First a surprise: It was nice out in Milwaukee today.
Second is not a surprise: Ramon Sessions status remains up in the air.
- Word is that the Bucks aren’t making it easy on the Knicks. According to Newsday, the Bucks are willing to match an offer of up to three million, and it seems like the Knicks aren’t uber-excited to push an offer up too far past that level.
There is one caveat that Walsh must consider in this pursuit: A source with knowledge of the Bucks’ thinking said the cost-conscious team most likely would match any offer up to $3 million per season. A sign-and-trade has not been discussed at this point.
- Notable in the excerpt I’ve chosen from said Newsday article is that a sign-and-trade has not been discussed. If that’s accurate it does not surprise me. As I’ve said many times before, the Knicks have virtually nothing of value to offer the Bucks for Sessions. The idea of getting David Lee is fun, but improbable as explained thoroughly by Frank at BrewHoop.
Here’s something I’m not hearing much about with the Sessions situation, but is getting more logical by the day: accepting the qualifying offer. Any time a player chooses a one year deal as opposed to the security of a four to five year contract it’s a calculated risk, but it has to be up for consideration at this point for Sessions and his agent. Sessions qualifying offer is valued at somewhere between $1 and $1.5 million. If he played on that deal for one year he’d be an unrestricted free agent following the upcoming season. Let’s take a look at the pluses and minuses if he were to go that route.
The obvious plus in this situation is that if Sessions is able to entrench himself as the Bucks starting point guard I’d assume he’d put up comparable numbers to what he did in the second half last year. Starting at the beginning of January (when he actually was still getting minutes at the backup two in addition to the one, but it signaled the start of his consistent minutes) Sessions averaged 14.8/4.4/7.9. Those are the kinds of numbers that are going to draw a lot of interest over a full season. Imagine if that’s what he had gone into this off-season with instead of the pedestrian looking numbers that were largely the by-product of two months of inactivity/out of position minutes.
And has he learned how to shoot a jump shot yet? Along with signing a contract for next season, working on his jumper must have been near the top of Sessions off-season to do list. Shooting a Andre Miller like 18% on three-point shots doesn’t help many point guards get paid … unless they happen to be Andre Miller. If Sessions were able to come back next year and bump that up to say, 30%, he’d probably tack on an extra couple points and be heading into a thin free agent point guard class as a 24-year-old 16/4/8 unrestricted point guard. Financial meltdown or not, he’d be a hot commodity.
But do the risks out weigh the potential rewards? If one thing has been clear over this past year, it’s that Bucks management doesn’t have much of a soft spot for Sessions. He inexplicably did not play in either of the Bucks first two games last year, and then continued to have to fight for minutes with Luke Ridnour. Even when he had shown he deserved to be on the court he often spent time playing the two. Given his aforementioned shooting percentage from outside the arc it seemed like an odd maneuver. So there certainly is the risk that his playing time, and conversely his stats, won’t be improving much at all.
Realistically if he couldn’t earn starting point guard minutes with dead-weight Luke Ridnour in front of him, how is he going to get them with Brandon Jennings on board too. Virtually every move the Bucks have made this off-season seems to have been tailored to fit around Brandon Jennings. They’ve done everything possible to make him the new face of the franchise aside from print out their new tickets with his face on them — and I’m sure as soon as they get printed his face will be on them. Sessions now faces the possibility of running third in a three man point guard weave. And I’m not saying I agree with that, he’s clearly worlds better than Ridnour, but that seems to be the way Skiles wants to go at the position.
But who knows what’ll happen with Ridnour. His expiring contract will be one of John Hammonds trade chips all year long. The Bucks have been very active in trying to make deals and teams have been more and more excited about expiring contracts in lieu of the recent financial turmoil in the NBA. If Ridnour gets traded and Jennings isn’t quite ready, then 35 minutes are open every game for Sessions to do his thing. It’s a risky proposition and one that I’m sure he and agent Chubby Wells (What a name for an agent. It makes me think he wears a lot of Hawaiian shirts and smokes cigars.) have discussed at length. To me, the best bet for Sessions would be a mid-level deal for two years, preferably in New York for his sake. His numbers will inflate and his age will be perfect by the time his contract expires. He’d be set to earn anywhere from eight to ten million by the time that deal was up. But who knows what will happen at this point.
(I must have said “who knows” over 50 times about Sessions in the last few weeks.)
Sessions wants to play, that much is clear.
But, more than a month into this foray into restricted free agency, that’s about all that is clear.