Ramon Sessions Opts out of Lakers Contract in Search of a Better Deal and Role

Rob MahoneyNBA Lead WriterJune 19, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 08:  Ramon Sessions #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the fourt quarter as the Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Ramon Sessions is an imperfect player in a free-agent class of even more imperfect players. His flaws have never been as visible as they are now (after months of playing for one of the most popular and dissected teams in sports), but Sessions is nonetheless a quality playmaking option for a slew of teams—the Lakers included—who could desperately use his services.

All of which makes Sessions' decision—as Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times reported—to opt out of the final year of his current deal (worth $4.6 million) a particularly wise one.

Point guard Ramon Sessions will not exercise a player option to stay with the Lakers and will become a free agent, The Times has learned.

— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) June 19, 2012

It still seems likely that Sessions will remain with the Lakers when all is said and done, but in the meantime, he's put himself in a position to test a weak market and potentially leverage his freedom into a better long-term deal. 

Sessions is simply a negative-space player; he's seen for what he can't do rather than what he can. His perimeter shooting may be spotty, but his ball-handling is consistent and generally mistake-free. He may not be the most dynamic finisher, but he's a legitimate weapon in the pick-and-roll and can convert open looks. Even if he wasn't the savior that the Lakers needed, he had—and has—the potential to make L.A. a better team.

If he's still in L.A. at all, that is. But in terms of Sessions' specific value to the Lakers—and, by extension, his role-related value elsewhere—it's all a matter of utilization; if any team or teammate expects Sessions to be a Derek Fisher clone, they're nuts.

That may have meant that Sessions wasn't an ideal plug-and-play backcourt mate for Kobe Bryant, but an ill-fitting role is nothing more than an ill-fitting role, and any teams wise enough to use Sessions in a more skill-appropriate capacity will be all the better for it.