Nov 1, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Bobcats point guard Ramon Sessions (7) drives to the basket during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Curtis Wilson-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Cavaliers Pursue Ramon Sessions?

With training camp just a month away, the excitement continues to build for Cavalier fans. The trade for Kevin Love is now done and Shawn Marion should officially join the team soon. The Cavaliers currently have 16 players under contract, but only 12 of those players have deals guaranteed for this season. Because of this, it is likely that the team is not finished making moves to add players who could help the team this season.

In several interviews, Cavaliers GM David Griffin has prioritized adding a backup center who can protect the rim as well as possibly another point guard. Adding a point guard may depend on whether or not the Cavaliers are able to sign shooting guard Ray Allen, and even then that player is likely behind both Kyrie Irving and Matthew Dellavedova on the depth chart (to say nothing of the times LeBron James and Dion Waiters will be the primary ball handlers). While the Cavaliers and Chauncey Billups have expressed mutual interest, there is another point guard available who is still in his prime and could help a championship contender, former Cavalier Ramon Sessions.

Pros

Ramon Sessions has several traits that any contender would love to have from a guard coming off the bench. He is excellent in the pick-and-roll whether it comes to scoring himself or finding the open man. At 6’3” and weighing nearly 200 pounds, Sessions has good size for a guard and looks for contact when attacking the basket. As a result he gets to the line often, averaging 9.8 free throw attempts per 100 possessions last season. Ramon Sessions also makes those attempts count, averaging 80 percent from the line for his career. This ability to get to the line and convert has allowed Sessions to post a very respectable career PER of 16.7. At 28 years old, Sessions is a veteran in his prime who has only played in 12 postseason games (all in 2012 with the Lakers). While he likely still has quite a few years left in the league, he would probably prefer to play for a contender.

Cons

Although he was better than Kyrie Irving during the part of Irving’s rookie year when they played together for the Cavaliers, Ramon Sessions has been a poor defender throughout his career. He does not move well laterally, allowing point guards to torch him, though he does fare better against shooting guards, as he has the size to guard that position. Although he does give good effort on that end, his teams tend to fare much better on the defensive end with Sessions off the floor, negating most of the advantage he brings on offense. Ramon Sessions is also a below-average three-point shooter, hitting 31.1 percent from deep for his career. While he does shoot better off the ball, this still restricts his ability to have a positive impact on the offensive end without the ball in his hands, a situation that would be likely while playing with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Ramon Sessions also may not be receptive to the limited minutes he would have off the bench due to the presence of Matthew Dellavedova and Mike Miller or the veteran’s minimum contract that is all the Cavaliers can provide.

The Verdict

Although Ramon Sessions is a fine combo guard and likely a better player in a vacuum than either Dellavedova or Miller, his game does not seem to be the best fit for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Ramon Sessions is at his best with his ball in his hands, and with one of James, Irving and Waiters likely to be on the floor at all times, it is hard to see Sessions having that opportunity. It is also imperative that the Cavaliers’ role players on the perimeter have the ability to space the floor, and that is one of the weakest parts of Sessions’ game. Finally, his weaknesses on the defensive end make him a poor fit alongside Irving, Waiters or Miller, who are below average defenders themselves. From Ramon Sessions’ perspective, he has proven that he is worth much more than the veteran’s minimum. Unlike Miller, Shawn Marion or James Jones, Sessions has several years of making real money left in the NBA and is not as likely to sacrifice millions to chase a ring at this point in his career. Sessions also deserves a larger role than third point guard behind Irving and Dellavedova (whose abilities to play off the ball, shoot threes and defend make him a great fit alongside Irving and Waiters), but likely wouldn’t find it in Cleveland, which would also limit his earning potential for the next season. All in all a potential reunion of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Ramon Sessions seems unlikely.

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