It remains to be seen whether the Lakers can return to their championship luster.
But by officially signing Jordan Farmar to a one-year deal worth $1 million, the Lakers acquired a critical bench piece that Lakers general manager described as a “fan favorite” and “key contributor to our championships in 2009 and 2010.”
“We’re pleased to have him back with the Lakers and look forward to him once again making a positive impact on our team,” Kupchak said in a statement.
Both sides agreed to terms about a week ago, but the signing didn’t become official until Wednesday because of a complicated buyout the Lakers had to negotiate with Farmar’s club team in Turkey, Andaolo Efes. The buyout was estimated around $500,000, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. That buyout won’t count against the Lakers’ salary cap, nor will it increase their luxury taxes.
Farmar took a significant paycut after signing last year to a three-year, $10.5 million deal to play in the Turkish Basketball League to return to his hometown.
The Lakers drafted the former UCLA and Taft High School standout 26th in the first round in 2006, averaging 6.9 ppoints and 2.1 assists in 18.1 minutes through four seasons. But Farmar hardly sounded interested in remaining with the Lakers when he became a free agent in 2010, believing his athleticism and aggressiveness didn’t mesh with Phil Jackson’s triangle offense.
He then joined the New Jersey Nets for two seasons, averaging a career-high 10.4 points per game on a career-best 44 percent shooting from 3-point range in the 2011-12 season.
After the Nets traded him to the Atlanta Hawks the follwoing season, Farmar’s contract was bought out. He played last season with Anadolu Efes averaging 13.8 points and 3.9 assists in 29 games. Farmar also played Israel’s Maccabi Electra of the EuroLeague during the NBA lockout in the summer of 2011.
The Lakers currently feature Steve Nash and Steve Blake in the backcourt. But Farmar’s athleticism and playmaking fits Mike D’Antoni’s system well. He’d become a dependable insurance policy should Nash suffer more injuries. Though he’s played primarily point guard his whole career, Farmar could also play shooting guard. That could come in handy since Kobe Bryant has said he may return from a torn left Achilles tendon in either November or December.
Farmar left an imprint in Los Angeles beyond his time with the Lakers.
He played on the 2003-04 McDonald’s High School All-American team after leading Taft High School to its first ever Los Angeles City title. Farmar’s two seasons at UCLA entailed earning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, leadomg the Bruins to the 2006 NCAA championship game as a sophomore and averaging 13.5 points and 5.2 assists in 66 games.
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