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Category: Jordan Farmar

Caught in the Web: Lakers focus on their backcourt during free agency

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--The Times' Broderick Turner details Jordan Farmar's decision to accept a three-year, $12-million offer from the New Jersey Nets. Turner also reports that the amount the Heat would offer to Derek Fisher depends on what free agents Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem are willing to agree to with Miami.

--TrueHoop's Kevin Arnovitz believes that Derrick Caracter's play during summer league has validated the Lakers' choice in drafting him.

--ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher and ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin report on the terms of Farmar's deal.

--The Newark Star-Ledger's Dave D'Alessandro believes that Farmar will be a valuable addition for New Jersey.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding expects Farmar will have a significant role with the Nets.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky remains impressed with how Devin Ebanks and Caracter have played in summer league.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford highlights the belief from Nets President Rod Thorn that Farmar's championship experience will help New Jersey.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore believes Farmar will be a good fit for the Nets and that the Lakers are calling Fisher's bluff.

Tweet of the Day: "Jordan Farmar reportedly agrees to join the Nets for 3yrs-$12M. Laker fans, is he worth that kind of money?" -- LAMase (710 ESPN's Steve Mason)

Reader Comment of the Day: "My gut tells me that Fisher wants to retire a Laker, but he wants some respect." -- Jon K

*There will be a chat beginning at 12:45 p.m. today for the Lakers' summer league game at 1 today against the Knicks. 

-- Mark Medina
twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers guard Jordan Farmar on Sunday accepted a three-year deal worth $12 million from the New Jersey Nets. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Jordan Farmar's move to New Jersey could provide a bigger opportunity, or just more frustration

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Jordan Farmar may soon find out just how frustrating the NBA can really become.

He often lamented during his four-year tenure with the Lakers his lack of playing time, how the triangle offense limited his game and how there never seemed to be enough opportunities for him to succeed. That's why it shouldn't come as a surprise that he officially parted ways with the Lakers on Sunday. It almost seemed inevitable that he wouldn't be part of the organization, particularly with how obvious he made it out to be during his exit interview that he'd like to test the market, get away from L.A. and see where his career can take him.

What seems surprising is the alternative. The Times' Broderick Turner reported that Farmar accepted a three-year, $12-million offer from the New Jersey Nets and will play behind starting point guard Devin Harris. In New Jersey, Farmar's frustration may go beyond playing time and the triangle offense.

Sure, the Nets' new owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, seems to be breathing new life into the organization. The team also seems to have a promising future with the low-post presence of Brook Lopez and Derrick Favors. Farmar gets a pay raise from $1.24 million to $4 million. Farmar's game will flourish now that his playmaking abilities won't be as constricted as they were in the triangle. And Farmar is likely to have more of a chance to lead a team than he ever would with the Lakers -- you know, since the team features the likes of Kobe Bryant and Co.

But I honestly don't see how Farmar's career will benefit from playing for the Nets beyond having a marginal bump in statistical performances and minutes. Much of Farmar's inconsistency with the Lakers pointed more to his poor decision-making and poor effort on defense than limited opportunities. Most of Farmar's impressive performances with the Lakers happened in waves, making it hard to predict whether more chances would've resulted in a steady line graph, or if it would've just featured more peaks and valleys. When you weigh those variables, the fact that the Lakers are the two-time defending champs and New Jersey is coming off a league-worst 12-70 record, there's no question that Farmar will face plenty of additional challenges next season.

He openly expressed in detail why he considered leaving during his exit interview, pointing to his frustration that he didn't want to be pigeonholed as a utility player. He also shared his unhappiness that after his playing time went from 15.1 minutes to 20.6 from the 2006-07 season to the 2007-08 season, his minutes dipped to 18.3 in 2008-09 and 18 last season. And with Derek Fisher's playoff emergence and the Lakers looking to shed costs, Farmar didn't sound exactly optimistic during his exit interview that the Lakers would want to keep him. He also probably saw the writing on the wall when the Lakers signed veteran guard Steve Blake.

But Farmar's desire to go elsewhere matched the Lakers' interest in parting ways because his attitude made it harder for the team to tolerate his inconsistency. That's why the Lakers view Shannon Brown differently and are considering in keeping him so long as it's financially feasible. That's why it will also be interesting to see whether Farmar's career actually begins to flourish with New Jersey, or it if it will continue to produce more frustrating moments.

That's because he won't automatically be given the starting role, a variable Farmar originally said he hoped to find somewhere else. He also won't be part of a winning culture with winning championships and with playing with heavy talent, two consolations Lakers reserves have routinely said help get them through their frustrations with lacking minutes. And Farmar's not exactly known to have outstanding leadership qualities, a variable he may need to improve if he's asked to carry lots of the team's burden.

There's no doubt Farmar's career will drastically change and be redefined beginning next season. But it's unclear everything will turn out the way he wants. And this time, he has only himself to blame.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Jordan Farmar. Credit: CJ Gunther / EPA

Farmar agrees to deal with New Jersey; leaving Lakers

Jordan Farmar said he has agreed to a three-year, $12-million deal with the New Jersey Nets, ending his ties with the Lakers.

Farmar said he can opt out of his deal after the second season.

Farmar spent all four of his NBA seasons with the Lakers and was a part of two championship teams.

"This is a great opportunity for me," Farmar said. "I'm looking forward to it."

Farmar said he'll get a chance to play behind starting Nets point guard Devin Harris and for a coach, Avery Johnson, who played point guard in the NBA.


-- Broderick Turner

Lakers' Jordan Farmar gets contract offer from New Jersey

Jordan Farmar said Sunday that he has gotten a contract offer from the New Jersey Nets, but that he hasn't signed it yet.

Farmar, who spent his first four NBA seasons with the Lakers, said the offer was for three years and $12 million.

"It's on the table," Farmar said in a phone interview. "Both sides are trying to figure some things out. I'm definitely interested."

Farmar became an unrestricted free agent when the Lakers decided at the end of July not to enxtend the 6-foot-2 guard a qualfying offer. That meant the Lakers couldn't match any offer Farmar got from another team.

Farmar won two NBA championships with the Lakers, but he has always felt his style of play was not best suited for the triangle offense.

Farmar also has wanted to be a starter with the Lakers, but has spent the last three seasons behind Derek Fisher, who still is in negotiations with the Lakers and Miami Heat for a multi-year contract.

If Farmar does sign a deal with the Nets, he'll probably still will be a back-up point guard behind Devin Harris.


-- Broderick Turner

Caught in the Web: 4th of July Lakers links

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Lakers links

-- The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore argues the Lakers and Jordan Farmar made the right decision in severing ties. Bonsignore believes Farmar didn't fit the Lakers' system, and the system didn't allow Farmar to display his skills.

-- ESPN the Magazine's Ric Bucher reports that the Lakers and Derek Fisher have reopened negotiations.

-- The Orange County Register's Janis Carr highlights the excitement of draft picks Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter over being with the Lakers.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky breaks down what it means for the Lakers to agree to terms with former Clipper guard Steve Blake.

-- Laker Noise's Roland Lazenby implores Lakers owner Jerry Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak to pay Fisher more than what they're offering.

-- ESPN.com's Marc Stein explains the value former Laker Byron Scott brings to the Cavaliers as their head coach.

-- Forum Blue and Gold's Darius believes the Blake acquisition is exactly what the Lakers need.

-- Silver Screen and Roll's Josh Tucker explains what makes Phil Jackson such a great coach.

Tweet of the Day:"That's crazy I'm stilll up And I have to work out at 8am But tomorrow is holiday I just got back from firework shopping 24hr firework place" -- RONARTESTCOM (Lakers forward Ron Artest)

Reader Comment of the Day: "Happy 4th of July everybody! Party like you're the World champion!" -- Gilbert Battung

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Los Angeles Laker Pau Gasol at team practice before Game 5 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series in Boston. The Lakers went on to win the series and the title. Credit: Adam Hunger / Reuters

Phil Jackson's return improves chances for Lakers to three-peat

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Phil Jackson thought as recently as last week he'd be leaning toward retirement, but he's found a different answer eight days later. Jackson believed he was in the worst of health, lamenting how it's become more challenging to get through an NBA season after two hip replacements, heart problems, a sore knee and painful kidney stones. But medical tests convinced him he could still make it. He acknowledged he's pretty much accomplished all there is in the game with his 11 NBA titles, that is of course, until a reporter mentioned he'd have the chance to three-peat for the fourth time in his coaching career.

"That's ridiculous," Jackson said.

Jackson's decision to coach the Lakers in the 2010-2011 season was announced by the team Thursday. And it speaks to how the Lakers are now in a stronger position to three-peat.

Whether or not Jackson returned, his legacy would've remained etched in stone. He has the most championships of any NBA coach. He established a new Lakers franchise record for regular season victories this season. He ranks first all-time in postseason history in winning percentage (69.7%) and victories (225). And Jackson's teams are 48-0 in playoff series after winning Game 1. More importantly, he demonstrates why managing egos and channeling talent trumps X's and O's and constant yelling.

“Count me in,” Jackson said in a statement Thursday. “After a couple weeks of deliberation, it is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title in the 2010-11 season. It’ll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one.”

As impressive a feat it would be for Jackson to three-peat twice with the Bulls and the Lakers, that's not why Lakers fans should be celebrating Jackson's decision to stay. Beyond knowing this is a sign of good health, Jackson's return already addresses the Lakers most pressing off-season question only a day into free agency. While the rest of the basketball world can watch where LeBron James ultimately lands, the Lakers know the major piece of their roster will be there to fight off any teams trying to stock up for a shot against the Lakers.

Sure, there are still off-season questions the Lakers must address. The team and Derek Fisher are still in negotiations. The team is weighing whether they'd commit Shannon Brown to a long-term contract. They still have to see if any teams are actually interested in Jordan Farmar. And they'll determine whether second-round picks Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter will make the roster. But those issues are secondary compared to what Jackson's return means to the team.

With the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum locked in to long-term deals, Jackson will coach a team that possesses great chemistry. Various injuries prevented the chemistry from fully blossoming, but Bryant, Gasol, Odom and Bynum plan to take it easy this off-season. Artest experienced a learning curve upon his arrival, but things finally clicked late in the Finals and he'll likely listen more to Jackson's suggestions next season. Complacency may set in from time to time, but Jackson's "last stand" remark surely provides the motivation they'll need. 

Had Jackson decided not to stay, the Lakers would've had to worry about other issues. Beyond having to hire another coach and possibly new assistants, the Lakers would've experienced other growing pains. There would have been a transition phase with adopting to a new system. There would have been a chance the team wouldn't receive the coach's message as well as Jackson's. And the team may have fractured apart without Jackson's calm presence to oversee everything. 

“We’re extremely pleased that Phil has decided to return,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “With this most recent championship, we’ve now won five titles in the ten years he’s been our head coach and have been to the Finals in seven of those ten years, which is amazing. He’s not only the best coach for this team, but quite simply the best coach in the history of the NBA.”

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, along with family and friends, celebrates the NBA championship after defeating the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Finals. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times.

Caught in the Web: Lakers' free agency stories

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Lakers links

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner report the Lakers and Derek Fisher didn't agree to terms Wednesday, Shannon Brown opted out of his contract, the team didn't tender a qualifying offer to Jordan Farmar and Brian Shaw withdrew his name from consideration for the Cleveland coaching job.

--AOL Fanhouse's Sam Amick reports former Laker Byron Scott has agreed to terms with the Cavaliers to become their head coach.

--ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard reports that Lakers Coach Phil Jackson e-mailed team spokesman John Black that he plans to tell the team his plans by Friday.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr believes Brown wants to gauge his value in the market.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky preview free agency in podcast format.

--Ball Don't Lie's Trey Kerby compares Kobe Bryant's right index finger to that of an 83-year-old.

--Laker Noise's Roland Lazenby takes owner Jerry Buss to task for not offering Jackson more money.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin highlights the Lakers' decision not to tender an offer to Farmar.

--Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus reports Phil Jackson may need off-season surgery on his knee.

--NBA.com's Sekou Smith reports the Raptors are discussing a sign-and-trade package with the Lakers that would send Chris Bosh to L.A. for either Andrew Bynum or Lamar Odom.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford notes the Lakers' backcourt serves as the team's most pressing concern during free agency. Teaford also focuses on Brown's decision to opt out of his contract.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell explains how Fisher has managed to play 413 consecutive games over the past six seasons.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius tackles the Lakers' free agent questions.

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark reviews the 2009-2010 season.

--Shaw tells KCAL-9's Jim Hill below why he withdrew his name from the Cleveland job.

Tweet of the Day: "After 3 years of buildup, anything short of the world spinning off axis at 12:00 seems disappointing. Y2K 2.0" -- ESPNLandOLakers (ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky).

Reader Comment of the Day:"I don't see any major moves by the Lakers. There's always such speculation before FA signing time but rarely is there anything huge that transpires anywhere much less on a team that won back to back titles with no one in the main rotation retiring or leaving via free agency." -- rdlee

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers point guard Derek Fisher has become the team's first priority in the free-agent market. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times.

Quick-hit thoughts on Lakers' off-season movement

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On Lakers assistant Brian Shaw withdrawing his name from Cleveland coaching position

Shaw's agent, Jerome Stanley, told The Times' Broderick Turner that Shaw declined interest in the Cavaliers' vacant head coaching position because "the process was moving too fast for Shaw to make a decision." It's uncertain whether Phil Jackson has changed his stance on that he's leaning toward retirement, but the two variables are certainly connected. We just don't know how.

Turner reports that Shaw may remain a candidate to replace Jackson if he retires, and that he'd probably stay as an assistant should Jackson return. Although Lakers fans surely want Jackson to stick around, it's comforting for the Lakers at least to consider Shaw as a replacement, whose potential hire would help ease the transition phase since he knows the players and the system. Having him stick around with his current assistant position assuming Jackson stays at least relieves the Lakers from having to hire another assistant.

On Jordan Farmar becoming a restricted free agent

It seemed surprising to read the report from The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Turner that said the Lakers were considering giving Farmar a one-year, $3-million offer considering how obvious Farmar made it seem in his exit interview that he's leaving.

But the Lakers soon decided otherwise, meaning Farmar becomes an unrestricted free agent. If the Lakers had given Farmar a deal, he would have remained a restricted free agent and the team would have had the rights to match any offer sheet Farmar signed with another team. The Lakers' move seems to be a win-win situation for both. The Lakers believe veteran guard Derek Fisher is a more valuable presence, while Farmar believes he'd thrive under an up-tempo offense better than under the triangle.

On Shannon Brown opting out of his contract

Lakers fans shouldn't think this move means Brown doesn't want to be with the Lakers. In fact, it's the complete opposite, as Brown's agent Mark Bartelstein told The Times' Turner that he's hoping to reach a new, multi-year contract. Brown, due to earn $2.1 million next season, mentioned during his exit interview that he'd want to stay with the Lakers, but made it clear he's worried about his long-term future. He's been on four teams in four years and he'd like some stability.

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: With free agency just beginning at 9:01 p.m. Thursday, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak has already made a few off-season moves. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times

Lakers don't make offer to Jordan Farmar, who now becomes a free agent

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The Lakers decided Wednesday not to give restricted guard Jordan Farmar a one-year, $3-million contract offer.

It means that Farmar becomes an unrestricted free agent, and that the Lakers could lose him and get nothing in return when the free-agency period begins at 9:01 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday.

If the Lakers had tendered Farmar a deal, known as a qualifying offer, he would have remained a restricted free agent and they would have had the rights to match any offer sheet he signed with another team.

"The Lakers cared enough to let me become a free agent," Farmar said in a phone interview. "I was excited to hear it. I was real happy. If I do decide to leave, I'll have nothing but positive things to remember about the Lakers."

Farmar, 23, has spent his entire four-year NBA career with the Lakers, winning two championships.

He also wants to become a starter in the NBA, something Farmar was unable to do with the Lakers because of veteran point guard Derek Fisher.

Famar also feels that the Lakers' triangle offense prohibits his game, which he believes is better suited for an up-tempo offense.

Farmar said he thinks that the Indiana Pacers are just one of the teams interested in him. He didn't rule out returning to the Lakers, but Farmar knows that is a long shot.

-- Broderick Turner

Photo: Jordan Farmar (1) splits the defense of Boston's Paul Pierce and Michael Finley (40) for a layup during Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Lakers fans believe Phil Jackson will return as head coach

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Lakers Coach Phil Jackson contended during his exit interview that he was leaning toward retirement because of health concerns. He reiterated that sentiment over the weekend in Montana at the Western Governors' Assn. annual meeting, pointing to George Karl's situation in which throat cancer prompted the Denver coach to miss the last part of the 2009-10 season as a reason why he wouldn't come back another year unless he knows he can last an entire season. Jackson also brought up the grind of the NBA season and how it becomes increasingly difficult each year to go through it.

Despite all those concerns, Lakers fans revealed in a series of polls that 79% many of them believe Jackson will still return as the team's head coach. There are plenty of reasons beyond wishful thinking why Lakers fans believe this will happen. Jackson still made it clear he hadn't made up his mind, saying he'd decide sometime later this week after getting the results of various medical tests he took following the Lakers' championship. Though he's had two hip replacements, a sore knee and kidney stones, Jackson suggested that those tests could sway him back into the coaching fold. That's why 20% of fans believe Jackson will come back.

Then there's 12% of fans who argue that the allure of capturing his fourth three-peat will be too enticing for Jackson to pass up. As of right now, the Lakers main core --- Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest -- are locked into long-term deals, and it appears likely veteran guard Derek Fisher will stay (68% of voters believe he will stay because of his playoff performances and his leadership). So even if the attempt to three-peat will present numerous challenges with facing an opponent's best performance and the exhaustion that's come with three consecutive Finals appearances, Jackson returning would help keep the continuity intact and give the Lakers a best chance to win the title again.

That sentiment is shared by Fisher, who recently told ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne that "not even just the Lakers, but the NBA as a whole, would lose a big part of what this game has been about the last 20 years if he's not back. If he's not back, it changes the whole landscape." Lakers fans agree, with 58.2% saying keeping Jackson serves as the Lakers' most urgent need this off-season. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak recently said solidifying the Lakers' backcourt remains the team's highest priority, but only 20.4% agree with that sentiment, while Toronto forward Chris Bosh remains the top choice in a trade among Laker fans (27.4%).

That's because Jackson's future indirectly affects other variables, such as who among the Lakers' six free agents will come back and who the Lakers would get as Jackson's successor if he decides to retire. There's 41% of fans who believe Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw would take the vacant position, but The Times' Broderick Turner reported this morning that Shaw is probably going to agree to a deal that will make him Cleveland's head coach. There's 46% of fans who believe former Laker Byron Scott would succeed Jackson, but Scott recently told Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears that he's not going to just wait for Jackson to make his decision. If either of those two candidates aren't available, Lakers fans lack definitive consensus on who else could fill the position.

In fairness, there are other issues the Lakers must tackle. If the fans are accurate, Jordan Farmar will leave (92% of the vote), as will Shannon Brown (50.8%), who recently opted out of his contract. All of the team's reserves on the front line -- Adam Morrison (95%), D.J. Mbenga (64.4%) and Josh Powell (55%) -- will be gone. And the possibility that the Lakers would dump Odom's salary? There's 70% of fans who don't think that will happen, with 47% saying the Lakers only floated that report out there to grab Odom's attention and make him aware he needs to play better.

But very little of that has concerned Lakers fans. Heck, 64% of them insist they don't care whatsoever about where LeBron James lands. That's because all eyes are on Jackson. Even though Lakers fans are optimistic he'll return, they know deep down inside what the consequences will entail if that doesn't happen.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times' Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Despite Phil Jackson's health concerns, the majority of Lakers fans believe he will remain the team's head coach. Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters.

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