NBA Trade Deadline 2012: Grades and Details for Ramon Sessions to Lakers Trade

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NBA Trade Deadline 2012: Grades and Details for Ramon Sessions to Lakers Trade
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In a move that should come as little surprise, the Cleveland Cavaliers traded point guard Ramon Sessions to the Los Angeles Lakers before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday.

In exchange for Sessions, the Lakers sent their own 2012 first-round draft pick and forwards Luke Walton and Jason Kapono.  The Cavaliers also send guard/forward Christian Eyenga in the deal.

With this trade, the Cavaliers get the option to switch one of their two 2013 first-round picks (Cleveland or Miami) with the Lakers if they should so choose.  The Lakers' pick this year is lottery protected, so if Los Angeles somehow misses the playoffs, it will get to keep it. 

This now gives the Cavs four picks in this summer's NBA draft, with two in the first and two in the second round.  The Lakers pick will likely fall around number 20-25, with the Cavaliers looking like it will fall in the top eight.

Overall, this should be a great trade that benefits both teams.

From the Cavaliers standpoint, they risked losing Sessions for nothing should they have held on to him this season, as Ramon has the option to opt of of his contract, which he would have likely done to pursue a starting job elsewhere.

In lieu of letting him walk, the Cavs did the smart thing by trading him and acquiring what they were after all along—an additional first round pick.

Packaging Christian Eyenga was an interesting move for LA, as he didn't have to be included for salary reasons, so they must have seen something in him that they liked.  Kind of hard to believe, as he failed to crack Cleveland's rotation, spending most of the year either in the D-League or in a suit on the Cavs bench.

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Since LA is over the salary cap, it had to send someone to help match-up contracts, which is why Luke Walton is now a Cavalier.

While he's vastly overpaid ($6.7 million this year, $7.1 million the next), his expiring money next year could prove to be a valuable asset if the Cavs wish to flip him to a team looking to clear cap space for an additional pick. 

With Sessions gone, the Cavaliers also announced that they signed point guard Donald Sloan of the D-League Erie Bayhawks for the remainder of the season as a backup to Kyrie Irving.

It is likely that Cleveland will bring back guard Manny Harris, who it signed to multiple 10-day contracts earlier this season.

With Sloan, Harris, Walton and Kapono added to the roster, this now gives Cleveland 16 players on its roster when Anderson Varejao returns from injury.

My guess is Kapono will be bought out, as he is only under a one year, $1.2 million contract.  At 31 years of age, he doesn't fit the Cavaliers rebuilding plans.

So how does this trade grade out?

Well, Cleveland got the Lakers' first-rounder, which should net the Cavs a solid rotation player but probably not a star.

Walton is owed a lot of money for someone who isn't likely to play a lot of minutes in Cleveland, but if the Cavs can use his expiring contract next year in a deal, that would certainly help the grade.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Kapono's contributions to the team will be nonexistent.

Getting the right to swap picks with the Lakers next season will be big, as Miami will likely have a better record.  This should allow the Cavs to move a few spots up in the 2013 draft.

Losing Sessions hurts, but he would have likely left for nothing.

I don't think anybody in Cleveland is shedding a tear over Eyenga leaving, although he was fun to watch at times.

Overall, this was a good move for both teams.  It will be years before a clear winner is revealed, but for now, I say bravo Cleveland.

Final Grade for Cavs: B+

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