Jordan Farmar, the New Jersey Nets' back-up point guard, has signed a deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel's powerhouse club, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Reports earlier this week suggested that Maccabi Haifa, a lesser Israeli club, was hot on Farmar's trail.
Maccabi Tel Aviv is the biggest sports club in Israel, and a perennial contender in Euroleague competition. Tel Aviv finished second in Euroleague in 2010-11 under American-born head coach David Blatt, losing in the final to Greek power Panathinaikos. The roster, in addition to Farmar, boasts Israeli star Lior Eliyahu, Greek big man Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Duke product Jon Scheyer, Gonzaga product Jeremy Pargo and former Golden State Warrior Richard Hendrix.
Farmar is the second player under NBA contract to sign with a Euroleague team during the NBA lockout. Nicolas Batum signed a deal with SLUC Nancy, the reigning French champion and a low-rung contender for Euroleague. If the lockout ends midseason, Farmar and Batum will be forced to return to their NBA teams. Many had considered Euroleague teams unlikely to sign players under NBA contract as rentals, but Maccabi Tel Aviv is one of the best and has bucked that trend.