Miami Heat v New Jersey Nets

Jordan Farmar in talks to play in Israel for Maccabi Haifa

Leave a comment

Looks like the Nets may have both of their point guards playing overseas during the lockout.

Deron Williams will be playing in Istanbul, and now his backup Jordan Farmar is in serious talks to play for Maccabi Haifa in Israel, reports Mark Stein at ESPN. Farmar has one more year left on his deal with the Nets (plus a player option on another season), so the contract will have to have an opt-out clause to allow him to return to the NBA and Nets should the owners and players ever stop suing each other.

“We’ve been in serious talks with Jordan Farmar, who has expressed great interest to play for Maccabi Haifa,” (team owner Jeffrey) Rosen said. “We believe we are close to an agreement, but we have a few more hurdles to overcome to make it happen. We would love to have Jordan Farmar join Maccabi Haifa during the NBA lockout and we find his aspirations to play in Israel to be inspirational.”

Israeli media reports say that Maccabi Haifa could face competition for Farmar from longtime Israeli club power Maccabi Tel Aviv, which perennially contends for the Euroleague title.

Farmar, who is Jewish, would play as an American, taking one of the foreign born spots on the roster.

Maccabi Haifa is the team that took Jeremy Tyler, the standout high school junior out of San Diego who wanted to play professionally. Tyler played one season for them, one season in Japan and then was drafted No. 39 in the last draft and will play for the Warriors. Maccabi Haifa finished ninth in a 10-team league last season.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
Leave a comment

NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
Leave a comment

DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.