L.A. Lakers: Will Sessions' Decision Make Deron Williams a Priority?
Los Angeles Lakers point guard Ramon Sessions recently opted to forgo the player option in his contract and test the waters of unrestricted free agency.
All I can say is, more power to him.
By choosing to wade into the open waters of free agency, Sessions is basically saying that he is worth more money than his $4.5 million player option guarantees.
Good luck with that.
There may be some teams who are willing to over-pay for Sessions (Memphis?) based on his late regular-season surge for the Lakers, but Sessions certainly comes with a "caveat emperor," or buyer beware label.
Sessions has proved that he has the size, quickness and strength to get to the rim at will off the dribble. Sessions has also proved that he can't defend the pick-and-roll if his life depends on it. And he's not much better mano a mano, either.
Jordan's team is the only NBA franchise I can think of that Sessions might make an immediate impact as a starter, without the benefit of teammates like Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
Playing alongside those three, Sessions has the potential to be a very good point guard, but put him on any other NBA squad, and Sessions will revert to the backup player his career suggests he is.
Still, Sessions' decision to journey into free agency presents the Lakers with a dilemma, or an opportunity, depending on how you look at it.
The Lakers would be silly to over-pay in order to retain Sessions since there is no certainty he will ever be the type of lead guard the franchise needs. But Sessions' folly may have cleared the way for the Lakers to pursue a guard who does have the proven talent to impact the future of the franchise.
Many Lakers fans have salivated over the thought of New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams wearing the purple and gold, but so far general manager Mitch Kupchak has shown very little public interest in acquiring Williams.
I'm not sure if the Lakers would be willing to deal Bynum, but speculation concerning Gasol's roster status has been swirling for the better part of a year. And at any rate, what other team can offer the Nets two players who rank among the top five at their position in the NBA.
The Lakers also have a mix of youth and experience—Steve Blake, Metta World Peace, Devin Ebanks, Andrew Goudelock, Jordan Hill—that could be used to sweeten any deal involving Bynum or Gasol for Williams.
Some Lakers fans feel the team doesn't need to upgrade with a star in order to return to the NBA Finals, but if they are presented with an opportunity to acquire one of the best point guards in the NBA, and secure a franchise player for the future, why not jump at it?
Bryant's championship window is steadily closing, and the past two seasons of failure in the playoffs illuminate the need for a major roster upgrade.
The Western Conference is filled with great point guards, and while an elite lead guard may not be needed to clinch a trip to the finals, it certainly would help against players like Russell Westbrook.
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