The answer is probably not right away. There’s no doubt that when the five-time NBA champion walks into the American Airlines Center this weekend there will already be respect for the veteran.
Fisher will bring more maturity to the team that they seem to be lacking as this is a team that has no direction at the moment. Of course, having Fisher on the court may not make the Mavs automatically better; there is still tons of work that needs to be done to this team, but signing him is a start.
However, he could be a great teacher to young point guard Darren Collison, who has been struggling the past few weeks and seems to be slowing down in production. Having Fisher on and off the court will help Collison become the point guard that he can be.
I mentioned before that Collison could become the best point guard in Mavs franchise history. Yes, even better than Steve Nash and Jason Kidd were when they were on the team and having Mr. Fisher as the teacher will surely help.
A downside to this signing is the Mavs will need to cut somebody since they are full with a 15-man roster and I expect the Mavs to cut ties with rookie Jared Cunningham. That’s not set in stone, but there is nobody else that would make sense to cut other than him. He has only played in five games with very limited minutes, so cutting him would be the best solution for Dallas.
I believe that having Fisher on this team will help boost their energy. He has spent most of his 16-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers where he won his five NBA championships. Last season he spent the end of the 2011-12 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder where he brought leadership and maturity to the team which, in the end, got them all the way to the NBA Finals.
Now, I do not believe that bringing Fisher to the Mavs will make the team Finals-bound. No way. They will, however, be a legit playoff contender once Dirk Nowitzki returns. Having Fisher to go alongside other veterans Nowitzki and Vince Carter could help the younger guys mature quicker.
I mean, who would not respect a man who helped bring five NBA championships to one team? No one. There’s not official timetable for when Fisher will make his Mavericks debut, but it would not surprise me if coach Rick Carlisle puts him in this Saturday against the Detroit Pistons.