After much speculation surrounding the pending free agency of Ramon Sessions, the 26-year-old point guard has decided not to exercise his $4.55 million option with the Los Angeles Lakers according to Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times:
“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.”
Even though Sessions deciding to test free agency isn’t much of a surprise with the recently acquired point guard letting it be known that he wants a long-term deal either in Los Angeles or elsewhere, this development makes things that much more interesting for the Lakers’ front office during the off-season.
With the recent sign-and-trade rumors surrounding elite floor general Deron Williams, Sessions may have decided that the Lakers weren’t convinced by his performance in the second half of the NBA season after acquiring him from the Cleveland Cavaliers before the NBA trade deadline on March 15.
Sessions has indicated that he wants to return to the Lakers, but with some long-term security. There remains a good chance that the Lakers will chose to sign Sessions long-term with the team wanting to hold onto young players in order to secure the future of the franchise.
Despite that being the case, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is fielding trade offers for two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol and exploring options in free agency. A blockbuster trade before next season with Gasol being dealt elsewhere might result in a point guard like Williams coming to L.A. in return. If that doesn’t happen, the Lakers may pursue a point guard in free agency at a cheaper price if Sessions asks more than the team is willing to pay.
It is no secret that the Lakers are limited in terms of signing any players via free agency over the summer with the team well over the salary cap and looking at a costly luxury tax. Sessions may ultimately turn out to be the team’s best option for a young point guard outside of a potential trade for Williams.