The Lakers — desperate for a point guard — have traded their first round pick this season to get Ramon Sessions from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Multiple sources now confirm this trade, although Brian Windhorst of ESPN was the first. The full deal is Sessions and Christian Eyenga to the Lakers, for Luke Walton and the Lakers first round pick this season.
Sessions is a better point guard than anyone the Lakers have on their roster — particularly for running the more traditional sets of new coach Mike Brown (as opposed to the triangle offense of previous years). Sessions is a quick, slashing guard who looks to set people up and is not a pure shooter. He is averaging 10.5 points and 5.2 assists per game, with a PER of 16.4. Sessions is also shooting 41.9 percent from three — way above his career average but it fills a desperate need if he can keep it up. The Lakers need outside shooting.
Sessions is not the home run the Lakers wanted (and he can opt out after this season) but he makes them a much bigger threat in the West. Still wouldn’t put them ahead of the Thunder, but they are on the next tier down.
Sessions was expendable from Cleveland as they turn their offense over to Kyrie Irving.
The Cavaliers held out for a first round pick and they get the Lakers’ this draft. The Lakers still have a first rounder, Dallas’ pick, something they got in the Lamar Odom trade before the season.
Eyenga has bounced between the D-League and NBA.
Luke Walton has one more year on his contract after this, but the Lakers needed to clear out the cap space and the Cavaliers can get that space after next season. And he can still play a little, when healthy.
The report that Kevin Durant told Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with the Thunder before choosing the Warriors?
Royce Young of ESPN:
I misspoke in saying that Durant specifically told Westbrook he was coming back.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics for host Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.
The Golden State Warriors announced the injury Wednesday and say that Varejao should be ready for the start of training camp but will not be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins earlier this week.
Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games after signing with the Warriors on Feb. 22. He re-signed with the team earlier this month.
PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson completed his staff Wednesday, naming Jay Triano associate head coach and Tyrone Corbin and Nate Bjorkgren assistant coaches.
Triano spent the last four seasons as assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers, including Watson’s final season as a player in 2013-14. The first Canadian-born head coach in NBA history when he directed Toronto, he also is the coach of Canada’s national team.
Corbin was Sacramento’s interim head coach for 28 games in 2014-15. He played the Suns in 1987-89.
Bjorkgren remains with the Suns after spending last season as assistant coach/player development coordinator. He also was head coach of the Suns’ NBA Summer League team the past two years.
The Suns also named Marlon Garnett assistant coach/player development coordinator, and Scott Duncan and Jason Fraser player development coaches.
The Los Angeles Clippers still have Paul Pierce under contract. Not many minutes for him, but he has a roster spot.
Pierce probably wants come back but is thinking it all over, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Pierce has been debating this with himself for a while now.
Pierce saw a dramatic drop off in production and how much he was used last season by Rivers. Pierce averaged a career-low 6.1 points per game on an also career low 48.9 true shooting percentage. His PER of 8.2 was also a career low. You get the idea. By the end of the season Pierce was mostly an afterthought for Doc Rivers (although he did start one game after Blake Griffin was out and the Clippers’ playoff dreams were toast).
Pierce would be more mentor than a key player on the court, but he would be on probably the third best team in the West, a team that capable of making a deep playoff run. Does he want to do that for one more season? You know Doc would welcome him.