NBA Roundtable

Minny Offer Sheet — Sessions

In Free Agency on September 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm

ESPN reports

The waiting and wondering is finally over for restricted free agent Ramon Sessions, who agreed Friday to sign a four-year, $16 million offer sheet with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

A source told ESPN.com that the paperwork on the deal was being processed Friday morning. After Sessions signs, the Milwaukee Bucks will have seven days to match the offer, which they are not expected to do.

David Kahn added

“We are excited about the opportunity to have Ramon Sessions on our team,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said in a statement. “Ramon has the ability to play both guard positions, and thus will be able to complement the members of our current backcourt.

“At only 23, Ramon also has the potential to improve and fits our plan of building a young, up-tempo team with championship contending potential,” Kahn said.

Thoughts

Excellent move by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Milwaukee Bucks Will Not Match?

The Bucks are expected not to match the offer sheet, and that seems very likely.

If Milwaukee had of been interested in driving the price even further down, they could have let everyone know — either through the media, or through Chubby Wells or GMs — that they would have matched the offer. Everyone would have believed them because, frankly, Sessions is a very good player and was due to become an underpaid player at that. Instead, they went the opposite route and did nothing to dispel the notion that they would let Sessions leave.

Milwaukee Should Match

Ramon Sessions is an absolute steal at $16 million over four years.

Also, there’s no guarantee that Brandon Jennings will ever become as good as Sessions is now … and that’s not even counting Sessions potential to improve, which is impressive.

Luxury Tax Problems

The problem is the Bucks cap situation. I’ve read that they’re currently $1.6 million below the luxury tax threshold, so this will likely put them somewhere around $2.1-to-$2.5 million over.

This is a manageable problem for the Bucks. They have until the February trading deadline to find a way to cut that $2.5 million off their books, meaning time is on their side. They also have a bunch of expiring contracts (Francisco Elson, Kurt Thomas, Luke Ridnour, Hakim Warrick) which could be jettisoned in order to free up that cash.

Simply put — this is not a big enough problem to force the Bucks to give up a very good talent like Sessions who’ll be signing a low priced contract. There’s ways around this problem.

Ramon Sessions

Ramon Sessions is a top 15 point guard in the NBA who has the ability + potential to become a top 10 lead guard in the near future, and remain such for a long time.

This is a very good basketball player … oh and did I mention that he’s signing for $4 million per annum!

This is a ridiculously good contract for a player of his caliber.

Minnesota Timberwolves

If Sessions does indeed land in Minnesota … that would give the Wolves a third good player for next season to go alongside Al Jefferson + Kevin Love.

Jonny Flynn

I fully expect Ramon Sessions to win that starting spot away from Flynn and I have a difficult time imagining Flynn taking it back off him in the future.

Sessions’ arrival could have a seriously negative effect on Flynn’s short/medium/long term future with the Wolves.

Two Guard Backcourt

Due to Minnesota’s combination of poor perimeter players + Flynn’s status … I expect the Wolves to play Sessions a lot at the two guard position.

That way, they’ll be able to get 30 minutes or so for Flynn.

Unfortunately, Sessions is far superior player at the point than at the two guard position and a far superior PG than Flynn.

How good or how bad a situation this is for Minnesota and/or Sessions will depend on how many minutes this combination receives. If Sessions is playing two thirds of his time at the SG spot, then I think it hurts both the player and the team. If it’s only 25% of his minutes, then the Wolves are in good shape.

Conclusions

This is a brilliant contract for whoever nabs Ramon Sessions.

Odds are that that team is the Wolves, and I think that David Kahn deserves a lot of credit for making this happen. Excellent move.

Update: Bucks do not match the offer sheet. Sessions is joining the Wolves.

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  1. Well Put!

    Bucks will be making a huge long term mistake by not matching.
    Sessions is a bargain at this price and bargain players can and will make or break your team.

    It’s time for the Bucks GM to EARN his money! Match the offer and figure out how to get under the cap later.

  2. Dave,

    Milwaukee/John Hammond SHOULD definitely MATCH this contract offer.

    If Sessions had been able to land a higher-paying deal … then, NOT matching THAT offer would, at least, make some type of sense for the Bucks.

    However … now that THIS is the offer sheet which Sessions has signed … it SHOULD BE A NO-BRAINER for the Bucks/Hammond to MATCH.

    If the Bucks are at all serious about re-building their team … they NEED to MATCH this specific offer sheet, and off-load the money required to get under the cap from another spot on their roster.

    e.g. Their plethora of PF’s & pseudo-Centers would seem to be a good place to start!

    If the Bucks can secure the services of Session for the next several seasons, at just $4.0 M/yr, in addition to having a young erratic PG-in-waiting, in Brandon Jennings, this team could actually make some noise down-the-road.

    IMO, Milwaukee only has 3 players on their current roster who they SHOULD hold onto at all costs:

    1 Sessions
    2 Luc Richard Mbah A Moute

    and,

    3 Brandon Jennings.

  3. I think 4 million a year is great value for a player of Session’s ability. He was a below average shooter last year (.449 eFg%), but an excellent rebounder (trb% of 7.4) and excellent facilitator (ast% 36.1%). His offense is good, his defense is a bit of a concern but I think he will improve his shooting and defensive ability.

  4. Khandor,

    You wouldn’t include Andrew Bogut in that group? How come?

  5. Dave,

    As a former No. 1 [overall] Draft Pick, I do not like what Bogut brings to the table, on a game-togame basis, in the NBA … in a similar but also very different way to the Raptors’ Andrea Bargnani.

    IMO, the Bucks will NOT win a championship with Mr. Bogut as their Center … which is not to say that he is a “bad” player but only that there will always be at least 1 very good team in the league that is better than the Bucks primarily because they have a Center who can do more for his team in truly meaningful ways on and off the court than Andrew B. is capable of doing.

    Andrew Bogut is a Luc Longley-esque Center and unless you have MJ & Pip riding shotgun for a player with that type of skill-set and personality your team is not going to win it all, ever.

    This doesn’t mean that I think the Bucks should ever just give Bogut away. No way. No how. He is much too good for that … but, IMO, the Bucks should not be afraid to include him in a deal that could improve their team in a major way, either right away or down-the-road.

    If I was John Hammond, the only players on this current Bucks’ roster I would hold dear are: Sessions, LRMAM, and Jennings.

  6. Two updates on Ramon Sessions’ contract from Marc Stein

    #1 — The final year of the deal is a player option and the total value of the contract is $16.4 million

    #2 — Marc Stein breaks down the per year amounts on the contract

    Sessions’ year-by-year MIN breakdown: $3,670,667 in ’09-10, $3,964,320 in ’10-11, $4,257,973 in ’11-12, $4,551,626 (player option) in ’12-13

  7. The Bucks will not match the offer sheet — Sessions is heading to Minnesota

    “We are not going to match the Ramon Sessions offer sheet,” Hammond said. “As always we will be diligent in looking to improve our roster. We wish Ramon the very best.”

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