This morning the Los Angeles Lakers released information surrounding Ramon Sessions and his decision to opt out of a $4.5 million player option available to him which would have seen the point guard remain at the Lakers for at least one more season. The Lakers acquired Sessions from Cleveland mid-season in the hope of improving their speed and efficiency problems at the point. The deal saw veteran guard Derek Fisher leave L.A. for Oklahoma via Houston, along with Jason Kapono, Luke Walton and a 1st round draft pick. This morning, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak announced while Sessions would test free agency from July 1st, it was not set in stone as to whether or not he would remain a Laker.
Sessions started his term at the Lakers well, averaging 12 points and 6 assists per game, but a poor performance in the playoffs against Denver and Oklahoma City, including shooting only 37%, persuaded many to question Sessions and his ability to help the Lakers succeed in the future. Unfortunately for the Lakers, this leaves only Steve Blake as a starting point guard should Sessions decide to sign with another team. While Blake has value, he is not an option as far as starting point guards go.
The Lakers sights are clearly set on Deron Williams, however even if Williams opted out of a contract with the Nets and became a free agent, there is no way they could afford to bring him in. It is simply too much money for a club under so many financial restrictions. The franchise is well over the salary cap, and will pay a mighty amount in luxury taxes leaving little to no money to sign a high profile guard such as Williams.
Ramon Sessions’ decision to opt out of a deal with L.A. posses a very big issue for management as the search for a future franchise player must now revolve around a point guard. Yet again, we will see a Lakers squad desperate for speed and youth. Sessions could have been the answer, but the Lakers evidently wanted to see him prove himself over the next season. It is apparent that Sessions considers himself valuable enough to be signed long term, and should the Lakers not agree, another team surely will.