The Los Angeles Cippers have reached an agreement with free agent point guard Jordan Farmar, as first reported by Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Here is an excerpt from Turner’s post:
Farmar appears to be a good pickup for the Clippers after they lost Chris Paul’s backup at point guard, Darren Collison, a free agent who agreed to a contract with the Sacramento Kings.
Farmar played in 41 games last season for the Lakers, averaging 10.1 points and 4.9 assists. He missed 41 games because of injuries that included a torn left hamstring and a strained right groin.
The 6-foot-2 Farmar, who won NBA championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, shot 41.5% from the field and 43.8% from three-point range last season in his second stint with the team.
Farmar, like all free agents who have agreed to contracts when the free-agency period started July 1, can’t sign his contract until Thursday, when the NBA lifts its moratorium.
Farmar, a Los Angeles native, UCLA product and former Laker (twice), is reportedly signing a two-year, $4.2 million deal for the bi-annual exception. He will have a player option for the second year. The deal is similar to the contract Darren Collison signed last summer, setting up the possibility that if Farmar plays exceptionally well, he’ll likely opt out and seek a long-term deal (like Collison did).
By using the bi-annual exception (BAE), the Clippers can now only use the veteran’s minimum — which ranges from about $1.0 to $1.4 million, depending on how long the player has been in the league — to fill out their roster. The only way to circumvent the CBA and maintain flexibility in adding free agents is to do a sign-and-trade for either Farmar or fellow newbie Spencer Hawes, but it’s unlikely that happens.
With the departure of Collison, the Clippers were in need of a backup point guard, and they found a quality one. It’s difficult to imagine them finding a better player for only the BAE, as guys like Jameer Nelson, Greivis Vasquez and Mario Chalmers will each command higher salaries.
Assuming Farmar, Hawes and first-round draft pick C.J. Wilcox all sign with the team (as expected), the Clips will have 11 players under contract heading into the 2014-15 season. The league minimum is 13, so two more players — probably a fourth big man and a “3-and-D” small forward — need to be signed at the very least.
Despite the contrast in salary and projected role/playing time, there aren’t considerable differences between Farmar and Collison. Collison is more efficient from the field and the charity stipe, and Farmar is the better passer and 3-point shooter — arguably the more important categories as a backup PG.
Here is a per-36 comparison of the two players last season:
And here is a comparison of some of their advanced stats:
Again, the two are eerily similar, and that extends to comparable scouting reports. Both are shoot-first point guards that can occasionally have trouble running their team’s offense, which is why neither has been able to establish himself as a reliable starter (although Collison has been given his third chance now). And, while both have somehow maintained stellar defensive reputations dating back to their UCLA days, neither is a lockdown, or even above-average, defender. But Farmar doesn’t struggle defending off the ball the way Collison does, and has a bit more size to throw at stronger guards.
Farmar is undoubtedly the better value. He can essentially provide 90 percent (or more) of Collison’s production at 40 percent of the price (Collison’s 2014-15 salary will reportedly start at around $5.3 million). For their current market values, talent, and ability, Farmar just makes more sense.
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