Jordan Farmar going to Israel?

Updated: August 2, 2011, 1:43 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

Maccabi Haifa of Israel's professional basketball league hopes to sign New Jersey Nets point guard Jordan Farmar if the ongoing lockout delays the start of the season.

The club's American owner, Jeffrey Rosen, issued a statement Tuesday saying that the club is "advancing in our negotiations" with Farmar, who just completed his first season with the Nets after winning two championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.

"We've been in serious talks with Jordan Farmar, who has expressed great interest to play for Maccabi Haifa," Rosen said. "We believe we are close to an agreement, but we have a few more hurdles to overcome to make it happen. We would love to have Jordan Farmar join Maccabi Haifa during the NBA lockout and we find his aspirations to play in Israel to be inspirational."

Israeli media reports say that Maccabi Haifa could face competition for Farmar from longtime Israeli club power Maccabi Tel Aviv, which perennially contends for the Euroleague title.

According to the rules established last week by FIBA, basketball's international governing body, Farmar would have to make a signed declaration that he intends to return to the Nets as soon as the lockout ends before being cleared to sign with any team abroad.

Although it finished only ninth in the 10-team league last season, Maccabi Haifa has tried to be aggressive in pursuing high-profile players since Rosen took control of the team in July 2007.

In 2009-10, Maccabi Haifa signed San Diego teenager Jeremy Tyler, who at the time was the first American to forgo his senior year of high school to play abroad professionally.

After a rocky season in Israel and spending last season playing in Japan, Tyler was drafted 39th overall in June by the Charlotte Bobcats on behalf of the Golden State Warriors, who paid a reported $2 million to acquire Tyler's draft rights.

Maccabi Haifa also played the Nets in an exhibition game in New Jersey last October, becoming the first Israeli club besides Maccabi Tel-Aviv to play an NBA team in the United States.

Farmar signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Nets in July 2010 and averaged 9.6 points and 5.0 assists in 73 games in his first season in New Jersey.

Marc Stein covers the NBA for ESPN.com.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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