We’ve already analyzed the fantasy value of Charlotte Bobcats point guards Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions. Now it’s time to dig a little deeper and come to a firm conclusion as to which of the two should be the team’s starting point guard.
Naturally, as the lead point guard, you’re expected to be a leader on the team. There is a hope that you’re vocal, can come up in clutch moments, and play a big hand in the outcome of the game. However, the actual importance of the said starting point guard can differ greatly when that role is semi-split down the middle with another point guard. It’s not as effective. It lacks consistency, and it can keep one or both of those players from realizing their maximum potential – in turn hampering their maximum impact for the team.
That’s why the Bobcats need to give the majority of the minutes to Kemba Walker.
I don’t dislike Ramon Sessions. On paper, he’s a better natural passer than Walker is. In fact, in just about every way (on paper, at least), Sessions looks and feels like the more consistent, polished player.
But he’s also arguably the safer pick. And for a Charlotte franchise that is trying to get out of the NBA slums, safe can be a scary word.
After all, it’s arguable that Sessions has already shown about all he can do at the NBA level. That’s not to say that what he has to offer is trash, but it’s likely that his ceiling doesn’t extend much higher than where it is now. As I’ve stated before, I still think he’s an efficient player who has the talent and ability to be a solid fantasy asset. And naturally, he has the skill-set and demeanor to be a solid backup and role player. And if the situation begs for it, he’s not a half-bad starter.
But the numbers and overall production we’ve seen out of him are probably as good as it’s going to get. He’s good, but he’s never going to be great.
Kemba Walker, on the other hand, could be a different story.
But we’re not going to find that out by keeping him as a 6th man, a backup, or a timeshare point guard.
Walker was at his best at UConn as the team’s leader. He got the shots in crunch time, and he routinely knocked them down. He was called on for offensive production, and he responded willingly and consistently. And when he had to carry his team, he did so – all the way to a national championship.
It’s tough to answer if Walker is the real deal after one year. After all, he only averaged over 27 minutes per game, and struggled with his shot; hitting just under 37% from the floor.
We can’t even say he’s the best actual point guard for the offense, either, as he averaged just 4.4 assists per game in his rookie year.
But it’s my opinion that we just can’t say that yet.
Walker is still learning. He’s still growing. Without a proper off-season and NBA schedule due to an unruly NBA Lockout last year, his numbers were arguably negatively affected.
The ceiling is higher with Walker. And when two guys are very close to being on the same level, it’s usually best to roll with the guy with untapped potential. To take a chance on the guy that is likely to make the bigger difference with more time on the floor.
Considering the Bobcats aren’t about to be confused with title contenders heading into the 2012-13 NBA season, the decision feels pretty easy: Walker needs to be handed the reigns to this offense.
No more inconsistent minutes or random benchings. He needs to start, log 34+ minutes per game, and be given free reign of the offense. Let the offense run through him, and see if he can grow into the player he was drafted to be.
Maybe it’s a swing in a miss; another Adam Morrison, etc. But what would almost be worse is never giving him a fair shake to see if he can actually get it done.