A leader has emerged from the Cleveland Cavaliers' free-agent minicamp Wednesday in the luxury-tax-laden team's search for an additional playmaker: Jordan Farmar.
Farmar was given assurances that if anyone was to be signed by the Cavs from the workout, it would be him, a source familiar with the workout told ESPN.
Aside from an impressive showing by Farmar on Wednesday, there was a practical side to Cleveland's interest. According to a source, Farmar is open to signing a 10-day contract -- as is Lance Stephenson -- while a league source told ESPN that both Mario Chalmers and Kirk Hinrich would only agree to join the team if the Cavs tendered a guaranteed contract for the rest of the season.
Going into the workout, Chalmers was considered the favorite to earn a spot on the Cavs considering his history alongside LeBron James as the Miami Heat's primary starting point guard during the franchise's four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals from 2011 to '14.
However, Cleveland does not want to commit to a long-term solution with its only remaining open roster spot at the moment, preferring to keep it open to see what deals present themselves as the Feb. 23 trade deadline draws nearer.
Cleveland also wants to have a roster spot open should an attractive candidate land as a free agent when the buyout market begins. To be eligible for the postseason, any player who has appeared in an NBA game this season must be waived (or bought out) by March 1.
A source familiar with Cleveland's roster plans told ESPN the Cavs will aggressively pursue trade destinations for the injured Chris "Birdman" Andersen to try to open up another roster spot that could be used to land a buyout player.
Farmar, 30, has career averages of 7.7 points and 2.9 assists in 10 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, L.A. Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings. Farmar was cut by the Kings before opening night this season, only to rejoin them nine days later and play two games before being released again when Darren Collison returned from suspension.
Farmar is in a "holding pattern," a source told ESPN, as he flew back to L.A. following the workout in Cleveland and is awaiting the Cavs' decision.
It is possible the Cavs will not offer a 10-day contract to anyone. They could also try to audition more players -- as coach Ty Lue suggested on Wednesday might be the case when he mentioned the Cavs' interest in an additional big man -- but that is yet to be determined.
Adding Farmar to a 10-day contract would cost the Cavs approximately $57,700 in salary, plus luxury-tax implications, bringing the total price tag to an estimated $200,000.
With injuries to Andersen, J.R. Smith and Kevin Love leaving the Cavs with only 11 healthy bodies currently, the investment in a 10-day contract -- even if Farmar does not stick for the rest of the season -- could be a wise one just to give Lue another option for his rotation and allow the team to practice more.
Cleveland.com earlier reported Farmar's status as the Cavs' top consideration from the workout.