Yesterday, Ernie and company executed a deadline day trade for Ramon Sessions from Sacramento in exchange for the deteriorating Andre Miller. The deal looks super meager on the surface and to folks who care less for the Kings or Wizards, but underneath the lackluster perception, there could actually be some sort of good purpose that comes out of it. Could.
Miller, the oldest active player in the league and on the brink of being a Life Alert customer, was appointed to operate a bench unit that offered very minimal offensive creativity, which led to critical offensive stagnancy. While Miller was crafty enough to bail the Wizards out of some bad possessions, his inability to up the pace and tempo of the game proved to be not conducive for the second unit in their efforts to either maintain a lead, or fight back from a deficit. Additionally, Miller’s frayed legs impacted his defense, disabling him from staying in front of quicker point guards and as David Aldridge sensibly pointed out, the Wizards were mindful of this particular flaw and wary of the potential matchup problems it could create come playoff time.
Enter Ramon Sessions, a true, Chris Gatling-esque NBA trotter who just landed on his eighth team in eight years. As a person with a perpetually optimistic mind in all facets of life despite the recurring heartaches it renders, a few positives stand out to me about Sessions before I focus on the negatives. Firstly, Sessions is 28 and, as a solid, I’ll do the math for you and reveal that that’s 10 years fresher than his predecessor, Miller. Thus, his younger age naturally keys in on several attributes that we failed to see in Miller. Sessions can open up the floor with his legs by pushing the ball and, breaking news: he’s got other fresh legs that can run with him. With Miller, slowing the offensive pace down to speeds relatable to a 28.8 modem connection trying to stream 4K video was simply dooming for the Wizards. Outside of Seraphin’s still-developing post game as a go-to option in a half court set, the Wizards second unit was habitually inoperative and often times detoured into unfavorable possessions ending in a bad shot or a turnover. How Sessions operates in half court sets is still a mystery, but the establishment of more offensive creationism for the second unit via an uptempo style of play that Sessions brings could be the deciding factor on whether or not this trade was effective. And I’m crumbling in anxiety to find out.
Also, bear in mind and get excited over the probability of a ‘Playoff Party’ hosted by Ramon Sessions. Shirts optional.
As for the negatives, you may have already learned about Sessions’s brutal career regression in the 3-point shooting department. If not, check it:
2011-12: 64 games played; .443 3PT% on 95 attempts.
2012-13: 61 games played; .308 3PT% on 107 attempts.
2013-14: 83 games played; .282 3PT% on 124 attempts.
2014-15: 36 games played*; .214 3PT% on 28 attempts.
*missed 16 games due to back injury
Much of the existing wariness regarding Sessions is his shoot-first mentality followed by his shot selection and then shooting percentage; in other words, D) all of the above. Session’s shooting numbers have plummeted from last seasonSessions is definitely an upgrade in terms of ball handling and creating off the dribble, and certainly has the burst to skate past a defender, but how much of those skills will lead to him to nonsensical, buzzkilling chucks?
The real plus-minus numbers, as mapped out by Washington Post’s Jorge Castillo, depict Sessions as being a slight downgrade defensively from Miller, but don’t spew any of that twisted analytical poppycock to Randy Wittman. The Wizards remain confident Ramon Session’s younger age will make a difference.
The hope for Sessions to maximize his skills and to hide his weaknesses will lead us to his probable debut tonight against the Cavs as the Wizards’ everlasting quest for finding the world’s most important backup position begins a new phase.
Will there finally be a resolve to this crux?