The addition of Ramon Sessions has many L.A. Laker fans believing their team’s point guard problems have been solved. On the surface, the numbers suggest they are correct in their optimism. The Purple and Gold are 8-4 since the acquisition of Sessions and appear to have found their point guard of the future.
However, with the Lakers, one must always look deeper than the numbers. For instance, of their eight wins, only two have come against a team with a winning record and opposing point guards have still had their way against the Lakers.
This was highlighted by 36 points by Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook in a 102-93 loss to the Thunder. Oddly enough, Westbrook's 36 points were 17 more than when Fisher manned the position in an earlier meeting with the Thunder.
But hey, Sessions scores more.
The addition of Sessions has temporally filled a need for the Lakers with a player they did not want, judging by their last-minute acquisition. He's a player they knew, if added, would boast their scoring from a season’s average 96.2 to 100.7 points per game (in the last 10 games), but would also cost them on the defensive end.
The Lakers have given up five more points per game, from 93.8 to 98.8, with Sessions playing significant minutes.
That is a price the Lakers are willing to pay…this season. The Purple and Gold are keenly aware of the delicate balance that is required for a championship season. That balance has been tested all season, but can be restored with a full offseason.
A full offseason would benefit this club, and so will a slight lineup change.
The Lakers, like most teams, are looking for the next established star. Unlike most teams, the Lakers always seem to find him.
The reported reason Dwight Howard stated he would not re-up with Los Angeles should he be traded there was concerns over age. Mainly that both Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol were leaving the primes of their careers and Howard would still be in his.
This would no longer be a concern for Howard or any other superstar who the Lakers pursued. The addition of Deron Williams would give the Lakers an in-his-prime superstar who would be capable of luring other top players in a way both Bryant and Gasol cannot.
No matter how you look at things, both Gasol and Bryant are closer to the end than they are the beginning. A 27-year-old Williams could make things look that much more appealing to potential free agents.
Adding Deron Williams would turn the Lakers from playoff contender to legitimate title contender instantly. L.A. would no longer have to have the perfect matchup in order to move forward in the playoffs.
Williams would provide the Lakers with a bona fide top player at his position, which is something L.A. will be losing in Bryant and have lost with Gasol.
The acquisition of the point guard would have to be done through a sign-and-trade; it would also cost the club Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum, and would have to be something Williams is interested in.
Many believe Williams is headed for Dallas, but there is very little corroborating evidence to suggest that move, except that Williams is from Dallas. However, Williams left that area once to play his college ball in Illinois and has a home in Southern California, so where he is from seems to have very little bearing on where he is headed.
Lastly, Kobe Bryant at this stage of his career is still the better championship option then Dirk Nowitzki.
Ramon Sessions’ play has been better than expected offensively, and he has even managed to shoot the three-ball well, which is something he had not done throughout his career.
However, the Lakers have pursued Williams heavily once and even offered Pau Gasol for him, which the Nets declined. L.A. is very aware that players like Sessions get you to the playoffs, but players like Williams get you parades.
In the playoffs, guys like Russell Westbrook are lurking. As much as Laker fans want to love Sessions, they cannot ignore his turnover issues and poor defense. The guard has three or more turnovers in nine of his 12 games—that could spell disaster going into the playoffs.
To be fair, Williams also turns the ball over. The difference is his turnovers are coming with 12 assists and on a much worse team.
Lastly, the Lakers are an inside-out team and as long as Mike Brown is the coach, they will remain as such. Under these circumstances, it is imperative they have a point who is capable of hitting a jumper. Since Sessions has been with the Lakers, he is hitting 55 percent from beyond the arc, which is a far cry from the 20 percent he shot just last year in Cleveland.
The Laker stops there as far as outside shooting contributions go—one three-pointer a game and everything else is within three feet or closer. In fact, from three feet and beyond, Sessions is shooting 36.1 percent, which will be exposed come playoff time.
This lack of efficiency will make games closer than they need to be and will not win you a championship.
Players like Williams give you that balance necessary to win titles. If Williams is good for two three-pointers a game and almost 40 percent shooting from three or more feet from the basket on a bad team like the Nets, imagine what he would do on a good team like the Lakers.