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Sessions opts out, becomes free agent; Lakers need a PG again

Jun 19, 2012, 12:29 PM EDT

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

That turned out to be the definition of a rental…

Lakers point guard Ramon Sessions — who the team picked up at the trade deadline, sending their first-round pick to Cleveland — has opted out of his deal and will become a free agent, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

He was to make one year at $4.5 million. He’s looking for a multi-year deal. The Lakers are looking for a point guard again.

The Lakers could re-sign him, but they are already well over the luxury tax for next year and may not try to match a healthy offer.

Sessions was supposed to be the point guard the Lakers needed and during the regular season he played well — 12.7 points per game on 47.9 percent shooting, plus 6.2 assists per game. His PER of 17.5 was both above average and way above Derek Fisher’s. Sessions brought a quickness and a guy who can attack the rim to the Lakers and they needed that with Mike Brown’s offense.

But come the playoffs, Sessions looked wide-eyed, like it was his first postseason. Which it was. His PER dropped to 8.3, he shot 37 percent and 16 percent from three.

Sessions should get a multi-year deal but don’t expect anyone to break the bank for him.

Other point guards on the free agent market include Deron Williams (Lakers can’t afford him without a sign-and trade, and there are mixed reports on whether he’d play in LA), Andre Miller, Raymond Felton and, of course, Steve Nash. But wouldn’t it be weird to see Nash in Lakers purple?

  1. eureca323 - Jun 19, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Mitch said from day 1 the Lakers would resign Sessions if he opts out and that they plan on him being their PG for many years. And obviously Mitch wouldn’t say that unless he had the ownership’s backing. Sessions was always expected to opt out and has mentioned that he wants to come back.

    Nothing is a guarantee but you are acting like hes gone because he opted out. Like you said no team is gonna break the bank on Sessions. As long as Sessions’ agent doesn’t pull a Trevor Ariza and far over values his client to where the Lakers go in a different direction then I expect them to keep Sessions. Also don’t forget that after moving Lamar for a Mavs pick they saved about 19 million dollars in luxury tax money while also not having to pay his 2.5mil buyout for next season. Lakers also shred Luke Walton and Derek Fisher’s salaries for next year at the trade deadline.

    • thedano - Jun 19, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      Correct, it was pretty much assumed he’d be opting out, for a longer term deal. This isn’t a surprise. The Lakers knew this would happen and depending on trades/FA will very likely bring him back.

  2. boltsup - Jun 19, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Bye. We need more than a flash here or there, especially don’t need a PG going AWOL in the postseason… Sessions a a good backup guard at best point blank

    • tsi431 - Jun 19, 2012 at 8:36 PM

      Lakers already have one of those postseason flops. AWOL spelled backwards is Gasol.

  3. shockexchange - Jun 19, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Let me get this straight, if L.A. wins then Horry, Jr. takes all the credit … if they lose, then Horry, Jr. positions himself so that Pau, Bynum, Odom, et al., take the fall. Yeah, good luck attracting talent to L.A.

    • camnellum12 - Jun 19, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      Will you shut the hell up with the lame “Horry Jr.” joke?

      • cosanostra71 - Jun 19, 2012 at 3:50 PM

        I don’t get it. Who is Horry Jr. even supposed to be? The only player on the Lakers I can think of in recent years whose game even somewhat resembles Horry is Odom, and even that is a terrible comparison.

      • loungefly74 - Jun 19, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        @ cosanostra71,

        I know…I know…it’s silly. shockexchange thinks its very clever to compare Kobe to Robert Horry. Why? I don’t know. It makes little sense. Why compare one of the leading forces of the NBA the past 15 years to a role player albeit, one that I love for his time with the Lakers and will forever be respected by me as he hit mega shot after mega shot helping us achieve greatness in his limited role, is a mystery to me…shockexchange is just a classic hater.

      • mytthor - Jun 19, 2012 at 9:37 PM

        The Horry Jr thing is Kobe. I guess it’s some reference to him hitting big shots but otherwise not being a great player? I don’t know, I try not to think that hard about it.

      • dal24la - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:06 AM

        This Horry Jr joke is worse than James Harden’s play in the Finals.

      • shockexchange - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:47 AM


        I’m wounded now. Nothing is as bad as Harden’s play in the finals. And actually, the Horry, Jr. reference is not a joke. I’m dead serious.

  4. reesesteel23 - Jun 19, 2012 at 2:23 PM


  5. camnellum12 - Jun 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Ramon Sessions wasn’t a rental and unlike boltsup up there, he’s not a back up PG. Kurt hit the nail on the head, he got his first taste of NBA playoff basketball in a Laker uniform, it’s not like he could turn into Superman in the post-season. Remember Kobe air balling those 3’s against Utah in ’97? Exactly. I think Sessions can be the future of the Laker franchise along with Bynum (if he can stay), and I doubt Ramon was lying when he said he wanted to be a Laker for a long time. Maybe he’s just telling Laker management sign me to a long-term deal now. This is one thing I hate about other fellow Laker fans: they expect the franchise to sign Top 15 players any season and they expect to win every season. Now I don’t have a problem with the expectations of winning, but look how stupid a lot of Laker fans look trying to throw out dumb ass trade scenarios for Pau, Bynum, Sessions etc. How about we just get a MUCH better bench and the starting 5 can get a gist of Mike Brown’s offense, then we can compete again. Just saying.

  6. loungefly74 - Jun 19, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    It’s nice to know my Lakers will do whatever they can to improve their chances of winning a title. Much respect to “eureca323” for the knowledge about Sessions.

  7. lakerluver - Jun 19, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Sessions was not as good as I hoped he’d be.

  8. tsi431 - Jun 19, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Let just say the basketball court was not in Session, during the postseason.

  9. gmsalpha - Jun 19, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Nash in Lakers purple? He’s already wearing Suns purple, so I’m not sure why it’d be weird.

    You know, Kobe Bryant makes more than enough from endorsements. I’m surprised he hasn’t offered to restructure his deal or simply lower his salary to allow the Lakers to bring in someone who actually can help them win another title and him a sixth ring. It’s great to be paid $25-30 million (I can only imagine), but he must realize his chances of winning that elusive Jordan-tying championship are greatly reduced by his luxury tax number and salary.

    Lebron, D-Wade, and Bosh all took (slightly) less than the maximum so they could fit under the salary cap with the Heat. Surely Kobe can sacrifice a little to bring in a real PG or simply re-sign Sessions.

    • mytthor - Jun 19, 2012 at 9:38 PM

      I think there’s some union rule against it. It’s not like the NFL where they can just cut you.

    • danfrommv - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:57 PM

      The Collective Bargaining Agreement forbids players from taking pay cuts. LeBron/Wade/Bosh took less than theoretically possible to sign with the Heat.

      The new CBA makes it extremely difficutl to build when you are over the cap. Presently there is a $1 penalty for every $1 over the luxury threshold. It eventually goes to a $4 penalty for every $1 over. You are going to see some crazy personnel moves over the next 3 years. I am a long-time Laker fan but I don’t hold out much hope for building a real contender given the new CBA (and with Jim Buss steering the ship)

  10. emosnar - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    What about George Hill. He would look good in Laker purple dammit.

  11. 00maltliquor - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    I want him back. I want him back, but depends on the cost. I really don’t want to overpay and have another bloated contract weighing us down. Silver lining in the ugly 2nd round whupping: Sessions didn’t play too good, now he can’t demand as much and get a big “playoff contract”. We’ll see what happens. It’ll just burn me up if we lose him when we could have had a 1st rounder.

  12. badintent - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    Without Sessions, Fakers don’t even make the 2nd spot behind Spurs. He didn’t play well in the playoffs just like the rest of the Lakers due to Ball hog throwing up 35 shots a game or passing with less than 5 seconds left to a team mate. When Kobby was out for a few weeks, Metta and Sessions played lights out. Trade Kobby to Raptors, chill him out in Canadian winters for a few seasons;.

    • danfrommv - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      Kobe has a no-trade clause in his contract (I believe he is the only NBA player with one).
      His contract coupled with his declining skills and the teams desire to get under the luxury threshold really put the team in a bind, personnel-wise

  13. omniusprime - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    The Lakers needed a great point guard and Ramon Sessions isn’t that great. So long Sessions, don’t let the glare of the playoffs blind you. Ramon Sessions was not the point guard we Laker fans were looking for. Sessions showed that getting someone younger at point helped, that rules out old man Nash. Maybe Kobe can forgo some of his huge salary to bring in a better point guard.

  14. bobthis - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    It’s time to stop all the nonsense and bring Magic and West out of retirement.

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