This off-season one of the biggest things the New York Knicks are looking to do is find a young, athletic point guard they can bring off the bench behind starter Raymond Felton. If that player could play along side Felton in a two-guard system, even better. Why not target Jordan Farmar who is looking to return to the NBA from Europe?
This off-season the New York Knicks need to be creative with where and how they find free agents to fill their roster spots. They don't have a lot of money and need to get younger and more athletic all over their roster. One of the biggest spots in need of youth and athleticism is the point guard position. That's where Jordan Farmar comes in.
Farmar is a 26 year old point guard from Los Angeles, California. He's 6'2", 180 pounds and was drafted 26th overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He played for the Lakers from 2006-10 and was a key reserve on the 2009 and 2010 championship teams.
Farmar then signed with the New Jersey Nets where he played from 2010-12. During the NBA lockout of 2011 Farmar played for Maccabi Tel Aviv. He was traded to the Atlanta Hawks in the Joe Johnson deal and was bought out and signed in Turkey with Anadolu Efes where he's signed since 2012.
During his six seasons in the NBA, Farmar has averaged 7.7 points, 0.8 steals, 2.8 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 19.5 minutes per game. For his career he's shot 36.7 percent from three-point land, 72.8 percent from the free throw line and 42.7 percent from the field.
Farmar, the former first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers, spent this season playing for Anadolu Efes in the Turkish League. He signed a three-year, $15 million contract last July with Efes, but can op out after every season.
“He wants to come back to the NBA, for sure,” said Tony Dutt, Farmar’s agent who also happens to be a friend of Bucks general manager John Hammond. “He’s still young and he could help some teams.”
On offense, Farmar can shoot spot-up jumpers, run the fast break and pick and rolls, is pretty consistent in catch and shoot situations, and can be a threat from the outside. He plays with pace, can shoot floaters, displays very good court vision, and likes to push the ball in transition.
That's the positive. The negative is that he isn't very strong so he doesn't finish around the hoop as well as he should, tends to look for his own shot before passing to others, and isn't very explosive. That's basically what keeps him as a backup instead of being an NBA starter.
On defense, Farmar his held back from his lack of physical tools. He lacks the quickness, length, and strength of a great defender. However, he has a knack for creating turnovers. He has good awareness and timing which allows him to come up with steals. That being said, he gets caught watching the ball sometimes. He also struggles to fight through screens. That being said, he's a fairly good one-on-one defender but doesn't match up well with quicker players.
Farmar may be able to make about $5 million a season with Anadolu Efes, but he'll very likely have to take a pay cut to return to the NBA. However, it seems like the pay cut is worth is to him. He wants to play in America again. It's possible he experiences a change of heart after seeing the lower offers he gets through free agency and returns to Europe but it sounds like his mind is made up. That's something the Knicks should take advantage of.
Farmar is the kind of athletic player who could play either guard positions for the Knicks in a pinch and Mike Woodson would love his championship experience. The fact he's younger than Felton doesn't hurt either. Neither does his experience of playing with a star player like Kobe Bryant.