Moving onto the Lakers’ second pressing issue this off-season, help at the lead guard position.
According to Kamenetzky’s post, Blake and Derek Fisher combined for the fewest points a game (10.9), had the fewest assists (4.9) and the lowest field-goal percentage (38) out of all the point guard tandems in the league.
Similar to Vujacic, Jordan Farmar eventually became dissatisfied with his role as Fisher’s understudy for three years. He saw himself as a starting point guard in the league one day. Farmar signed with the Nets last summer when he saw that the Lakers had signed Steve Blake from the Clippers.
Lakers Nation felt that Blake was an upgrade over Farmar. Blake is respected around the league as a leader in the locker room and as someone who fits into any system.
As I mentioned already, Blake didn’t live up to the expectations of Lakers fans. The only saving grace for Blake is that he could have a bounce back year in Mike Brown’s brand new offense.
However, every time Blake was unable to do the things for which the Lakers signed him for, I found myself questioning why the Lakers’ management would let Farmar walk in favor of the guy who went down with chicken pox just before the playoffs commenced.
Yes, Farmar’s decision making was questionable, but he possessed intangibles that can’t be taught. He’s quick enough to be able to stay in front of the league’s top point guards, confident enough to step up when called upon to lead the second unit and above all he’s young — at 24 years-old and brimming of potential. (He was also born and raised in Los Angeles, which is always a plus.)
The league got a glimpse of that potential late in the season when Farmar was the Nets’ sole point guard, as Deron Williams and Sundiata Gaines were both sidelined with injuries. In 10 starts this season, he posted 14.4 points, 8.4 assists and 1.5 steals, backing up his claims that he should be a starter in this league.
With Jackson now out as head coach, Derek Fisher’s days as a starter might be numbered. If only Farmar would’ve stayed, he could’ve achieved his goal in his hometown.
“Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet,” said Aristotle. Perhaps coach Jackson should’ve gifted Farmar one of Aristotle’s books.
The Lakers are now in a similar position as the Atlanta Hawks; scrambling to make up for prior mismanagement. The Hawks failed to address their need at the point guard in the 2005 draft, taking Marvin Williams instead of Deron Williams or Chris Paul.
Now the Lakers are looking to fill two voids that were once strengths.
If they can take anything from letting Vujacic and Farmar go, it’s that the best moves might be the ones you don’t make.