From Mark Medina, Los Angeles Times: Jordan Farmar may soon find out just how frustrating the NBA can really become. He often lamented during his four-year tenure with the Lakers his lack of playing time, how the triangle offense limited his game and how there never seemed to be enough opportunities for him to succeed. That’s why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he officially parted ways with the Lakers on Sunday. It almost seemed inevitable that he wouldn’t be part of the organization, particularly with how obvious he made it out to be during his exit interview that he’d like to test the market, get away from L.A. and see where his career can take him. What seems surprising is the alternative. The Times’ Broderick Turner reported that Farmar accepted a three-year, $12-million offer from the New Jersey Nets and will play behind starting point guard Devin Harris. In New Jersey, Farmar’s frustration may go beyond playing time and the triangle offense.
From Mark Heisler, Los Angeles Times: LeLemmings Strike Back! You know the guy on the 100-foot billboard in Cleveland with his head thrown back and his arms outstretched under the Nike swoosh and the words “We Are All Witnesses”? He doesn’t perform miracles there anymore. After years of dreading this day, Cavaliers fans, who assured themselves LeBron James would never leave, knowing he was all they had going and there would be no reason for them to stay, either, learned he would spend the rest of their lives in. . . . And now a word from our sponsors. MIAMI?
From Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times: The Lakers have one guard who might be staying or going, another guard who is leaving and yet another guard who remains in flux. Almost two weeks into the free-agency period has put Lakers unrestricted free-agent guard Derek Fisher in a position in which he may have to decide between two similar offers — one from the Lakers and the other from the Miami Heat. Jordan Farmar, to whom the Lakers didn’t make a qualifying offer, which made him an unrestricted free agent, said he agreed Sunday night to a three-year, $12-million deal with the New Jersey Nets.
From Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll: Some details have emerged tonight about the bidding, uh, “war” for Derek Fisher. A story filed minutes ago by Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times contains two key pieces of information. One is that the Miami Heat have indeed offered Fish a contract. It’s for two years, with the second being a player option. The salary is “up to $2 million” per year, depending on what Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem will agree to. The Heat have apparently promised Fish the starting point-guard gig. The second key update is that the Lakers are now offering Fish a deal worth $2.75 million annually. Turner doesn’t know whether it’s a one- or two-year offer, but in any event, it’s a very slight increase from the $2.5 million contract the Lakers were reportedly offering last week. The Heat are requesting answers from Fish, Miller and Haslem by Tuesday.
From the K-Bros, Land O’ Lakers: 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.
From Mark J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports: A source close to Derek Fisher said he’s confident the free-agent guard will re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers instead of going to the Miami Heat. Fisher reportedly received a $2.5 million offer for next season from the Lakers. He has been seeking a two-year contract with a starting salary closer to the $5 million he made last season. Depending on whether the Heat sign both Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem, they could be in position to offer only the veteran’s minimum to Fisher. Fisher visited with the Heat in Miami on Saturday.
From Kevin Arnovitz, TrueHoop: Large bags of ice are taped to ‘s shoulders and knees as he sits on a folding chair beneath the bleachers of Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas. The Lakers have just dropped a summer league game to the Nuggets, but Caracter continues to make the Lakers look smart for nabbing him with the 58th overall pick in last month’s draft. After racking up 20 points and 10 rebounds against the Pistons on Friday, Caracter scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on Saturday. Even though summer league is largely an exhibition to display individual talents, there’s a tacit rule not to take too much pride in personal performance when your team loses. Still, as a late second-rounder who has been carrying baggage, Caracter’s strong play has him in good spirits.
From Mike Trudell, Basket Blog: The Lakers lost their second straight game to open the Las Vegas Summer League as Ty Lawson and the Denver Nuggets rode a late run to a 92-74 victory. Yet as was the case in L.A.’s first game, second round picks Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter showed why Mitch Kupchak and Co. drafted them, Ebanks posting a game-high 24 points and Caracter contributing his second straight double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. L.A. cut Denver’s lead to just four late in the second quarter, as Ebanks and Caracter combined for 18 points in the period, but couldn’t lead the Lakers back in the second half. Ebanks, known more in his two years at West Virginia as a defensive player, showcased his offense for the second straight game, bringing his average to 22.5 points, and he added three steals on defense.
From Alex Kennedy, Hoops World: Throughout the draft process, Derrick Caracter proved that he could hang with the top prospects in this class. He was dominating workouts and saying all of the right things in interviews. But on draft night, teams were still scared to take a risk on the big man because of his well documented red flags. Caracter had changed his attitude, lost forty pounds, and emerged as a leader but the mistakes he made as a high schooler were coming back to haunt him. When the Los Angeles Lakers finally took a chance on him with the fifty-eighth pick, Caracter vowed to go after the players chosen ahead of him on draft night. When the Las Vegas Summer League kicked off on Friday, Caracter started this process by going after Greg Monroe.
Last, but not least, I just saw this video of Kobe talking about how kids need to get out and play more, Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw and LeBron James.