Ramon Sessions

Knicks Waive Ramon Sessions

1:04pm: The move is official, per a team release.

10:00am: The Knicks will request waivers on veteran point guard Ramon Sessions later today, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). Sessions, 31, will receive the remainder of the $2.3MM salary for the 2017/18 season, Pompey adds.

Entering the season with rookie Frank Ntilikina, the Knicks added veteran depth with the signings of Jarrett Jack and Sessions. Sessions started the first three games of the regular season but has since fallen out of the rotation. In 13 games for New York, Sessions has averaged 3.7 PPG and 2.1 APG in 12.8 minutes per night.

Waiving Sessions has been rumored in recent days as the Knicks have pondered calling up fellow point guard Trey Burke from the G League affiliate Westchester Knicks. In 26 games for Westchester, Burke, 25, has played exceptionally well, averaging 26.6 PPG and 5.3 APG in 37 minutes per game.

Atlantic Notes: Sessions, Kanter, Hayward, Brown

Ramon Sessions may be in his last days with the Knicks, but the issue isn’t being addressed behind the scenes, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. New York reportedly wants to sign guard Trey Burke from its G League affiliate, but first it must create a roster opening. Sessions, who started the season’s first three games but has barely played since, seems like the prime candidate to be waived.

“This is my 10th team if you count Milwaukee and Charlotte twice, so I know how it works,” he said before tonight’s game. “I come in here and do my job, and the rest will take care of itself, man. I’ve been in the league since 2007 now. I’ve heard it all. I’ve been traded plenty of times. For me, it’s just like another day, just waking up and doing what I do.”

Sessions added that he hasn’t talked about his status with coach Jeff Hornacek or anybody in the front office. He signed a one-year, $2.33MM contract over the summer, but once Jarrett Jack took over as the starting point guard, Sessions’ primary responsibility has been working as a mentor to rookie Frank Ntilikina.

There’s more tonight from the Atlantic Division:

  • Enes Kanter is baffled by his new role in the Knicks‘ rotation, Berman adds in a separate story. Kanter is still the starter and he puts up double-doubles most nights, but he hasn’t played in the fourth quarter of the last five games coming into tonight. Hornacek has been trying to find minutes for four centers, which has reduced Kanter’s playing time. “What’d [Hornacek] say,” Kanter asked. “I have no idea why. I guess it’s a little weird. I have no idea. I look at the coach. He look at me. OK? I’ll sit on the bench.’’
  • Celtics fans were excited to see a photo posted by president of basketball operations Danny Ainge of Gordon Hayward without his ankle brace, but coach Brad Stevens told A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston not to read too much into it. “This is exactly what they thought the timeline would be like, just being out of a brace,” Stevens said. “There’s a long way to go.” Hayward continues to make progress in his recovery from a fractured left ankle, but Stevens added that the timeline hasn’t changed.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown told reporters in London that he doesn’t like to hear Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons or any of his other young players being referred to as stars, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “We don’t yet have stars,” Brown said. “We don’t have any championships. We don’t have any all-stars. Like, we are very much at the foundation to get to where you just brought us too quickly, in my opinion. I’m the coach. I have to keep it real.”

Knicks Notes: Sessions, Porzingis, McDermott

The Knicks will have to make a roster move within the next few days, with Joakim Noah set to come off the suspended list, and that fact isn’t lost on Scott Perry. The Knicks general manager confirms that the club continues to explore its trade options with that roster deadline fast approaching, per Marc Berman of The New York Post.

“We know that is looming,” Perry said. “We’re going to have to address the roster. We’ve been working through the process for a few weeks. By Sunday at 5:00 pm., there’ll be a resolution one way or another. Whether it’s a trade or waive an individual.”

Perry referred to veteran point guard Ramon Sessions as a “true professional” who helps to set a “fine example” in the Knicks’ locker room, but it’s widely believed that the 11-year veteran would be on the chopping block if the team has to waive a player. As Berman details in a separate piece, Sessions is staying positive, but admits he hasn’t been in this position – fully removed from his team’s rotation – since entering the league. That doesn’t bode well for his spot on the roster.

Here’s more out of New York:

  • Kristaps Porzingis‘s brother and co-agent Janis Porzingis recently made a few somewhat incendiary comments to an international outlet about his brother’s future in New York. However, Perry declined to go into detail on those comments when asked about them this week, as Berman relays in a piece for The New York Post. “I don’t really want to talk about that right now,” Perry said. “The time to talk about contract extensions, that’s far. We’re living in today. KP is playing some very good basketball right now. He’s playing well and happy with this team. We’ll deal with all that stuff later. But no comment in terms of what was said because I really don’t know (what it meant).”
  • Perry also discussed the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City, pointing out that the team wanted to find a deal that benefited both Anthony and the Knicks. “We made the trade because we believed in the two guys we got back in [Enes] Kanter and Doug McDermott,” Perry said. “Thus far those guys have proven to really come in and fit. They’re hard workers, they’re pros. They’re about the things that we want [for] this team.”
  • Of the players acquired in the Anthony trade, Kanter has been having the bigger impact early in 2017/18, but McDermott showed on Tuesday that he shouldn’t be overlooked, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. “Doug’s a beast,” Lance Thomas said after the sharpshooting forward scored 20 points on just eight shots. “He was doing this in practice. We know what he’s capable of doing, and he’s doing it.” McDermott will be a restricted free agent at season’s end, and a few more games like that one should improve his stock.

Kuzminskas, Noah On Trade Block For Knicks

With the clock ticking on their 16th roster spot, the Knicks will have to make a roster move of some sort in the coming days, and the team’s preferred option would be to trade a player rather than eating a guaranteed salary, writes Ian Begley of ESPN.

To that end, the Knicks have been making calls to gauge potential trade interest in Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who recently expressed dissatisfaction with his reduced role in New York. Additionally, the club has made Joakim Noah available in trade conversations with several teams since the end of the 2017/18 season, but hasn’t found a viable deal, league sources tell Begley.

Marc Berman of The New York Post had previously reported that Kuzminskas’s representatives were gauging possible trade interest in their client, so it comes as no surprise that the Knicks are involved in those discussions too.

The 28-year-old Lithiuanian forward had modest overall numbers last season, but played well when given the chance to crack the starting lineup, recording 14.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and a .511/.391/.929 in his five starts. Kuzminskas is only earning about $3MM and will be a restricted free agent next summer, so it shouldn’t be overly difficult to move him if there are teams with interest.

The same can’t be said of Noah, whose contract is fully guaranteed through 2019/20 at a rate of approximately $18.5MM annually. As Begley notes, a trade involving Noah is highly unlikely, given his exorbitant salary and his declining production. With Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn off to solid starts, it’s not even clear if Noah will have a place in the rotation when he returns from his suspension, says Begley.

If the Knicks haven’t lined up a suitable trade by the time Noah’s suspension ends, the team may get back down to 15 players by waiving Ramon Sessions, according to Begley. The point guard’s 2017/18 salary is fully guaranteed, but it’s only worth the minimum, and Sessions isn’t a part of the rotation, with Jarrett Jack and Frank Ntilikina currently handling point guard duties.

Knicks Rumors: Jack, Porzingis, McDermott

Knicks starting point guard Jarrett Jack feels pressure to remain productive because he doesn’t have a guaranteed contract, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports. New York has won five of its last six, coinciding with Jack replacing Ramon Sessions in the lineup. Jack’s $2.33MM contract doesn’t become guaranteed until January 10th, so he can’t become complacent, as he told Bondy. “It keeps you on your toes, forces you to stay sharp – knowing you can’t take any day or any situation for granted,” Jack said. “I know a lot of the owners would love to have it that way in the collective bargaining agreement.” The Knicks will have to make a roster move when Joakim Noah‘s PED suspension ends on November 13th in order to retain Jack in the short run. Trading Kyle O’Quinn or Willy Hernangomez is a possibility, according to Bondy. They could also eat a guaranteed contract, with Sessions, Michael Beasley and Mindaugas Kuzminskas as the likely candidates in that scenario, Bondy adds.

In other news concerning the Knicks:

  • Kristaps Porzingis admits that former team president Phil Jackson’s comments about his readiness to be a franchise player motivates him, as he told ESPN’s Ian Begley and other media members. Jackson said in his postseason press conference last spring that Porzingis wasn’t ready for that role or to be the featured player on offense. Porzingis is currently the league’s second-leading scorer at 30.2 PPG. “The challenge is never too big for me,” Porzingis said. “I always accept the challenge and that’s why I knew coming into this season [if Carmelo Anthony] was not going to be here, then I’m going to have to be that guy and that’s why I was just [spending] 24 hours in the gym. I was preparing for this, preparing myself physically, and I’m just happy that I’m capable of playing at this level right now.”
  • Doug McDermott anticipated he would fit into coach Jeff Hornacek’s up-tempo offense when the team acquired him from the Thunder in the Anthony trade, Alex Squadron of the New York Post writes. McDermott has settled into his role as an offensive sparkplug, averaging 7.0 PPG and 1.6 APG in 20.0 MPG while shooting 49% from the field. “I’m just accepting it right now, coming off the bench,” McDermott told Squadron. “Playing that 20 minutes per game. Just coming in, being aggressive. They want me to be aggressive scoring the ball.”

Atlantic Rumors: Beasley, Hayward, Crabbe, Embiid

A pair of free-agent acquisitions, forward Michael Beasley and point guard Ramon Sessions, are among the players who have fallen out of the Knicks’ rotation, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. Beasley didn’t play for the first time this season in the Knicks’ win over the Cavaliers on Sunday while Sessions, who started the first three games, didn’t play for the second straight game. Beasley signed a one-year, $2.1MM deal with New York and Sessions inked a one-year, $2.3MM contract this summer. Big man Willy Hernangomez has also fallen out of coach Jeff Hornacek’s current rotation and combo guard Ron Baker was inactive for the second straight game, Berman adds.

In other developments around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics are gradually adjusting to the loss of Gordon Hayward, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. Hayward’s horrific leg injury in the season opener left the team reeling but it has perked up over the past week, winning four straight heading into Monday’s game against the Spurs. “I think we’re getting used to that reality to what we have in front of us,” power forward Al Horford told Bulpett. “It’s a hard blow, but then as the days go on you kind of realize that this is our reality, this is what we have, and we need to make the most of it with what’s here right now.”
  • The Nets traded for shooting guard Allen Crabbe‘s huge contract but he hasn’t taken a lot of shots in the early going, Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily.com notes. Crabbe, who is the second year of a four-year, $74.8MM deal, was acquired from the Trail Blazers in July. Thus far, he’s averaging 10.6 PPG and taking an average of 9.4 shots per game. However, coach Kenny Atkinson told Puccio and other media members that he’s not worried about getting Crabbe more involved.  “We’re not a ‘let’s give it to Allen and clear out and let him go one-on-one,’” Atkinson said. “It’s a team concept. That means everything has to be in sync, we have to run to our spots, screen better, cut better.”
  • Joel Embiid, who signed a max extension with the Sixers earlier this month, wants to play in Philadelphia the remainder of this career, Molly Sullivan of NBCSPhilly.com tweets. “I want to be Kobe Bryant. I want to be Tim Duncan. I want to be Dirk Nowitzki,” Embiid told Sullivan.

Mills: Knicks Won’t Trade Ntilikina Or Hernangomez

The Knicks consider Frank Ntilikina and Willy Hernangomez part of their future and don’t plan to include either in a trade for Suns guard Eric Bledsoe, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Team president Steve Mills conveyed those sentiments today in a meeting with reporters in Cleveland, effectively quashing speculation that the Knicks might be involved in the chase for Bledsoe.

Ntilikina has been limited by injuries and Hernangomez has seen his playing time cut because of a logjam at center, but Mills said both are considered valuable components going forward. He added that coach Jeff Hornacek approached this season the right way by making Hernangomez work for his playing time. “This is part of Willy’s development,’’ Mills said. “He’s a guy who’s going to be with us [at least] the next three years and we have a lot of time to work with him, and he’s going to be part of who we are.”

There’s more from Mills’ session with the media:

  • Even though the Knicks are off to a 1-3 start following a winless preseason, no thought has been given to a coaching change. Mills pledged that “Jeff, [GM] Scott [Perry] and I are in this together,” although he stopped short of guaranteeing that Hornacek will be safe for the entire season. “We told him to focus on getting the team better and finding ways to reduce the turnovers and make sure we’re improving defensively,” Mills said of a recent meeting with Hornacek. “That’s what our goal was. We didn’t focus on the record. Our focus is how we’re improving over the course of the season. If we do all the things from a defensive standpoint, wins will come out of that. I do believe it’s getting better.”
  • The organization is stressing stability in the wake of the chaotic reign of former team president Phil Jackson, who was fired over the offseason. Mills doesn’t believe it would be healthy to make another significant move so soon. “We need to make sure we’re doing as a team and doing the things we said we were going to do over the summer,” he said. “As long as we’re doing those things, we’ll continue to build this group. Stability is important for this group. We haven’t had a lot of it here.”
  • Despite the injuries, the organization has been impressed by Ntilikina, the eighth selection in this year’s draft. “He’s not a flashy player but does the right things, plays solid defensively, willing to challenge guys right from the start,” Mills said. “The way he played, with the style he played, was what we saw when we scouted him. … “We’re committed to him and his development. What we’re trying to do with this team, it centers around guys like Frank, KP, draft picks moving forward.”
  • The Knicks will have to make a roster move next month when Joakim Noah‘s suspension expires. They signed two veteran point guards over the offseason in Ramon Sessions and Jarrett Jack, and Mills said the team would like to keep both. “We always knew we needed veterans to help support Frank,’’ he explained. “Was that going to be Ramon as starter? Jarrett as starter? They both bring different things to the table. Jarrett did a great job of calming things down. Ramon brings different things to the table. They both mentor Frank in different ways. We feel we need guys like that to bring Frank along.’’

Knicks Notes: Rotation, Hernangomez, Lee, Burke

Coach Jeff Hornacek is planning to use nine or 10 players in his rotation, which means some Knicks won’t get the playing time they’re expecting, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. Three starting slots seem to be set heading into Thursday’s opener, with Kristaps Porzingis at power forward, free agent addition Tim Hardaway Jr. at shooting guard and veteran Ramon Sessions at point guard because first-round pick Frank Ntilikina missed much of the preseason with an injuries.

Hornacek hasn’t decided whether to make Courtney Lee his starting small forward or go with a bigger option such as Lance Thomas, Doug McDermott, Michael Beasley or Mindaugas Kuzminskas. At center, Enes Kanter, Willy Hernangomez or Kyle O’Quinn are all in contention for the opening-night start, and Joakim Noah may join the rotation once he returns from his suspension. Begley suggests that Hornacek will have some disappointed players to deal with regardless of what he decides.

There’s more out of New York:

  • Hernangomez got the least playing time of the three centers during preseason, but that doesn’t mean the minutes will be divided that way going forward, Begley notes in another ESPN Now post. Hornacek wanted to see how Kanter, who was acquired from the Thunder three weeks ago, would fit with his new teammates. “We know what Willy can do with a lot of our players, especially [Kristaps Porzingis and others] that were here last year,” Hornacek said. “We’re trying to see Enes with that group.”
  • Marc Berman of the New York Post expects Lee to get the start on Thursday as Hornacek tries to add speed to his defensive unit. That means Lee will be matched up with former teammate Carmelo Anthony, who was traded to Oklahoma City last month. Hornacek plans to use different starters at the three spot depending on matchups, but Lee is confident he can guard anybody. “We got to do what’s best for the team,” he said. “If somebody’s starting at small forward that’s 6 [-foot-] 10 and starts posting me up, it only makes sense to get a bigger body on him. But if you put me on anybody, I’m going to fight him. I’m going to try to get the stop. That’s my job. Maybe I am blocking that 6-10 guy’s jump hook and I stay in.”
  • After waiving Trey Burke on Saturday, Knicks are hoping he will play for their G League affiliate in Westchester, Berman adds in the same story. Burke didn’t sign with New York until Wednesday, and Hornacek believes he needs more evaluation before giving him a roster spot. “Trey was probably in a tough position there coming in at the last minute,’’ Hornacek said. “The other guys are able to show some stuff. We like Trey, what we can do.”

Knicks Notes: Noah, Ntilikina, Anthony, McDermott

The addition of Enes Kanter in Saturday’s Carmelo Anthony trade makes center Joakim Noah a stronger candidate for the stretch provision, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. The Knicks signed Noah to a four-year, $72MM free agent deal last summer, and he is owed $55MM over the next three seasons. Kanter will make $20.5MM+ this season and has a player option worth more than $18.6MM for 2018/19, so that’s a lot to pay two centers when Willy Hernangomez and Kyle O’Quinn are also on the roster.

Noah had a nightmarish first season in New York marked by disappointing performance, shoulder surgery and a drug suspension that will carry through the first 11 games of this year. Knicks management may want to get him off the roster, but the deadline to stretch this season’s salary passed on August 31, so the team is stuck with his $17.765MM and the accompanying cap hit. It could use the stretch provision on the $37.825MM Noah is owed over the final two years of his contract, paying $7.565MM a year over the next five seasons.

There’s more from New York this morning:

  • The Knicks view Frank Ntilikina as their point guard of the future, but veterans Ramon Sessions and Jarrett Jack will probably compete to be the opening-night starter, Berman adds in the same piece. A bruised knee forced the rookie to miss summer league, and the Knicks want to let him grow into the job, which GM Scott Perry believes is as difficult as being an NFL quarterback. Ron Baker, who re-signed this offseason, will spend more time at shooting guard.
  • Anthony was popular in the locker room, but was never seen by his teammates as a leader, Berman writes in a separate piece. Two of his former coaches, Mike D’Antoni and George Karl, thought he valued individual achievements and his personal agenda more than winning. Berman also wonders how much of Anthony’s prime is still left at age 33.
  • The Knicks hope Doug McDermott, who was also acquired in the Anthony deal, will give them a three-point threat who can handle both forward positions, Berman adds. One scout calls him a taller version of Kyle Korver.
  • If Kanter opts in for next season and McDermott isn’t re-signed, the Knicks will have saved about $8MM by trading Anthony, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

Atlantic Notes: Ntilikina, Okafor, London

While the plan has always been to bring rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina along slowly, the fact that the Knicks failed to land a notable veteran at the position this offseason gives the first-year player an opportunity to sneak into the starting lineup.

Of course [I want to start],” Ntilikina told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, before stressing that he’s a team player more concerned with simply improving over the course of his first campaign with the Knicks.

The Knicks added Ramon Sessions over the summer but while Sessions brings a source of veteran leadership, he hasn’t been a consistent starter previously in his 10-year career.

Regardless of where he ends up in the rotation, the Knicks’ eighth-overall pick acknowledges a need to work on his body and brace for the physical challenges of stepping into the NBA.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Although his name has frequently come up in trade rumors, Sixers big man Jahlil Okafor “couldn’t be happier” in Philadelphia. The center spoke with Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times about the idea of suiting up for another squad.
  • The Celtics aren’t about to plan their offseason around what the Cavaliers are doing. “We have our own problems and our own challenges and trying to put players together that can win and compete in the league today is very difficult,Danny Ainge said recently on the Dan Patrick Show (via CSN New England).
  • The Celtics and Sixers will take their talents to the United Kingdom this season, an NBA.com press release reveals. The two division rivals will square off in NBA London Games 2018 on January 11.
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