Farmar becomes unrestricted free agent

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers' murky free agency situation became a little bit clearer hours before the start of Wednesday night's much-anticipated signing period.

The team chose not to tender an offer to reserve guard Jordan Farmar by the required end of business day deadline of 6 p.m. PT, thus making Farmar an unrestricted free agent, according to Lakers spokesman John Black.

If the Lakers had made Farmar what's known as a qualifying offer, Farmar would have become a restricted free agent and the Lakers would have the right to match any offer by an opposing team trying to lure Farmar away between Wednesday night and July 8, when free agents can officially sign with a new ballclub.

"I love L.A., [but] I think it's good for somebody to get away sometimes," Farmar said last week after his exit interview with coach Phil Jackson and General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Farmar, 23, has career averages of 6.9 points and 2.1 assists and has made three trips to the NBA Finals, winning two championships, after spending all four seasons of his career in Los Angeles since the Lakers drafted him with the No. 26 pick in 2006.

"I really want to see what kind of player I can be in this league," Farmar said last week, emphasizing his desire to start at point guard. "I want an opportunity to play more. I know I can do a lot. I know I can lead a team."

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.