Four years after a brief two-month stint in Israel, Jordan Farmar is returning to Maccabi Tel Aviv.
The 28-year-old American Jew became the latest and biggest signing of the ongoing overhaul of the roster on Monday, joining Taylor Rochestie, Trevor Mbakwe and Dagan Yivzori, who have all signed for the yellow-and-blue since its shock defeat to Hapoel Eilat in the BSL semifinals last month.
Farmar, who was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 26th pick overall in the 2006 NBA draft, first joined Maccabi during the NBA lockout in 2011, averaging 14.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists in the Euroleague. He left after just two months in late November following the end of the lockout.
Farmar only played 16 games overall for Maccabi, but quickly became a fan favorite. He returned to Europe ahead of the 2012/13 campaign, playing for Anadolu Efes in Istanbul before returning for another season with the Los Angeles Lakers and then joining the Los Angeles Clippers. He was waived by the Clippers in January of this year and moved to Turkey once more to play for Darussafaka until the end of this season.
"I'm very excited, happy to have received this opportunity and ready for the big challenge," Farmar told the Maccabi website. "I can't wait for the moment that I return to the place which is like a home to me - the State of Israel, the city of Tel Aviv and Maccabi."
Despite already being loaded at the guard positions, Maccabi is still interested in bringing in Gal Mekel, who is considering several offers, including from Hapoel Jerusalem. Mekel is desperate to land a new deal in the NBA, but if he doesn't do so by the end of the week he may opt to accept one of the lucrative offers he has from Europe and Israel.
Maccabi is still considered the front-runner to snag Mekel should he decide to put his NBA dream on hold, with the yellow-and-blue currently having only eight senior players signed for next season following the addition of Farmar.
Yogev Ohayon, Devin Smith, Sylven Landesberg and Guy Pnini look set to be the only players who will return from 2014/15.
"We are very happy that Jordan is returning to Maccabi," said head coach Guy Goodes. "We all know about his massive massive talent, endless offensive capabilities and his great experience in the NBA, as well as a few years in Europe. We are continuing to build the puzzle and like we promised the fans - we are building the strongest team possible in order to challenge in every competition."