Late Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to sign Jordan Farmar to a one-year contract, according to ESPN. Farmar reportedly left significant guaranteed money on the table because he “missed being a Laker.”
The Lakers agreed to a veteran’s minimum with the former UCLA Bruin, but the team must still negotiate the buyout of his contract in Turkey. Only 26 years old, Farmar spent four years in Los Angeles prior to moving to New Jersey, formerly home of the Nets. In his last NBA season, Farmar was shooting 44 percent from behind the arc--better than any Laker shot from three-point land all of last season.
After a trade to Atlanta and a buyout of his contract, Farmar headed to Turkey for the 2012-13 season, where he remained under contract. However, considering the Lakers have reached an agreement with the player for about $1 million, buying out his contract would not appear to be much of a hurdle and would not cost the Lakers any more in terms of the luxury tax.
With Lamar Odom rumored to be the next possible signing, the Lakers appear set to bring back some fan favorites for one season. If Metta World Peace is not cut under the amnesty clause, the Lakers will suddenly have four players who were on the roster the last time the Lakers won a championship in 2010: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, World Peace, and Farmar.
If Lakers management is able to mend bridges with Odom, the Lakers will have five players with championship rings who have all played with each other in the past. Also, the signing of Chris Kaman, the retention of Steve Nash, and the emergence of Jordan Hill provide the Lakers with a team that is definitely not looking like it is built to tank the 2013-14 season for a lottery pick in the stacked 2014 draft.
Falling in line with the Lakers’ long-term strategy, Farmar is reported to be on a one-year contract, so he would also be off the Lakers’ books when the 2014 free agent class hits the market. That class includes Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James--two players the Lakers appear to be targeting.
Farmar should provide the Lakers with another veteran point guard to backup Steve Nash--along with Steve Blake--at a position that ultimately crippled the Lakers last season. Initial reaction from the fans was overwhelmingly positive, and the LA-native was always a fan favorite after being drafted by the Lakers with the 26th overall pick in the 2006 draft. After leaving money on the table to come back, fans will likely applaud the Taft High School graduate with even greater fervor.
If Odom joins Farmar on the Lakers, why not bring back “the Machine” too?