This was supposed to be Kemba Walker’s team last year. But then D.J. Augustin played so well that the rookie wasn’t needed as a full-time starter. That, and it was arguably that he wasn’t 100% to be that guy, either.
With Augustin in Indiana, it was looking like 2012-13 would be Walker’s time to shine. However, with the addition of veteran point guard Ramon Sessions Walker’s real-life and fantasy status is suddenly looking a little shaky.
But let’s give Walker a break for a minute. While he’s clearly not going to be Michael Jordan this year in Charlotte, it’s fair to wonder just how much juice (or minutes, if you will), Sessions will sap from him. In turn, it’s worth wondering if Sessions will be a guy worth targeting in fantasy basketball drafts this year. After all, it’s not like the dude is without talent, and it’s not like he hasn’t been able to produce in the past.
In fact, at about 30 minutes per game, he actually has some decent upside. And considering Walker (regardless of how much he plays) isn’t a natural pass-first point guard, it’s reasonable to think Sessions could have a shot at matching (if not topping) his numbers as a Los Angeles Laker.
Think about it: Sessions average over 12 points, six assists and 3.8 boards per game, while shooting over 47% from the floor and a very impressive 48% from long range. And he did this on the same team as ball hog Kobe Bryant, as well as touch beasts Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
Sessions has shown an improved ability to man an offense in the past couple of years, while his jumper has also steadily grown more consistent. His main flaw continues to be being over-matched at times on defense, as well as picking his spots as a play-maker and scorer.
But being integrated into a new team and trying to help and compete against a guy like Walker (at the same time, mind you), can slow a guy down a bit.
Is he going to have loads of reliable value out of the gates? No, of course not. But he’s proven he can ball and he’s not just going to hand the starting job over to a second-year player.
Walker’s star is ascending, but it’s not a lock that it’ll set in 2012. Sessions is here to lead the way if Walker isn’t ready, and so far in preseason he’s been starting and playing well. In fact, in his last preseason game (at the time of this article), he dropped 18 points and seven assists on the Thunder.
The Bobcats may be looking for Walker to step up and be the guy, but with no certainty it’ll happen as quickly as they’d like, it’s time for fantasy owners to realize some value when they see it. Sessions could very well be a nice steal later in drafts this year.