Farmar Still May Need Some Development
By Mike Bresnahan, Times Staff Writer
October 5, 2006
Jordan Farmar was enmeshed in the fall quarter at UCLA a year ago, taking in Bruins football games and preparing for a basketball season that eventually ended in the NCAA championship game.
He's now starting over, in a big way, leaving the comforts of Westwood after his sophomore season and becoming the 26th player taken in the NBA draft, property of the Lakers.
UCLA still tugs at him he stopped by campus recently but his present-day status almost leaves him in awe.
"I still have friends that are there," Farmar said. "I do miss it at times, but I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world. I can't even put into words how good it feels to be here. It's good to have someone like Kobe [Bryant] watching, and when you do something right and wrong, give you advice on how to improve. It makes it a great situation."
Farmar, 19, has demonstrated decent knowledge of the triangle offense and has shown some fire defensively, but he joins a crowded backcourt and could be a candidate for the Development League. He is the least experienced of the Lakers guards, falling in line behind Bryant, Smush Parker, Maurice Evans, Sasha Vujacic, Aaron McKie and Shammond Williams.
"It's certainly possible," General Manager Mitch Kupchak said. "Training camp will give us a gauge. He had a good summer. He did work on his body so he's stronger. It looks like he's held his own [so far], but the D-League is there for a reason. It's going to depend on training camp, the health of our players and coach's decision."
Players in their first two seasons can be assigned to the Development League up to three times a season. If Farmar were assigned to the Los Angeles D-Fenders the Lakers' Development League team he would continue to be paid his NBA salary and would still be considered part of the Lakers' 15-man roster.
He'd rather not talk about it, understandably.
"I haven't thought of it," Farmar said. "I'm sure they're going to want to do what's best for their organization and for me as well. If they feel that I can get experience down there
it's not the end of the world. I would love to be on the court with these guys, that's definitely what my goal is, but I'm professional now and I have to act like one."
The Lakers' other teenager, Andrew Bynum, packed on some muscle during the off-season and said he is now 7 feet 1. Now he needs to work on court awareness and expanding his moves in the post.
"You can just look at Andrew and see that he's improved his body," assistant coach Kurt Rambis said. "He still has a long way to go in terms of the knowledge he has to have in order to have success out there on the floor. He has made strides, he has made improvements. It's nice to see that he's getting more control over his body. He was puppy-like last year. He's starting to tighten things up a little bit."
Bynum, who will be 19 this month, averaged 1.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in only 7.3 minutes last season.
"I'm going to go out there and prove I should get some more minutes," he said. "That's what training camp is for."
Parker did not practice Wednesday and is day-to-day with a sore right shoulder after colliding with Brian Cook while chasing a loose ball
. Wednesday's practice consisted mainly of walk-through after walk-through on offense, so many that Rambis couldn't guarantee that a recovering Phil Jackson would watch it from start to finish on the practice tape. "I can't imagine that he would go through that and be able to enjoy it
or stay awake," Rambis said.