NBA Free Agency: Steve Blake or Jordan Farmar? Who Fits the LA Lakers Best?

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IJuly 3, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 13:  Steve Blake #2 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives the ball down the court against the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena on November 13, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly offered Los Angeles Clippers' point guard Steve Blake a four year, $16 million contract, and with that move Jordan Farmar's days as a Laker appear to be over.

Blake is a steady guard who is not quite the athlete that Farmar is, and his signing makes you wonder if the Lakers shouldn't have pushed a little harder to keep Farmar in the fold.

Farmar allegedly was looking for a way out of Los Angeles. So, the Lakers' hand was likely forced, but considering the experience they lose in Farmar the trade-off may not be worth it.

Blake is a NBA veteran with seven years of his own experience, and he may not be as erratic as Farmar, but he is far less likely to finish plays in the spectacular manner that Farmar was capable of.

Farmar was a fan favorite because on hard drives to the rim where he should have laid the ball in, he chose to dunk instead, and the excitement he and fellow reserve Shannon Brown created cannot be duplicated by Blake.

But, the consistent decision making and tough defense Blake provides may be more valuable to the Lakers than Farmar's occasional show-stopping plays, and his game is easily adaptable to the Lakers' scheme.

By all rights Farmar should be a much better defender than Blake due to his natural ability, but the mental part of Farmar's game has yet to catch up with the physical.

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One of the Lakers' biggest issues the past few seasons has been their inability to defend opposing point guards and prevent penetration, and now Blake becomes the best defensive point guard on the roster.

That may sound a little extreme but Blake does have a reputation as a superior defensive player, and it will be refreshing to see another player get a chance to make a defensive difference on the perimeter.

Sometimes it was painful to watch the Lakers' point guards being constantly abused off the dribble, and hopefully Blake can help reverse that trend and offer a little more resistance.

Blake is not a big scorer, but he does shoot nearly 40 percent from three-point range for his career, and in the triangle offense he will get a shot to improve on that number.

Farmar had been envisioned as the Lakers' point guard of the future since he arrived from UCLA, but his play on the court never lived up to that perception, and the Lakers' patience finally ran out.

Los Angeles had to make a move, and Blake was the best point guard available. However, if there is any negative side to Blake's offer, it may be that the Lakers have less of a chance to sign Mike Miller.

Miller was seemingly a perfect fit for the Lakers, and his size, ball-handling, and shooting ability would have been a great boost to the defending champion's roster.

The Lakers were rumored to have offered Miller a six year, $30 million deal, but Blake's signing makes that seem less likely, and a budget that was tight to begin with just got tighter.

Miller may be out of reach financially for the Lakers , and short of a trade, Blake's signing will stand as the franchise's biggest move in free agency.

The Lakers will likely re-sign Derek Fisher, and they are trying to work out a deal with Shannon Brown. This will more than likely be the roster that begins the 2010-2011 season.

Farmar will be missed, but Lakers fans should not be too unhappy about acquiring Blake, because even if he doesn't prove to be better than Farmar, he definitely will not be worse.

This may not be the deal that most fans were hoping for, but it doesn't hurt the Lakers' quest for a three-peat, and it may turn out to be the best move for a team looking for consistency at the point guard position.