The Lakers brought back a familiar face in (Jewish) veteran guard Jordan Farmar on Wednesday. Farmar had a bench role with the Lakers from 2006-2010 where he averaged 6.7 points and 2.1 assists per game. From the Lakers' press release:
EL SEGUNDO - The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent guard Jordan Farmar, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.
“Jordan was a fan favorite and a key contributor to our championship teams in 2009 and 2010,” said Kupchak. “We're pleased to have him back with the Lakers and look forward to him once again making a positive impact on our team.”
Farmar, originally selected by the Lakers with the 26th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, spent his first four NBA seasons with Los Angeles and helped the team to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances (2008-10) and back-to-back NBA Championships in 2009 and 2010. A participant in the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend in both 2007 and 2008, Farmar averaged 6.9 points and 2.1 assists in 18.1 minutes over a span of 301 career games during his first stint with the Lakers.
Signed by New Jersey (now Brooklyn) in July of 2010, Farmar spent two seasons with the Nets, averaging 9.6 points and a career-high 5.0 assists in 2010-11 and a career-best 10.4 points during a 2011-12 season in which he ranked eighth league-wide in three-point field goal percentage (.440).
After briefly playing abroad with Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv during the NBA lockout in 2011 before rejoining the Nets, Farmar signed with Anadolu Efes Istanbul in Turkey for the entire 2012-13 season. In 29 Euroleague games with Anadolu Efes, he averaged 13.8 points on .397 shooting from behind the arc, 3.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 29.4 minutes. In 22 Turkish league games, Farmar posted similar averages of 13.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 26.1 minutes.
A Los Angeles native, Farmar, named to the 2003-04 McDonald's High School All-American team after leading Taft High School to its first ever Los Angeles City title, played two seasons at UCLA where he was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, helped lead the Bruins to the 2006 NCAA championship game as a sophomore and concluded his two-year collegiate career averaging 13.5 points and 5.2 assists in 66 games.
The Lakers, who were swept in the first round of the playoffs this past season, intend to have him play behind current guards Steve Nash and Steve Blake. Given the 91 combined missed games of the current contingent — he should see plenty of playing time.
Los Angeles lost free agent center Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets this offseason which has thrust them deep into a "rebuilding" year. The team has focused on thrift shopping — signing players to one-year, low salary contracts in an attempt to keep their books clear for next year's talent-laden free agent class.
[Related: Jordan Farmar and the Jewish (hoops) future]
Lakers star Kobe Bryant chimed in on the Farmar signing on his increasingly famous Twitter account:
Familiar faces Familiar places? Chemistry is always the most important thing on any team in any sport or business #lakerpuzzle— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) July 10, 2013
With a one-year contract, Farmar will earn $1,106,941 with the Lakers next season. The signing required a $500k contract buyout from his Euroleague team Anadolu Efes Istanbul.
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