Jordan Farmar's exit interview cemented what's been clear for the last couple of seasons. He wasn't terribly interested in remaining a Laker once his contract expired this July, and the feeling has always appeared mutual on the Lakers' end. Jordan's felt unofficially "gone" since around 2008, but it's now truly the case by any standard. Farmar and the Nets have agreed to a three-year deal worth $12-million.
I must admit, New Jersey strikes me as a curious destination. On one hand, the Nets have an established, successful coach in Avery Johnson -- described as a selling point to the Los Angeles Times' Brad Turner -- and an owner with deep pockets. And while still hardly a playoff lock, they're basically guaranteed by definition to perform better than last season's 12 win fiasco. Between rookie Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow potentially joining, and the core trio of Brook Lopez, Courtney Lee and Devin Harris, there are enough good young pieces to consider the Nets a team moving in the right direction.
On the other hand, Harris happens to be the Nets' starting point guard and happens to be a better player than Farmar. The 2009 All-Star was a 35 mpg player last season and I doubt there are plans to decrease his run, meaning the time leftover for Farmar would be limited. It would be tough to play the two together, as they'd form a very small backcourt. Beyond that, there's not much natural incentive for extended minutes undersized. I'd personally rather have Lee or Morrow (should he end up a Net) on the floor than Farmar.
I'd read a few reports of interest in Farmar from the Pacers. Considering Jordan's well-stated desire to run a starting five and Indiana's nearly bare cupboard at the point, I expected the now ex-Laker to play next season in Conseco. Whether those rumors were overblown, the money wasn't as good or Farmar just likes the overall setup better in Jersey, I have no idea. But it is ironic to see him on paper in a situation no better than the one he left. (Arguably worse if you're a stickler for wins.) Who knows? Harris could always get moved. Farmar could perhaps beat him out. And according to Turner, the contract has an opt out clause after the second season. Farmar may think New Jersey's system will showcase him well enough as a sixth man for a new deal as a starter in due time.
Or maybe this was the best offer he got, and he took it.
In any event, it's not a team I pegged Farmar to join, but I'm curious to see how the new digs work out.