Mitch Kupchak has worked his magic once again. Turning Kwame Brown into Pau Gasol this isn’t but moving Luke Walton for Ramon Sessions is a minor miracle in itself. ESPN reports that the Lakers gave up a first round pick in 2012 and the hideous Walton contract to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Sessions.
This trade has been talked about for sometime with the last mention being that the Lakers were unwilling to do a straight swap of draft pick for player to attain the services of Sessions. That is more related to the Lakers’ desire to cut cost. By finally finding a taker for Walton’s contract the Lakers can avoid luxury tax issues thanks to the trade exception acquired in the Lamar Odom deal.
Proving that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, the Cleveland Cavaliers had no use for Sessions who was riding the pine behind rookie sensation Kyrie Irving. To the Lakers, however, Sessions is a savior of sorts.
Now nobody is saying that Sessions will take this team over the top. However given the point guard crisis the franchise has been trying to address before the season even began this is a very welcome addition.
As of now the Lakers boast of three points guards on their roster what with Sessions, Derek Fisher and Steve Blake. However there is still some on going talk of Blake being part of trade for Michael Beasley. More on that if and when news breaks.
For Walton this is a bitter yet expected end to his time as a Laker. A crowd favorite, Luuuuuuuke was a perfect fit for the triangle offense. His passing ability combined with hoops savvy was ideal for what Phil Jackson valued in his system. At one point Walton was a commodity that generated trade interest around the league. The Lakers passed on all trade proposals, instead rewarding Walton with a 6-year deal valued at $30-million. Back issues an ineffective play limited Luke in recent years. Walton never came close to living up to that contract and his playing time was drastically reduced to being buried on Mike Brown’s bench despite being healthy.
Kupchak must have been insistent upon including Walton in the deal as the Lakers look to rid themselves of contracts in attempts to avoid the new luxury tax penalties.