After the trade dust settled, Dwight Howard remained in Orlando and Pau Gasol was still wearing a Lakers jersey (much to his relief). Instead of trading away Gasol, the Lakers front office swung a pair of deals to bring Ramon Sessions, Jordan Hill and Christian Eyenga to the team. In the process they unloaded the burdensome contract of Luke Walton, Jason Kapono and fan-favorite Derek Fisher. Below is an in-depth analysis of the Lakers newest additions.
Ramon Sessions – Sessions fills a position of need at the one. He is a quick guard who has great court vision and loves to distribute the ball. In four starts for the Cavs this year he averaged 17.8 points and 11 assists.
He played second string to Kyrie Irving and his season stats are a muted 10.5 points and 5.2 assists in 24 minutes. With a 2.6 assist to turnover ratio, he’s shown that he can take care of the rock. His ability to penetrate defenses will greatly help the Lakers offensive flow. He should be able to run the pick and roll effectively with Pau or Bynum.
Also, he will be able to take on ball handling duties away from Kobe and allow him to rest his injured wrist. He could potentially help with the Lakers three point woes. For the season he’s converted a surprising 41.9 percent of his treys; however, he’s only taken 1.5 attempts per game. The Lakers get him with relatively low risks.
This year, Sessions will be 26 year- old, so he still has time to improve. He is due to make $4.2 million this year and has a player option next season worth $4.5 million. Sessions should be an upgrade at the point guard position for the Lakers and it’s likely that he’ll be inserted into the starting lineup immediately.
Jordan Hill – At 6’10’’, Hill certainly has the size needed to play the power forward position. His standing reach was measured at 9 feet. Just for comparison Joakim Noah’s standing reach is 8’10.5’’.
Despite his physical gifts, Hill hasn’t produced in his first three seasons. The Lakers were in need of depth in the front court and hopefully Hill will be able to provide more of a true post presence than disappointing back-ups Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts.
The eighth overall pick in 2009, Hill is only 24 and the best days of his career are ahead of him.
Christian Eyenga – Outside of Andrew Bynum, the Lakers haven’t developed any young prospects in the last decade. So it’s unlikely that the 22-year-old will contribute to this team, but with a contract worth only $1.1 mil this year, he’s a relatively low risk investment.
Eyenga is a defensive oriented small forward who has above average athleticism. His shooting stroke needs work and offensively he is under developed.