Mike Breshnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported via Twitter that Sessions opted not to use his player option and guarantee another year in L.A.
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
The move does not necessarily mean that Sessions will not be a Laker next season, but now significantly more variables will affect his possible return to Staples Center.
As Lakers’ general manager Mitch Kupchak said, “He did indicate that he was happy here in Los Angeles and that he would look to return. But once again, once the market comes into play, there’s no telling what will happen,” via Mike Trudell of the Lakers’ official blog.
Kupchak also said, “I suppose we could look to fill that position between now and July 1 via a trade, or we can wait until July 1 and pursue Ramon, or perhaps another free agent, although we’re limited with the exceptions available to us,” in Trudell’s same post.
The general manager is not opposed to making bold moves, and he was the one who sent Shaquille O’Neal to the Miami Heat. Kupchak also traded Pau Gasol for Chris Paul prior to this season, before the NBA vetoed the trade.
In order for the Lakers to win another championship, Kupchak should not waste his time chasing after Sessions. Instead, he should work on orchestrating another deal to bring a top-level point guard to Los Angeles.
There has been no official talk from the Lakers’ front office regarding other available playmakers, but both Deron Williams and Steve Nash are free agents this summer.
Either of these players would be an excellent addition to the Lakers’ roster and would provide the team with much more than Sessions ever could.
Sessions is a solid player who provided the team with pace and athleticism at point guard, which are qualities that they were not getting from Derek Fisher or Steve Blake.
However, he is not an All-Star caliber player and never will be. At best, he is an average starter.
Throughout the playoffs, Kobe Bryant was the only player who could handle to ball and create his own shot. Now that Bryant is 33 years old, he cannot shoulder that load any more.
But if Bryant had another impact player in the backcourt with him, the team would have a significantly better shot at competing for a title.
Sessions is a good player, but the Lakers need someone better at point guard if they are going to win another championship.