As the Lakers struggled in Game 1 against the Thunder on Monday evening, Ramon Sessions' future with the team remains slightly ambiguous. Acquired at the trade deadline from the Cavaliers, Sessions proved to be a strong upgrade at the point guard position over the aging Derek Fisher as he infused the Lakers' backcourt with youth and energy. The former Nevada star holds a player option for next season at $4.55MM after averaging 11.3 PPG and and 5.5 APG in 64 games this past year.
Sessions' departure from Cleveland allowed for the 26-year-old guard to assume a consistent starting role for the first time in his career and thrived upon his arrival in Los Angeles. His style of play is predicated on driving to the basket and using his 6-foot-3 frame to post up his opponent. Health has not been a serious concern for Sessions as he's demonstrated an ability to stay on the court and fight through lingering injuries throughout his career. He earned $4.26MM during the 2011/2012 season and will potentially look to get a contract that exceeds his player option for next year by signing a multiyear deal this summer.
While Sessions is clearly a strong young talent with many dynamic aspects to his game, there are still areas of weakness that keep him from being a complete player on both sides of the ball. Sessions lacks a reliable jump shot and stays away from taking many three-pointers, both of which decrease the amount of points he contributes on a nightly basis. Defensively, Sessions uses his quickness to his advantage as he's an average defender who doesn't accumulate many steals and struggles to defend post players given his slight build.
Sessions proved enough with the Lakers during the regular season that his sporadic performances thus far during the playoffs may not be enough to deter the fifth-year player from declining his player option. The Lakers will likely be one of his chief suitors regardless of Sessions' decision, unless Los Angeles decides to blow up their roster in the wake of a potential sweep by the Thunder. In such a situation, the Lakers would attempt to trade Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol with hopes of landing Dwight Howard and may pursue a veteran point guard like Steve Nash in an effort to provide Kobe Bryant the best chance to win another ring.
Sessions spoke with the media during the first round of the playoffs about coming to the Lakers, how he's handled his new role as a starter and his thoughts for the future. "It's definitely something that's not in the back of my mind right now because I'm trying to focus on the playoffs," Sessions said on the eve of Game 4 [against the Nuggets]. "It's not even a concern. I don't know what's going to happen. I know it's coming. "It's something I'll deal with."
Whatever team ends up with Sessions can expect 28 to 32 minutes per game with 12 to 15 points and approximately 5 to 6 assists per contest. He has shown that he can handle the starting point guard position on a squad full of superstars and big personalities during his brief tenure in Los Angeles. Look for Sessions to decline his player option this offseason and re-sign with the Lakers on a multiyear contract.