Ramon Sessions Rumors

Bucks Sign Damien Inglis

August 26 2014 at 6:03pm CST By Chuck Myron

AUGUST 26TH, 6:03pm: The signing is official, the team announced.

AUGUST 20TH, 8:05pm: The Bucks have signed 31st overall pick Damien Inglis, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The team has yet to make an official announcement, but the move took place Tuesday, as the RealGM transactions log shows. It’s a multiyear deal, according to RealGM. Inglis probably received a three-year deal worth a shade under $1MM this season and the minimum salary in the final two seasons if he’s like many of his peers from the top of the 2014 second round, including 36th overall pick and new Bucks teammate Johnny O’Bryant.

Inglis is a native of French Guiana who spent last season playing for Chorale Roanne in France. He had a decent chance to end up as a first-round pick, since he ranked 26th in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress prospect listings and 30th with Chad Ford of ESPN.com. The 6’8″ small forward is nonetheless a raw prospect, having averaged just 4.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game in France this year.

The signing creates a logjam of sorts in Milwaukee, particularly if Inglis’ contract is guaranteed, as is likely the case. The team already had 14 guaranteed deals, as our roster counts show, not including Kendall Marshall, who figures to be a part of the rotation on his minimum-salary pact after averaging 8.8 assists per game for the Lakers last season. The Bucks also renounced their rights to free agent Ramon Sessions, as Pincus and RealGM report, and while that doesn’t clear an additional roster spot, it’s a signal that the club is done with free agent signings this summer, save for perhaps a few training camp invitations.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Ramon Sessions

August 6 2014 at 9:35pm CST By Cray Allred

One of the most productive free agents who still hasn’t found a team this summer is Ramon Sessions. In fact, of the 30 point guards who scored at least 10 points per game while averaging over 4 assists, Sessions is the only player without a contract. Sessions wasn’t far off his career PER average of 16.7 last season, a number that ranks with many of the league’s better rotation players. Perhaps Sessions’ situation will look less bleak in the coming days, but at the moment there are not a lot of landing spots where Sessions could sign for at or above the $5MM annual salary he just earned on his (expired) two-year deal. As our own Chuck Myron detailed in today’s Ray Allen Stock Watch piece, the teams with much more than the veteran’s minimum to offer are dwindling.

Sessions’ skill set is an odd mix for today’s NBA. In four of his first five seasons in the league, Sessions averaged over 7 assists per-36 minutes, but that rate slipped well below 6 per-36 over his last two seasons. The point guard position is evolving from a pass-first mold, however, with unconventional scoring guards becoming more accepted. Sessions’ most glaring weakness is his poor three-point shooting, which stands at 31.1% over his career, and 28.2% last season. As the league moves away from mid-range shots to emphasize the three-pointer, teams are increasingly unenthusiastic about perimeter players with no long distance range. In fact, Charlotte traded away Sessions last season in order to bring in shooting specialist Gary Neal as the Hornets geared up for the 2014 playoffs.

One of Sessions’ greatest strengths does fit the advanced team-building strategies in today’s NBA, however. Sessions has an elite free throw rate. At 6.6 free throw attempts per-36 minutes, Sessions ranked 12th in the league last year, behind only Ty Lawson at the point guard position. Teams increasingly value trips to the charity stripe as one of the most efficient elements of a strong offense; if Sessions could convince teams he could put up even mildly below average shooting averages to go with his ability to draw fouls, I can’t imagine he’d still be unsigned today.

Charlotte trading the veteran to the Bucks blindsided Sessions, but he was still open to reuniting with the Hornets as his free agency approached this summer. The Hornets sent mixed signals as to their own interest in a reunion, but eventually signed veteran backup Brian Roberts along with Lance Stephenson, a combo guard capable of running the point to complement starter Kemba Walker. In any case, Charllote was just one of many teams that had the point guard on their radar as free agency began. One of those teams was the Bulls, but they have since re-signed Kirk Hinrich alongside newcomers Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, and Doug McDermott. Considering Derrick Rose‘s return, it would be surprising if they even wanted Sessions at the minimum now, considering the cap ramifications.

Some of the teams with cap flexibility might not be interested in upgrading their point guard slot. The Bucks haven’t been reported as interested in bringing Sessions back, and have already added the cheaper Kendall Marshall to a backcourt that includes Brandon Knight and Nate Wolters. The Jazz have two young point guards in Trey Burke and Dante Exum, but appear comfortable letting the raw Exum grow alongside Burke, rather than developing behind a veteran like Sessions. The Sixers have the most money available, and the thinnest roster, but have done nothing to bring in solid talent this offseason via free agency.

The Pacers haven’t been named as a Sessions suitor, but stand as a potential match. The team is seeking offense after losing Stephenson to free agency and Paul George to injury, and that is definitely Sessions’ strength. They are also applying for the disabled players exception, which would allow them over $5MM in signing ability if granted. The Rockets are another team without a reported connection to Sessions, but could theoretically be a good match for his talents. After trading away Jeremy Lin, Houston was left with Patrick Beverley as their only proven commodity at point guard. Beverley is a much better defender than Sessions with more success behind the arc, but Sessions has a longer track record than the likes of Ish Smith or Isaiah Canaan, Houston’s current bench pieces behind Beverley. Houston also has the flexibility to sign Sessions for significantly more than the minimum.

The Allegiant Athletic Agency client will hope that his strengths will eventually outshine his weaknesses in the eyes of a front office with money to spend. Just two years ago, the point guard was confident enough in his market value to decline a player option of over $4.5MM, and wound up getting a raise. It remains to be seen if the market will provide such a soft cushion this time around.

Eastern Rumors: Wade, Bosh, ‘Melo, Gasol

July 4 2014 at 10:31am CST By Chuck Myron

Happy Fourth of July to our American readers! It remains to be seen if there will be any free agency fireworks today, but with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh hesitant to take discounts, prompting a disconnect between them and LeBron James, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the fuse has been lit. Here’s more from the Eastern Conference as the market waits to see what James and Carmelo Anthony will do:

  • The Bulls remain confident that they’re still in the running to end up as Anthony’s choice, but they sense they’ve lost momentum with the Knicks prepared to offer the max, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • Pau Gasol learned when he met with the Bulls on Thursday that he would be a starter if he signed with the team, as Cowley, writing in the same piece, also hears.
  • The Raptors have had preliminary talks with Patrick Patterson as they concentrate on securing depth behind Amir Johnson, reports Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. They’re willing to wait before shopping for a physical, defensive-minded wing this summer, Smith adds. Concerns about Johnson’s ability to stay healthy also likely played a role in the team’s decision to fully guarantee Tyler Hansbrough‘s contract, Smith believes.
  • The Hornets have expressed interest in signing Ramon Sessions, a source tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). A report late Thursday indicated the opposite, so perhaps Charlotte reached out within the last several hours.

And-Ones: Gasol, Knicks, Lakers, Marion

July 3 2014 at 10:08pm CST By Eddie Scarito

There won’t be a decision from Pau Gasol anytime soon as to where he will be signing, reports David Aldridge of NBA.com. This is despite the pleas and pitches he has received from Carmelo Anthony and numerous teams, notes Aldridge.

More from around the league:

Central Rumors: Melo, Bulls, Irving, Sessions

July 1 2014 at 8:29pm CST By Zach Links

Carmelo Anthony says that he values winning over money and if he’s a man of his word, then the Bulls make perfect sense for him, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.  Here’s more on Melo and Chicago, plus other notes out of the Central Division..

  • Melo met with the Bulls earlier today and a source tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter) that he followed that up with a dinner alongside Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, and others.  Rose had to leave the dinner early, but coach Tom Thibodeau also stopped by (link).  The dinner pitch is going “great,” according to the source who is in attendance (link).  Prior to dinner, Rose took to the floor at Chicago’s practice facility and went through a private workout to show Anthony that he’s healthy, Kennedy writes.
  • The Cavs sealed the deal with Kyrie Irving on a five-year, $90MM extension with an overnight meeting, but there was much more that went into wooing the guard.  Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer runs it all down.
  • A bunch of teams are showing interest in Ramon Sessions, including the Bulls, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times.
  • A league source tells Candace Buckner of The Star (on Twitter) that the Pacers plan to dine with C.J. Miles tonight.

Free Agent Rumors: Melo, Love, Henry, Sessions,

July 1 2014 at 1:15am CST By Zach Links

The Knicks are still viewed in league circles as the favorites in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. The team is confident that it will get the final sales pitch with Anthony, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). The latest free agent rumors from around the league..

  • The Rockets, Suns, Bulls, and Warriors are all expected to make plays for Kevin Love if they miss out on LeBron James and/or Anthony, tweets Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press.
  • The Pacers are targeting Xavier Henry in free agency to replace Evan Turner, tweets Shaun Powell of Sports On Earth.
  • Bucks free agent guard Ramon Sessions‘ camp received calls from three teams in the first hour of free agency, a source tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).
  • The Grizzlies, Nets, Spurs, and Thunder have expressed in free agent point guard Sebastian Telfair, a source tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). Telfair played in China last season. For the Nets, Telfair could be a potential replacement for Shaun Livingston if he goes elsewhere.
  • The Nets reached out as soon as the negotiating window opened to their own free agents Paul Pierce, Livingston, and Alan Anderson, a source tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
  • The Blazers have strong interest in signing a stretch four, tweets Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Spencer Hawes, Boris Diaw, and Josh McRoberts are among their targets.
  • Blazers GM Neil Olshey met with Hawes and his agent, Greg Lawrence, tonight in Los Angeles, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
  • Channing Frye would be open to returning to the Blazers, writes Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. “Of course coming back would be an option,” Frye wrote in an e-mail. “I love the city, the fans, and the players they have are top notch.”
  • Nick Young was contacted by the Lakers and a number of other teams, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com (via Twitter).

Ramon Sessions Interested In Bobcats Reunion

March 16 2014 at 3:19pm CST By Zach Links

Bucks guard Ramon Sessions says that he would love to be a member of the Bobcats again if they’d be interested in signing him this summer, tweets Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.  Charlotte traded Sessions to Milwaukee at the trade deadline along with Jeff Adrien in a deal that brought them Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour.

Sessions, 28 next month, recently told Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders that he felt “blindsided” by the February deal.  Meanwhile, he told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo back in 2012 that the reason he opted out of his contract with the Lakers and signed with Charlotte in the first place was so that he’d have some career stability.  However, it sounds like there are no hard feelings between the veteran guard and the Bobcats.

Sessions is making $5MM in the final year of his contract and while Milwaukee isn’t playing for much at this stage of the season, the veteran has been playing well over the past few weeks.  In 12 games for the Bucks, Sessions has been averaging 12.8 PPG, 3.4 APG, and 2.8 RPG in 25 minutes per contest.  Between the two clubs, Sessions has averages of 10.9 PPG, 3.7 APG, and 2.3 RPG in 24 minutes per game (15.6 PER).

Central Notes: Bynum, Sessions, Pistons

March 15 2014 at 10:38am CST By Cray Allred

Andrew Bynum considered playing for both the Heat and the Lakers before signing with the Pacers, tweets Tom Moore of Calkins Media. The Lakers were viewed as a potential trading partner for the Cavs when Cleveland was looking to move him, but were not linked as a suitor once he hit free agency after being traded to and waived by the Bulls. Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Bucks guard Ramon Sessions tells Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders that he was completely blindsided by the trade that sent him from the Bobcats to the Bucks.  “To be honest the trade was kind of last minute,” Sessions said. “I didn’t really hear too much coming up to the trade deadline but as we got closer I started getting calls from my agent and hearing certain things were happening behind the scenes. But it’s one of those things in the league that when it happens, you got to pack up and be ready to move on to another team.”
  • Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times thinks Bulls center Joakim Noah can be penciled into the All-NBA first team, and the $500,000 bonus that would come with that selection.
  • Pistons coach John Loyer tells Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News that the three-big lineup in Detroit can eventually work if the team is able to get consistent shooting from the perimeter. “You need spacing, two guys who can score the ball from the perimeter when you have those three on the floor,” said Loyer. “As long as those three are here and here together and playing productively, you’ll see them. It’s what we have. We want to put them in places where we think they can score the best. It’s your job as coach to figure out who you’re coaching and what they’re best at and put them in those spots.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Bobcats Acquire Gary Neal

February 20 2014 at 4:37pm CST By Chuck Myron

The Bobcats announced that they have acquired Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour from the Bucks in exchange for Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien.  Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter) first reported the agreement.NBA: Orlando Magic at Milwaukee Bucks

We are excited to add a pair of quality players to our backcourt,” Bobcats president Rod Higgins said. “Gary is an exceptional shooter and Luke is a veteran point guard who can help us off the bench. They both have significant postseason experience so they know how to get where we’re trying to go. We look forward to adding them to our rotation. We also want to thank Ramon and Jeff for their contributions and professionalism and wish them the best of luck.”

Charlotte was attempting to talk Milwaukee into the idea that taking Sessions would make it easier for the Bucks to trade Ridnour, and apparently they agreed, simply deciding to fold Ridnour into this deal.

An earlier report suggested Caron Butler and Ben Gordon could be involved in the deal, but that wasn’t the case. The Suns, Kings, Wolves and Thunder were among the teams in the mix for Neal this week, but Charlotte emerged as the most serious suitor today.

Ridnour, a free agent at season’s end, makes $4.42MM, while Neal earns $3.25MM this season and gets the same pay next year. Sessions is on a $5MM expiring deal while Adrien makes the minimum.

Zach Links contributed to this post.  Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bobcats, Bucks Close To Gary Neal Swap

February 20 2014 at 11:28am CST By Charlie Adams

11:28am: Caron Butler and Ben Gordon could also be involved, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.

11:10am: Charlotte is trying to sell Milwaukee on the idea that acquiring Sessions makes it easier for them to trade Luke Ridnour, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

10:59am: The proposed deal would send Sessions to the Bucks, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Sessions, making $5MM, earns more money than Neal’s $3.25MM, so apparently Kohl would have to get involved.

10:56am: The Bobcats and Bucks are nearing an agreement that would send Neal to Charlotte, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Still, Milwaukee owner Herb Kohl would have to sign off on an increase in team salary as part of the deal, according to TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link).

THURSDAY, 6:45am: The Bobcats are trying to convince the Bucks to take on Ramon Sessions in return for Neal. 

11:06pm: While they may be looking for a shooter, the Thunder’s interest in Neal could be overstated, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Amick also confirms interest in Neal from the Bobcats. 

4:39pm: Woelfel adds the Suns, Wolves and Kings to the list of suitors for Neal (via Twitter).

1:15pm: The Bucks have progressed with several teams on the Neal front, but they’re still holding off on agreeing to a deal, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.com (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 12:29pm: The pursuit of Neal is the only active discussion the Bobcats are engaged in, with talks for Evan Turner having flamed out early, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

TUESDAY, 8:24pm: The Bobcats and Thunder are both interested in acquiring sharpshooting Bucks guard Gary Neal, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com and Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (Twitter links). Stein reports that Neal has been being openly shopped by Milwaukee since January, and we heard on Friday that the fourth year guard is unhappy with the Bucks. A recent Woelfel piece labeled Brandon KnightGiannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton as the only untouchable assets on the Bucks roster, so it’s not a surprise the club is open to moving Neal.

After a solid postseason performance with Spurs en route to finals loss versus Miami, Neal signed with Milwaukee on a two-year, $6.25MM deal. While he hasn’t put up extraordinary numbers so far this season, he’s proven throughout the course of his career that he can be a good shooter capable of putting up solid numbers on some nights.

Charlotte has been very active so far this deadline. News broke earlier today that they were close to a deal with the Bucks that would’ve brought in Neal and Caron Butler, but the alleged move fell through at the last minute. It’s unclear if a new deal would involve Butler, but reports have indicated the Bobcats are willing to give up a draft pick for the right price.

Neal’s other potential suitor, the Thunder, are said to be looking for a shooter. Neal would certainly welcome a move to Oklahoma City since we’ve heard reports suggesting he wants to play for a contender. The Thunder would have to send some salary out in return however, since trading for Neal would put the team over the tax line.