Lakers player reviews: Jordan Farmar

May, 30, 2014
May 30
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McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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Jordan Farmar Maddie Meyer/Getty ImagesDespite frequent injury interruptions, Farmar has exhibited noticeable improvement in his second stint in L.A.

Jordan Farmar

2013-14 salary: $884,293 | Age: 27 | Season stats: 10.1 PPG, 4.9 APG

Season recap: Farmar has had an interesting basketball journey since leaving the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent in 2010. First, there were two seasons spent with the Nets, during which he ended up backing up Devin Harris and, later, Deron Williams, even though a big reason he left L.A. in the first place was to avoid being behind Derek Fisher in the rotation. Then there were stints overseas in Israel and Turkey. The native Angeleno left millions in guaranteed money from his Turkish team, Anadolu Efes, on the table to return home last summer and accepted the veteran’s minimum from the Lakers. He has showed great growth and maturity since his first run with the team, taking on the role of a vocal leader. His game has improved as well, as he has become one of the most reliable 3-point shooters in the league (43.8 percent). However, a persistent right groin injury caused Farmar to miss half the season (41 games).

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Is re-signing Jordan Farmar a better option for the Lakers than finding a point guard in the NBA draft?

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Season highlight: Farmar was on fire in a 126-122 win over the Sacramento Kings in late February, scoring 30 points while shooting 8-for-10 from 3 and also dishing out the ball for seven assists. Not to mention, he did all that in just 29 minutes of playing time.

Season lowlight: Tears in his right hamstring caused Farmar to miss stretches of 10 games, 16 games, four games and 11 games as the season wore on. He’d probably also want a do-over on the Lakers’ Christmas Day game against the Miami Heat, in which he went 1-for-7 from the field with four turnovers.

Final grade: B-

Notes: The Lakers’ point guard position was cursed this past season. Not only did Farmar miss half the season, but also Steve Nash managed to play just 15 games, Steve Blake dealt with multiple injuries before being traded and Kobe Bryant, Kent Bazemore and Xavier Henry -- who all played out of position to fill in at the point when nobody was available -- had injury problems of their own. General manager Mitch Kupchak took the blame for the injury epidemic late in the season, admitting he might have mismanaged the roster last summer and failed to bring in enough insurance to cover L.A.’s bases.

Quotable: "I’m pretty confident. This is a business, and we need to approach it as such. I love Los Angeles. I love this organization and the fans. This is definitely where my heart is." -- Farmar said after his exit interview.

What's next?: Farmar made it clear that he didn’t make a financial sacrifice to leave Turkey for just one season with his former team. The Lakers should have plenty of money available this summer to give Farmar a raise and keep him around, but there are some questions surrounding the decision. Is Farmar ready to be a full-time starter if Nash is injured again next season? Is Farmar’s body type too fragile to withstand the demands of an 82-game grind? Would L.A. be better off using its first-round draft pick on a point guard, such as Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, rather than making a big commitment to Farmar?

Dave McMenamin

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0