Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers met with Farmar in person last week to recruit him even before Darren Collison left the Clippers to sign with the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers expressed interest in retaining Farmar as well, but were reluctant to talk contract terms until their pursuit of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony had come to a conclusion.
"They didn't want to commit to me," Farmar told ESPNLosAngeles.com during a phone interview Sunday. "I understood the situation with them, what was going on and would I be willing to wait. What am I waiting for? There was no real definitive answer. It was, 'Yeah, we like you, we'd love to have you here,' but I didn't know what I was waiting for. You don't know who the coach is. You don't know who I am going to be playing with. They made no commitment to me on that part."
The Los Angeles Times was the first to report the deal.
Farmar's two-year, $4.2 million deal with the Clippers includes a player option in the second year, sources said. The Clippers used their biannual exception for the deal after Collison agreed to join the Kings on Thursday for a three-year, $16 million deal.
"[The Clippers] came the hardest basketball-wise; it's probably the best situation situation out there for me," Farmar said. "I turned down more money elsewhere. I get to stay home in L.A. and play for a contender, which is important to me."
Teams can't officially sign free agents until the NBA's moratorium on deals is lifted July 10.
Farmar, 27, averaged 10.1 points, 4.9 assist and 2.5 rebounds last season for the Los Angeles Lakers after playing the previous season in Turkey. He also shot 43.8 percent from 3-point range but was sidelined for 41 games as he dealt with a variety of injuries.
Farmar and Collison were teammates at UCLA during the 2005-06 season when the Bruins lost to Florida in the national championship game.
"I'm sure it's going to probably be pretty different for me, but we'll see," Farmar said about playing for the opposite side of the budding L.A. rivalry. "Hopefully my real fans, they don't have to cheer for the Clippers, but support me wherever I go and that's all it is. I'll always have a special place for the Lakers in my heart, but it wasn't in the cards for me this time."
Farmar said he was not terribly concerned about the pending sale of the Clippers from the Sterling family to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and potentially having to suit up for the team while Donald Sterling was still the owner.
"I think that will take care of itself," Farmar said.
The seven-year veteran, who left millions of dollars of guaranteed money on the table in Turkey to return to play for the Lakers last season, expressed gratitude toward the purple and gold even if he won't be playing for them any longer.
"I thank the Lakers organization, Lakers fans, Lakers nation, for all the great times we had," Farmar said. "For giving me the opportunity to get back and be able to play at home again. I wish them nothing but the best. I'm sure they should be successful in the future, but I'm just excited about this next chapter in my career and the chance to compete for a championship."