Following a 2010/11 campaign that saw him set career highs in FG% (.466) and PPG (13.3), among other categories, Ramon Sessions finds himself back in a familiar situation this season. Two years removed from playing behind lottery pick Jonny Flynn in Minnesota, Sessions has been relegated to backup point guard duty behind first overall pick Kyrie Irving in Cleveland.
With Irving clearly the point guard of the future for the Cavaliers, and Sessions playing in what could be the final year of his contract (he holds a $4.55MM player option for next season), it was only a matter of time before the 25-year-old's name surfaced in trade rumors. The Lakers and Knicks have been linked to Sessions so far, with reports suggesting the Cavs are fielding plenty of other calls about the point guard's availability.
The Cavs haven't indicated they want to move Sessions, and there's no guarantee they'll become sellers if they're in contention for the playoffs. But let's assume they're listening to offers. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that Cleveland is interested in stockpiling draft picks in any deals, and I assume cap room is a concern as well. If that's the case, the Lakers make more sense as a trade partner than the Knicks. Without sending any salary back to Cleveland, Los Angeles could easily absorb Sessions' $4.26MM salary using part of the $8.9MM trade exception it acquired in the Lamar Odom deal. Other teams that could use a trade exception on Sessions include the Jazz, Nuggets, Magic, and Mavericks, but none of those clubs have as great a need as the Lakers.
The Lakers currently hold two first-round picks in this year's draft, having acquired the Mavericks' first-rounder in the Odom trade. I think it's unlikely they'd want to move either pick for Sessions, given the strength of this year's draft class. Perhaps holding two first-rounders this year would make them more willing to give up a future selection, though that could limit their trade flexibility going forward.
Given the injuries and general lack of production at their point guard spot this year, the Lakers will likely explore a wide range of trade options before March 15th. They could choose to use their trade exception and draft picks on a larger deal, but acquiring Sessions would make a lot of sense. I could see both sides eventually agreeing to a trade that sends Sessions from Cleveland to L.A. in exchange for a protected first-rounder.