No, it's not LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony. It's Jordan Farmar.
During an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina, Farmer expressed interest in remaining with the Lakers well beyond this season.
"I’ll be fine. The Lakers will be fine," he said. "I have plans and high hopes to be here for a long time. I hope it all works out."
Add Farmar's future to the Lakers' to-do list.
There's really no predicting what the offseason holds in Los Angeles. Farmar accepted substantially less—more than $4 million annually, per Medina—to play with the Lakers this season, joining a core consisting of mostly players on one-year deals. With the Lakers slated to have plenty of cap space this summer, no incumbent free agent is guaranteed to return.
As an affordable option at point guard, though, Farmar has a real chance to remain in Los Angeles. Kendall Marshall will likely be brought back after the season he's having, but he's going to need a backup. Farmar's familiarity with the offense makes him a solid candidate.
The team's imminent plans also bode well for Farmar's return. In March, Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding revealed that the Lakers are more inclined to preserve their cap space for summer 2015, when a plethora of superstars are expected to become available:
Everything goes out the window if LeBron James opts out of his Heat contract and is interested in the Lakers this summer, but otherwise the Lakers plan to piece a roster together again next season around Kobe Bryant and save their cap space for 2015 free agents such as Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, Marc Gasol and maybe James.
Remaining financially flexible through next season dictates the Lakers approach this offseason with a mindset similar to last year's. Cheap players on short-term contracts will be their friends—players like Farmar.
It doesn't hurt that Farmar has been productive when healthy this season either. Though he's appeared in just 36 games, he's averaging 10.4 points and 4.7 assists. He's also shooting a career-best 45.7 percent from beyond the arc, increasing his value within Mike D'Antoni's floor-spacing offense.
D'Antoni's potential dismissal, of course, could change things. Depending who the Lakers hire to replace him, Farmar may or may not be expendable.
For now, chances of him returning are good. Like, really good.
Farmar hasn't just shown he can be productive for a team in transition, but he was a key role player when the Lakers won titles in 2009 and 2010. That's something the Lakers can look to even if their plan is to appease Kobe Bryant by building an immediate contender.
"I can understand what he’s going through," D'Antoni told Medina of Farmar's situation. "Sometimes there are things in life more important than money."
Like extending his stay with the Lakers.
*Salary information via ShamSports.
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