In order to keep the balance in order, here at Lake Show Life, I’ve decided to give a different opinion than our fearless leader Chris Shellcroft, who earlier said that the Lakers’ front office should let Ramon Sessions walk.
But Mitch Kupchak? Understand that Chris will work in your front office at some point, and understand that he’s right 99 percent of the time. This, though, is the 1 percent.
Because the Lakers shouldn’t let Ramon Sessions — the best point guard they’ve had since the dark days of Nick Van Exel — walk away without a fight. Of course, “best point guard” since the worst decade in Lakers’ history isn’t something to gawk at, especially since the entire 2000s was spent running the point-guard-ignorant triangle offense, and this has literally been the first time since this century that a pure point guard has been so crucial to the Lakers’ offensive system.
And that’s exactly what Sessions is: A pure point guard, one that looks to create shots for others.
Without him? This team flails, unless we’re relying on acquiring Steve Nash or Deron Williams. By letting Sessions walk, the Lakers’ front office is conceding the 2012-13 season and the season after that, with no draft picks and zero flexibility, even if Gasol gets amnestied. This, in turn, will make the fan-base volatile and perenially alienate Mitch Kupchak and Jimmy Buss. The alternative is amnestying Kobe, blowing the entire damn operation up with trading everything for draft picks and shedding as much salary as possible, which leaves a better outlook in the long-term, but it’s likely that Los Angeles will have its fair share of riots if Kobe Bryant is forced out of Los Angeles.
This team is stuck trying to fight for Ramon Sessions. A deal involving Pau Gasol will undoubtedly bring in a legit starting point guard (like Kyle Lowry), sure, but is letting Steve Blake lead a bunch of possible-scrubs off the bench really the best idea? Wouldn’t it be better for an aggressive offensive initiator to continuously put pressure on the defense while the new starting point guard (again, if we get one) sits? With so much uncertainty coming off the bench, is it wise to let a point guard — one that’s best suited for the league’s minimum to fill up a roster space rather than playing a major role in the rotation — man any offense on a championship team, or hell, a playoff team?
The way the Lakers handle this Ramon Sessions mess will be an indicator to fans as to what the team has planned in the short-term. Trying to re-sign him sends the message that the Lakers want to win now, which, if we’re honest, LA isn’t very far from doing. Letting him walk means we’re in for another dark decade of Lakers’ basketball. (Because it’s going to take until 2014 for the Lakers to actually regain ample draft picks and shed enough salary to make another go at rebuilding, while accounting for another three years for the team to come to fruition, and that’s if we don’t have any setbacks via bad draft picks, terrible trades or what have you.)
Rebuilding isn’t something the Lakers’ fan-base is used to, and LA fans can drum up some of the most intense pressure this side of Erin Andrews’ chest-squeezing bikini. If we’re stuck just letting salaries run out and waiting to have first-round picks again, why not go the Boston Celtics route, and at least compete for titles while letting our veterans come off the books?
Why not re-sign to Ramon Sessions? It’s likely that he won’t ask for a ton of money, and might even take a paycut to stay with the Lakers, so long as he has some stability (something every Laker outside of Kobe Bryant cannot be guaranteed).
Why not give this team, with Andrew Bynum and Kobe Bryant being the team’s best options (preferably in that order), another shot? Why not let a team that’s been to three NBA Finals — and was on the verge of leading the current Western Conference champs 3-1 in a seven-game series — have another go or two at it? Why do we have to be the followers by becoming more athletic, and why can’t we go back to the formula of making size dominant and forcing other teams to build up rather than spread out?
This team isn’t a lost cause. Messy, dramatic, sure. But not worthless.
We’re not ready for the 2010s to be the second-coming of the 1990s, Mitch Kupchak, and it’s likely that you won’t have a job if you try and rebuild from scratch with the squad you have now.
So send us a message. Let us know that you think this team can compete, by taking a shot at re-signing Ramon Sessions. Show us that you have faith in at least some parts of this team.