It was reported by Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times that point guard Ramon Sessions will opt out of the final year of his deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and become an unrestricted free agent this offseason:
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 2012 free-agent class showcased a number of solid point guards, including Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Aaron Brooks, Raymond Felton and Goran Dragic.
Sessions is a quality playmaker, and should draw some interest before he inks a new deal, but with a decent class of point guards to compete with, it will be interesting to see where he lands and how much his new deal is ultimately worth.
Stay tuned as we keep you updated with the latest news regarding Sessions and his impending free agency this summer.
Update: Thursday, July 12 -- Maxwell Ogden
Per a report via Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Ramon Sessions has agreed in principle to sign with the Charlotte Bobcats. This comes as a surprise to many, however it must be noted that Sessions is a native of the local Myrtle Beach.
At this point, there are just two questions. What will the finances come out to? And, of course, what will come of D.J. Augustin?
Update: Thursday, July 12 -- Joel C. Cordes
With the Dallas Mavericks having acquired Darren Collison and the Houston Rockets still pursuing Jeremy Lin, Ramon Sessions is still searching for a starting point guard gig.
He's beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
The Charlotte Bobcats have a qualifying offer for retaining D.J. Augustin, but the Charlotte Observer reports they're looking at Sessions instead. With diminutive Kemba Walker and Ben Gordon manning the other guard spot, the Bobcats need a guard with a little size, something Augustin does not provide.
Sessions is not a clear upgrade here, but both sides could walk away with what they want.
Update: Tuesday, July 10 -- Joel C. Cordes
Still desperate for a starting point guard, the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks remain in the running for Ramon Sessions. He's equally desperate to remain an NBA starter after finally having climbed that ladder during the second half of last season with the L.A. Lakers.
According to ESPN's Jeff Caplan, the Mavericks are the slight front-runner at the moment:
Source: Mavs, Sessions likely to resume talks Monday. Sessions could be flexible in years if he likes deal. Wants to start...Link coming.
— Jeff Caplan (@ESPN_Caplan) July 8, 2012
After whiffing on every one of their free agent point guard targets AND losing their own starter, Jason Kidd, to the New York Knicks, the Mavs are left holding a giant bag of money. They can make an enticing offer to Sessions, but are likely to keep the deal short so as to check their options again next season.
Don't be surprised if either the Rockets or Mavericks offer a rich, but single-year contract to Sessions. He undoubtedly wants some security, but there aren't a lot of starting gigs left out there.
Update: Saturday, July 7 — Joel C. Cordes
As fallout from the Nash trade, point guard Ramon Sessions appears on his way out of Los Angeles. Considered a prize himself as mid-season acquisition, Sessions is looking for a starting job and a long-term contract, neither of which he'll find with the Lakers.
As ESPN reports, teams like the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets are beginning to wildly scramble for the point guard leftovers. Sessions may find the starting situation he's looking for, even if he is just sloppy seconds.
As one of the teams reeling this offseason, the Dallas Mavericks are desperate to find a starting point guard, especially with Jason Kidd and Jason Terry both having departed. ESPN's Jeff Caplan reports:
Mavs reach out to Ramon Sessions for a 2nd time, this time with a starting job to pitch. Link upcoming @espndallas.com— Jeff Caplan (@ESPN_Caplan) July 5, 2012
Houston is in a similar situation, having lost both their starting point guards (Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic) while potentially striking out on stealing Jeremy Lin away from the New York Knicks.
Update: Thursday, July 5 — Ethan Norof
Steve Nash's arrival in Los Angeles has effectively ended Ramon Sessions' era with the Lakers.
Sources told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles that the Lakers are "no longer trying to retain point guard Ramon Sessions."
Given the Nash deal and Sessions' uncertain future, it's hard to imagine exactly what the strategy was when the point guard decided to opt out of the final year of his deal with the Lakers.
Update: Wednesday, July 4 — Ethan Norof
Sessions' decision to opt out of the final season of his contract continues to be a head-scratching move.
He has not really drawn much interest on the open market, and the Lakers don't exactly appear to be in a rush to re-sign him. However, we did get an update from beat writer Mike Bresnahan on the conversations between the two parties.
Lakers remain in daily contact with the agent for PG Ramon Sessions. Nothing concrete, but dialogue continues.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 3, 2012
It doesn't sound as if Sessions' market is developing as rapidly as he may have hoped.
Update: Monday, July 2 — Joel C. Cordes
However, this was only preliminary pleasantries, as no numbers or timetable appear to have been discussed for either side.
With the Lakers interested in a slew of guards, ranging from Chauncey Billups, Nick Young, Kirk Hinrich, Jameer Nelson and Jonny Flynn, Sessions is just one in a long line of possibilities.
As no rumors have surfaced yet regarding other teams in hot pursuit of Sessions, he'll likely bide his time while the bigger names like Deron Williams and Steve Nash shuffle the free-agency deck.
Sessions was solid enough during his half-season with the Lakers to ensure he's worth retaining. However, his shaky defense and playoffs disappearing act also mean the team is right in looking for potential upgrades first.
It's entirely possible that Sessions could return as a backup point if he runs out of suitors and/or is willing to re-sign on the cheap.
Los Angeles Lakers
Players often opt out of a contract with the sole purpose of locking up a long-term deal with their current squad.
Should the Los Angeles Lakers sign Ramon Sessions to a long-term deal?
This could prove to be the case for Sessions.
According to Kevin Ding of The Orange County Register, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak believes Sessions will look at playing for Los Angeles again next season:
Kupchak on Ramon Sessions: "He did indicate that he was happy here in Los Angeles, and that he would look to return."
— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) June 19, 2012
That being said, Bresnahan recognizes that while Sessions could return, there's a chance he could sign elsewhere as a free agent:
There's a chance Sessions returns to Lakers after testing free agency, but no guarantee. It's a break-up for now, not yet a divorce.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) June 19, 2012
The 26-year-old point guard was acquired at the trade deadline last year, and while his game didn’t get the Lakers out of the second round of the playoffs, it made them a better team than they were when the 2011-12 season began.