2012 first-round draft pick from San Antonio, in a deal that sends Stephen Jackson back to the Spurs.
The Warriors acquired Jackson in a five-player deal earlier this week with Milwaukee.
Jackson is a favorite of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and returns to a team that he helped to a title in 2003.
Several centers landed in new homes, including Brazilian Nene, Marcus Camby and JaVale McGee.
Camby was sent from Portland to Houston for point guard Jonny Flynn, center Hasheem Thabeet and a second-round pick.
The Trail Blazers also traded Gerald Wallace to New Jersey, part of a makeover that also saw them sack coach Nate McMillan and waive former number one draft pick, the oft-injured center Greg Oden.
Nene was traded to Washington by Denver, who had inked him to a five-year, $67 million contract three months ago. Washington sent McGee and Ronny Turiaf to Denver. – AFP