I’m not here to write about owner Michael Jordan’s unsurprisingly unenlightening interview with the Charlotte Observer yesterday. Especially when he takes “full credit” for last year’s obscenity of a season after first blaming injuries, the shortened season, and an inexperienced roster (as if the inexperienced roster was an act of God).
Nope, I’m here to write about our brand new point guard, Ramon Sessions. But first, I want to say farewell to our old one: Goodbye, DJ. Um, actually I don’t know what else to say. Let’s face it, DJ was a nice guy, but he wasn’t very good offensively. Or defensively. And he was short. And he was injured. And apparently he had cracks in his feet. In part 3 of my season recap (during one of the few moments I wasn’t actively bent over the toilet), I begged the Bobcats not to try to re-up him, and now I’m glad they didn’t. So…yeah. I feel like that episode of The Simpsons where Homer thinks he’s going to die, and after telling Maggie to stay as sweet as she is, and telling Lisa that she’ll make him proud, he goes to Bart’s bedroom and says, “Goodbye, Bart…I like your sheets.”
Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s talk about Ramon Sessions. First of all, his contract isn’t public yet, but he opted out of a $4.5M deal, so I’m assuming his new one with us will be for more than that. (I’m actually almost hoping it is, because otherwise it means he opted out of $4.5M and the Lakers for less money and Charlotte, which would make him potentially criminally insane) Of course, I’m hoping it’s not a LOT more than that, because he’s not THAT much better than the dearly departed Augustin, who just signed for $3.5M to play with the Pacers.
In fact, on defense, he might be worse. It’s unclear why this is, because he’s 6’3”, young, and durable. But the sad truth is that he plays defense about as well as the husband at the end of Paranormal Activity; I’m actually surprised there’s not footage of him taking out a camera after being sent flying into it by Ty Lawson. His +/- numbers with Cleveland last year weren’t too bad on paper—-7.7 per 100 possessions on defense compared to Augustin’s +4.6. But remember, Sessions was coming in with the second unit and Augustin was starting and being backstopped mostly by Henderson and three guys who would struggle guarding their own B.O. If you check out Sessions’ numbers with the Lakers, however, when he was a starter on a world-class unit, you’ll see that the defense was a whopping 8.2 points better with him off the court. (MJ might say that Sessions deserves “full credit” for that) I imagine the Bobcats will compensate by sticking Henderson on the opposing team’s 1, but egads, what if we have Sessions and Ben Gordon out there at the same time?!
You know what, I’m not even going to think about that right now, because I might just drown in a puddle of my own vomit. So let’s instead cut to the good news: Ramon’s TS% was 53.5% last year, compared to Augustin’s 49.3%. That might not seem like much, but it’s a full 24 slots better in the point guard rankings. With his height and pick-and-roll skills he’s waaay better at finishing at the rim and/or getting fouled, which more than makes up for his lack of an outside shot. And with Reggie Williams and Gordon at his side on the second unit, he’s not needed as an outside shooter anyway (not thinking about him and Gordon on defense, not thinking about him and Gordon on defense). Thus what you have is a PG with a lifetime PER of…wait for it, let’s enjoy it…16.58! Whoo! I know, at first it seems a little depressing to be so happy about a PER that’s only slightly above league average, but then when you think about it…well, it seems really depressing. But again, that average is 0.6 better than Augustin’s best year.
So in conclusion, I think we just got much better on offense than we got worse on defense, and we did it with a player who’s far taller and more durable than the one he’s replacing. As long as Sessions’ contract is for less than $7M, I’m something along the lines of happy.