LOS ANGELES (AP) — Staying home was important to Jordan Farmar, so he moved from the Lakers to the Clippers as the backup to Chris Paul.
He signed a two-year contract worth a reported $4.2 million on Thursday. The Clippers also signed reserve center Spencer Hawes to a four-year deal worth a reported $23 million.
The announcements came during the trial involving Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who is fighting to retain control of the team in an ongoing saga that has turned ugly at times.
Coach Doc Rivers said he hasn’t read or heard the testimony of the past few days.
Farmar will fill the reserve role previously handled by former UCLA teammate Darren Collison, who signed with the Sacramento Kings. Farmar averaged 10.1 points, 4.9 assists, 2.5 rebounds and shot 44 percent from 3-point range last season in his second stint with the Lakers. He was limited to 41 games because of injuries, including a torn hamstring and strained groin.
Hawes will back up center DeAndre Jordan and power forward Blake Griffin. He averaged 13.2 points and 8.3 rebounds, and shot 42 percent from 3-point range last season for the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Farmar smiled when asked how his commute will be different now that he is a Clipper.
“It’s only like, 10 minutes, 15 minutes different,” he said. “It’s pretty much the same: same direction, same freeway, same everything.”
Farmar is from suburban Woodland Hills and spent the first four years of his career with the Lakers, winning championships in 2009-10.
“Los Angeles is really special to me,” he said. “This is home. I get a chance to live in my house, be around my friends and family, let them see my kids grow up — those are all things that are important to me outside of basketball. If you’re comfortable off the court, it really helps your performance on the court.”
The 7-foot-1 Hawes said he was intrigued by playing with Jordan and Griffin, and he also liked his meeting with Rivers.
“When he tells you something, you buy in,” Hawes said. “You believe it right away. In the beginning (he) was strong, and it definitely left an impression.”
Rivers targeted Farmar and Hawes early. Farmar said Rivers called him at 9:01 p.m. on July 1, the earliest that free agents could be contacted on the West Coast.
“I like that they’ve been in the league,” Rivers said. “They have league experience. Jordan’s won a title — one that I can’t stand that he won (against Rivers’ Boston Celtics in 2010). I just count one. The ’10 we don’t talk about. But that’s important, especially at that position, and backing up Chris. I thought one of the things we needed all year — we talked about it after we drafted — was size. We needed more size, and we needed more skill.”
The Hawes signing seems to end the Clippers tenure of backup center Ryan Hollins, who is a free agent. Forwards Hedo Turkoglu and Glen Davis are also on the market after playing for the Clippers last season.
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