Currently on the Pelicans roster, there are two candidates to play backup point guard. Their names are Austin Rivers and Jimmer Fredette.
Stop laughing. Brian Roberts (not the baseball player) had a decent season for them last year, but he is now in Charlotte.It should be assumed that General Manager Dell Demps will address this potentially huge flaw before the new season is upon us. But who should he target?
Demps does not have much to work with money wise to fill this void. The Pelicans are under the salary cap (which sits at $63,065,000), but not so much that they are able to make a significant free agent offer.
This leaves a little something that is termed the “Room Mid-Level Exception” (or $2.732 million in salary).
With so little money to throw around and so little talent left in the free agent pool, there is no perfect solution to the Pelicans’ problem — but, there may be a reasonable one. His name is Ramon Sessions.
Sessions was buried on the Milwaukee Bucks for most of last season after he was traded for Luke Ridnour. I realize it is not a good thing to be traded for Luke Ridnour, but please, you have to trust me.
Sessions would work well in New Orleans!
In my humble opinion, Sessions is an underrated playmaker, is capable of driving and scoring at the rim on occasion and can run a second-unit offense functionally. None of these things can be said about Fredette and Rivers.
Below is his shot chart — which I will admit is not exactly pretty — but, what else can you expect for $2.732 million?
He was just about below league average in every area last season (hence all the red in the chart). I do think I should again mention that he played some of the season in Milwaukee and he should be cut the correct amount of slack because of that fact.
Especially when you look at his shot chart from the previous season:
Not as bad right? I think Ramon could find a happy medium when put in the right situation.
The man has ability, I promise you!
The Pelicans could offer Sessions a one-year, $2.732 million deal which would be a win for the team considering Sessions made $5 million last season, and a win for Sessions because he will be given the opportunity to play for a more generous financial contract by having a comeback season of sorts. There is a reason it is Aug. 21 and Ramon Sessions is still unsigned.
That first shot chart above I’m sure is one of the main ones. He is a prime candidate for a short-term, cheap contract.
For all of Sessions’ shooting shortcomings, I am of the belief that he would be a valuable piece to a Pelicans team in search of some stability at the backup point guard spot. He is a veteran presence that would run the show and allow both Jimmer and Rivers to play off the ball.
It will be hard for Rivers to be so dribble happy if he does not have the ball (at least we can only hope).
I urge Demps to make this move, as it could potentially be the difference in a playoff birth for the Pelicans in 2015.