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LAKERS FYI

Jordan Farmar, Adam Morrison aren't offered extensions by Lakers

Both players will be restricted free agents in July, with the Lakers able to match any offers they receive.

November 02, 2009|Mike Bresnahan

Jordan Farmar now has extra motivation, should he need it. So does Adam Morrison.

The Lakers did not give contract extensions to either fourth-year player, making them both restricted free agents in July. The Lakers had until today to reach an agreement with each player.

Farmar, 23, will make $1.9 million this season and Morrison, 26, will make $5.2 million.

Farmar is locked in a battle with Shannon Brown for minutes as Derek Fisher's backup

"I think I have a lot to offer. I know I can do so much more than I'm doing right now," said Farmar, who is averaging 4.7 points and 1.7 assists through three games this season. "If they really, really want me, they probably would have signed me. It's tough. I feel that I've gone out there a lot and shown what I have, with the opportunity that I've got. It's my job to try to prove it to them."

The Lakers have the right to match any offer Farmar or Morrison signs next summer.

Farmar might get some interest from other teams, but Morrison will need to show something this season after averaging only 3.9 points a game since suffering a torn knee ligament in October 2008.

Farmar is averaging 6.8 points and 2.3 assists a game in his career.

Gasol getting close

Forward-center Pau Gasol sat out his third game because of a hamstring injury, though he will accompany the team for its quick trip to Oklahoma City and Houston.

Gasol's return to the lineup is "close enough" that Gasol will not stay back in Los Angeles, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said.

Jackson revealed that Gasol typically would need six weeks to recover fully from his injury.

"We don't have six weeks," Jackson said. "There are ways to come through this without having to jeopardize him."

Gasol has been out three weeks because of the injury, also sitting out the team's last six exhibition games.

Pick it up

Even when Shaquille O'Neal was a force in the middle, there was an almost nightly nemesis of the Lakers -- pick-and-roll defense.

O'Neal didn't like to venture far from the hoop for fear of allowing an easy basket down low, which left opposing guards with a number of open shots on the perimeter after coming off a screen.

The Lakers haven't been sharp against the pick-and-roll this season, and Andrew Bynum has been stuck in no-man's land at times.

Bynum has "more mobility" and is "more willing to go out than Shaq was," Jackson said, but he needs to react more quickly to a guard's tendencies. Is the guard a shooter? A penetrator?

"Those are all just quick reads," Jackson said. "He's a real intelligent guy. I think he reads really well, but that reactive thing, that split second is really the difference."

With so many teams running pick-and-roll sets, the Lakers are hurting without Gasol, a savvy pick-and-roll defender.

"Really the issue in this league right now is who can play screen-rolls well and maintain balance out there and not give up penetration and easy shots," Jackson said. "[Gasol] is probably one of the best in the league at that."

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mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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