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LAKERS FYI

Lakers' Jordan Farmar might become a restricted free agent

Fourth-year point guard says he's not worried about his contract status, but he wants to stay in L.A.

October 11, 2009|Broderick Turner

The Lakers aren't planning on offering Jordan Farmar a contract extension this season, which in many ways leaves his future uncertain.

Farmar, in his fourth season, in which he'll earn $1.947 million, saw the team pick up the options for his third and fourth seasons. But he's aware that if the Lakers don't offer him a deal by the deadline of Oct. 31, he'll become a restricted free agent next summer and the Lakers can match any offer Farmar receives from another team.

Farmar said after practice Saturday he's not feeling increased pressure because this is a contract year.

"There's always going to be pressure playing in the NBA for the Lakers," Farmar said. "That's just part of the job. I don't think it's more than any other year. This is my first time up for a renewal, so that's a little different aspect to it. I just try to stay mentally tough and continue to work hard."

The Lakers have a payroll of $91.3 million, putting them over the luxury-tax threshold of $69.92 million, meaning Lakers owner Jerry Buss will have to pay an additional dollar-for-dollar tax of $21.4 million.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said the coaches asked Farmar to lift weights and improve his defense.

Jackson is not worried about Farmar pressing because he doesn't have a contract beyond this season.

"He knows that he's a desired product in this game," Jackson said. "I know he doesn't feel like this is it for him. He's got a lot of followers in this game."

Farmar contends that he's not "necessarily" nervous because this is a contract year.

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Farmar said. "I'm a member of the Lakers. We're world champions. We're going after this season trying to defend our title. So those are things I'm focusing on. The other stuff will take care of itself. I play basketball because I love the game.

"We all know it's a business side to it. When that comes, we'll have to address it. This is the best organization in the business, in my opinion. It's special here. I would love to be here as long as I can."

Lakers call meeting

The 19-point loss to the Golden State Warriors on Friday night didn't sit well with the Lakers.

So they got together at practice and talked about playing with energy.

"They had a meeting amongst themselves, I think, because they felt like they didn't give the right kind of effort last night," Jackson said. "It wasn't that it was a bad effort, but nothing went right for them, so you've got to start from a basic position of doing the right thing to get it back and get it all tied together again. So that was good."

London calling

The Lakers are planning to play an exhibition game in England next year, The Times has learned.

The Lakers probably will split time between London and Barcelona, spending three or four days in each city and playing one game in each location against teams to be determined.

Plans have not been finalized, but the Lakers haven't played outside of North America since two exhibition games in France in 1991.

Roster moves

The Lakers waived three players Saturday: Mickael Gelabale, David Monds and Michael Fey, a former UCLA player.

--

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Times staff writer Mike Bresnahan contributed to this report.

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