At first glance, the answer to the question of who makes more sense as a Los Angeles Lakers point guard seems an easy one. Deron Williams in Los Angeles would add fresh star power to a lineup in dire need of direction.
D-Will has been one of the top point guards in basketball for several seasons. He turns 28 later this month and is in the prime of his career. Put him in the backcourt alongside Kobe Bryant, with Andrew Bynum at center and you've got the makings of a championship club.
Williams averages close to 18 points and nine assists per game and, at 6'3", 209 pounds, is a strong guard who can penetrate and draw fouls much the same way that Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose can for Oklahoma City and Chicago, respectively. He's a serious upgrade from Ramon Sessions.
Conversely, Sessions is just getting his feet wet as a starting point guard in the NBA and coming off what can only be described as a miserable playoff performance for the Lakers. The 6'3", 190-pound sixth-year PG averaged just 9.7 points in 12 postseason games for L.A., shooting 38 percent from the field and a woeful 16 percent from beyond the arc.
In a perfect NBA world, the Lakers are able to snatch Williams this summer and, according to sources, he would be interested in coming to L.A. As Sports Illustrated writer Sam Amick reportered: "Williams could be a possibility if (Dwight) Howard is not. A source close to the three-time All-Star said he would be interested in joining the Lakers, though it would have to be via a sign-and-trade deal."
The Lakers are so over the salary cap that I would think in order to bring Williams to L.A. they would need to shed a lot of salary to afford him—meaning, they would most likely trade Pau Gasol to the Nets and throw in a future No. 1 pick or a couple of the young Lakers, such as Devin Ebanks and/or Andrew Goudelock.
Sessions has a player option on his contract—my guess is he will exercise it. Had he performed better in the playoffs, Sessions might have opted out but I can't see anyone offering him an extended contract for more than the $4.6 million he has on his option. I could be wrong.
So, as much as most of us would love to see D-Will in a Lakers uniform next season, it may make more sense to keep Sessions and look to improve the team in other areas. Houston is often mentioned as a potential home for Gasol, who most certainly is being shopped by the team. Such a deal could net the Lakers point guard Kyle Lowry and power forward Louis Scola, and that could mean the end of Steve Blake's short career in Los Angeles.
Ramon Sessions is an above average, young, quick, slash-and-pass point guard who should be able to settle in next season and give the Lakers quality minutes. Add someone like Lowry—with his 14.3 points and 6.6 assists per game—to the mix and you have a very good one-two punch at the point.
That is not to say these two are as good as Russell Westbrook and James Harden in Oklahoma City—no one is—but having two very good PGs like that on your roster may prove more valuable than just relying on one superstar.
NBA championship teams need eight to 10 players to win titles. The Lakers are lacking in depth and I'm afraid if they mortgage the farm to get Williams, they'll be left with nothing in the cupboard.
I honestly believe the "real" Ramon Sessions is closer to the one who first joined the Lakers at the trade deadline in March, not the one who disappeared and lost his way in the playoffs.
At his exit interview, Sessions made his intentions very clear when he spoke to ESPN.com Lakers blogger Brian Kamenetzky: “[I] definitely hope to be here. Hopefully, everything works out."
Deron Williams is a tremendous PG who will command $15 million or more per year from the team he ends up with—my guess is it will either be the Nets or Dallas. Though he's not his equal, Ramon Sessions makes more sense than D-Will for the Lakers.
Why? Because he is good enough and will only get better. And because the team will be able to acquire other parts necessary to contend again.
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