Today it was announced that Ramon Sessions will not pick up his $4.6 million player option with the Los Angeles Lakers. The team’s GM Mitch Kupchak spoke with some of the Lakers’ beat writers in the area. The conversation was transcribed and posted by Mike Trudell on the Lakers website. These are some of the high points of the conversation:
On Sessions’s decision:
The fact that he would not extend (his option) clearly puts him in the position where he’s an unrestricted free agent on July 1. With all situations like that, both sides have to absorb some risk. I’m not quite sure if he’s completely aware of what the future holds for him beginning on July 1. Beginning today, we have to plan for the contingency that he won’t be available as a free agent at a later date in July. We have to make sure we have back up plans in place.
I suppose we could look to fill that position between now and July 1 via a trade, or we can wait until July 1 and pursue Ramon, or perhaps another free agent, although we’re limited with the exceptions available to us. He did indicate that he was happy here in Los Angeles and that he would look to return. But once again, once the market comes into play, there’s no telling what will happen. We don’t know if he’s going to be back or not at this point, so we have to cover our bases, which (Ramon and his agent) understand. Beginning on July 1, it takes one team to make him an offer that we couldn’t or would not match; there’s a market value, and then there’s always a team that will do something beyond the market value. So that’s the whole process of uncertainty with becoming a free agent, but he’s represented by a really experienced agent and Ramon is a bright kid. We’ve talked it through and I think both sides are aware of the uncertainty that each side has to deal with.
Was he surprised by this:
No. Nothing surprises me at this point. He is a young player that’s going to get better, and now you’re dealing with a traditional unrestricted free agent situation, and there’s a number of different ways that can go.
On the current free agent class:
There is always value. In terms of high profile names, I wouldn’t categorize this free agent class as one of the best ever, but there is always value out there depending upon how you define it. Whether it’s at the minimum, the mid-level or the mini-mid (level), there’s somebody out there every year that can play and help your club.
How this affects Andrew Goudelock and Darrius Morris:
Andrew Goudelock is on a 2-year deal, so we have no decision to make there. Darius Morris – we have until June 30 to tender him a 1-year contract. If we do that, we retain his rights and we retain the right to negotiate with him beginning July 1.
There’s a lot to think about with this new development, especially since the point guard is a weak point for the Lakers.