Sessions would have earned $4.55 million next season but chose to test the market.
By L.A. TIMESFS West
Ramon Sessions will not exercise a player option to stay with the Lakers and will become a free agent, The Times has learned.
Sessions would have earned $4.55 million next season but chose to test the market. There’s still a chance that Sessions will return to the Lakers by signing a contract, but there’s no guarantee of it.
“Ramon has carefully considered this decision,” said Sessions’ agent, Jared Karnes. “He had to make a career decision and ultimately decided to do what was best in providing stability and longevity for him in the NBA, and this could only be achieved through a multi-year contract.”
Sessions, 26, started off well with the Lakers after being acquired at the trade deadline, averaging 13.7 points and seven assists as a starter in 23 regular-season games.
He tailed off in the playoffs, however, his numbers dropping to 9.7 points and 3.6 assists a game and 37.7% accuracy. He had never been to the playoffs in four other NBA seasons spent mostly as a backup.
He had until Wednesday to decide on his option. Free agency begins June 30 at 9 p.m.
The Lakers acquired Sessions from Cleveland on March 15 for Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, under $1 million in cash and a first-round pick that turned out to be 24th overall. The Lakers also received seldom-used forward Christian Eyenga in the trade.
The Lakers now have only one point guard under contract next season. Steve Blake has two more years and $8 million remaining on his deal.
Darius Morris took the unusual step of signing a one-year deal as a rookie and is a restricted free agent after playing only 19 games with the Lakers.
Sessions suggested he would not exercise his one-year option in an April interview with The Times, hoping to work out a multi-year deal with the Lakers after becoming a free agent.
“I want to be here. I don’t know what that means or how that’s going to happen,” he said at the time. “It ain’t no secret. I’ll tell anybody that. I tell Mitch Kupchak. I tell my agent. I want to be here. Period. For a long time.”
Sessions has been with three other teams in his NBA career — Milwaukee, Minnesota and the Cavaliers.