Tag:Ramon Sessions
Posted on: February 5, 2011 2:06 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 2:31 pm

It's time for a Cleveland fire sale

With the Cavaliers on the edge of historic failure, it's time for Cleveland to cut ties with everything and start completely over. 

Posted by Matt Moore

We're past panic. We're past desperation. We're past even cold, hard, resignation. The Cleveland Cavaliers have to execute the most prolific fire sale in history over the next 19 days. No "or... ." No "or else." They simply have to. Everything must go. The Cavs tied the record for longest consecutive losing streak in a single season Friday night and are set to break it against the Portland Trailblazers Saturday. Should they win, it'll be a sigh of relief to avoid disastrous history. Then they'll go back to losing nine out of every 10 games. The time has long since come for General Manager Chris Grant to get desperate.

No more "waiting for the best offer," or "trying to get marginal value." You have one of the worst teams in history that is only slightly kept above the waters of all time futility by an emotional start that soon gave way to injury, discord, and failure. It's not these players' fault, really. The amount of negative energy created by He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Referenced's departure was enough to sink the most positive of teams. Throw in significant injuries and a severe lack of talent and you've got this mess on Cleveland's doorstep. 

But that's okay. I'm not advocating a fire sale because Cleveland fans deserve better than this dreck (though they do). It's not a punishment, and it's not some pathetic gesture from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert after his foolish promise about Cleveland winning a title. It's just business. You have bottomed out. The stock has hit an all-time low. Liquidate this thing, take your remaining assets, and start over. 
(All salary data courtesy of Sham Sports.)

And it starts with Antawn Jamison. "Toine Spelled Tawn" has $13.3 for this season, or roughly $7.5 left this year, and then $15 million in expiring next season. With the CBA in place, you're going to have to dump him somewhere that actually needs him, and somewhere that doesn't mind paying for him. No one really needs him as he's shooting a career low 42% and is posting a career-low 16.4 PER.  But Jamison can be a solid back-up power forward. The trick is to find a big market team with room to spare that isn't worried about long-term flexibility and has expirings to trash. You have to take back terrible value for Jamison, along with the rest of the Cavs. You're not going to get value for the contract or even really the production. Any offer that can reasonably work under the CBA should be taken, provided the resulting players do not have long-term contracts. Difficult, I admit, but as the deadline ratchets up, there has to be someone on the horizon willing to take a 16.4 PER back-up power-forward who may be amiable to a buyout next season. Again, the objective is not to get good value here. It's simply to get any value that clears space. 

From there, it's Mo Williams. There are teams that need point guards. They're all over. Williams is pricey, with $17 million left over two years on the books after this season, but again, we're talking peanuts in return. The trick here should probably be to pick up a series of contracts that can be moved on draft day or bought out before the start of next season. Williams is still a serviceable point guard, and he does have an ETO in the last year of his contract. This should be easier, particularly if the team can weasel its way into a three-way trade conversation. There simply cannot be a value too low in return for Williams, despite his consistency.  This contract and Williams' may be easier said to move than moved, but as long as Grant is active until the last second of the deadline, he should be able to find someone in need of a move. Teams do make moves for the sake of movement, and these are starting-caliber players. Kind of. 

Anderson Varejao's injury is simply devastating. He has close to $36 million left on his contract after this year, is a viable center who can bolster a contender's defense, and would fetch a good price on the market. That he likely cannot be moved due to injury is yet another terrible swing against the Cavs. A trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, as was discussed, would have been perfect. Grant should focus all his energies once Varejao is medically cleared to moving Varejao. There will be takers, and their offers should be garnered in bulk. 

Daniel Gibson is cheap, ($4 million this season, $4.5 next) and his 2013 salary is non-guaranteed. He shoots 44% from the arc, turns 25 this month, and is mid-quality backup point guard. There's no reason he can't be thrown into another trade to sweeten a deal or moved to a GM known to love point guards. Veteran, reasonably young, and a crack shooter. He's still Daniel Gibson. But for a set of minimum contracts or used to acquire a useless expiring, Gibson could be a cherry on top. 

Ramon Sessions makes a high amount of mistakes in judgment, turns 25 years old this spring, and has $8 million over two years left after his $3.9 million due this year. He's also, arguably, the Cavs' most valuable contract. A 17.5 PER, while shooting a not-great 44% from the field, he averages 16 points and 7 assists per 36 minutes.  On the one hand, holding onto Sessions might be a good idea. He's young, can play the position, and produces. On the other hand, he's locked in through 2013. He's gotta go. Especially when you consider he actually has value. He needs to be used as bait to take on the other contracts of the Cavs, even if no one's climbing the Cleveland walls to get him. Point guards have value in this league. Move him.

From there, things get easier. Ryan Hollins is a big and he has a player option for next season. J.J. Hickson is a valuable asset in that he's a big man that could flourish in a lesser role under a different coach. Christian Eyenga, you keep. He's the one asset worth holding onto. Everything else is either non-guaranteed or expiring. 

So what are you left with? Almost nothing. And that's fine. The trick should be to capitalize on second round draft picks as throw-aways in any moves you make, then try and swing into the first round using teams that don't want to pay their late first round picks. And there are always those teams. Every year an owner is willing to pay the guys he's got, but not a late first rounder who may turn out to be a steal. It boggles the mind, but that's how it is. Even in a depleted draft like this one, you just need bodies. Bring in D-Leaguers to fill in the gaps, try and find a diamond in the rough, and tank out the rest of the season. Secure a top three pick, pray the Lotto Gods are merciful, and be on your way towards another losing campaign next season, but with a player to build around. It's a painful process, and you'll look like a moron for all the value you'll waste in the next 19 days. But the next two years don't matter. That's how bad things are right now, that's how badly James hurt the franchise. It can't just be blown up. The foundation has to be torn out, the ground smoothed over, and some time spent letting the earth settle. Then you focus on what you can get in the draft and start anew. 

There's no other option. Everything's gotta go in Cleveland. The fans will forget about the team. Maybe by the time the Cavs are ready to compete again, some of the wounds will have healed. 
Posted on: February 4, 2011 10:51 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 10:53 pm

Cavaliers tie NBA record with 23rd straight loss

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night, marking their 23rd straight loss, which ties an NBA record. Posted by Ben Golliver.

The Cleveland Cavaliers tied a single-season NBA record by losing their 23rd consecutive game on Friday night, a 112-105 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. While their recent play resembles a car crash the losses aren't coming by accident.

The Cavaliers tied the Vancouver Grizzlies -- who lost 23 straight games in the 1995-1996 season -- and have a chance to tie the all-time record for consecutive losses overall, set by the Cavaliers during the 1981-1982 and 1982-1983 seasons. Their last win came on Dec. 18 against the New York Knicks. Incredibly, that was the only game the team has won during a 1-33 streak dating back to Nov. 30.

Friday's loss was fairly typical for Cleveland, as the undersized, undermanned Cavaliers couldn't keep pace with a bigger, stronger, more talented opponent. The Cavs disintegrated down the stretch as they were virtually unable to score in the fourth quarter. It was a particularly demoralizing end to the night as they had played energetically through the first three quarters, trailing the Grizzlies just 84-83 entering the final period. 

The fourth quarter started ugly and stayed ugly for Cleveland, as they managed just a pair of Antawn Jamison free throws in the first 4:33 of the period while Memphis went on a 13-2 run to begin the period and push out its lead to double digits. On the evening, Cleveland played just eight players, due to the excused absence of guard Daniel Gibson, who has also been dealing with a quad injury recently, and that lack of depth showed down the stretch.

By the end of it, the Grizzlies looked fairly relieved to have escaped the FedEx Forum with the win; Dropping the game and snapping Cleveland's streak would have been another black mark on a season that already has included an in-game fight between teammates and a positive drug test for guard O.J. Mayo.

Memphis was a fairly tough opponent for the Cavaliers, as the pair of near All-Stars Zach Randolph (31 points and 13 rebounds) and Rudy Gay (26 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals, two blocks) represent big-time match-up problems for Cleveland, who couldn't hope to keep pace on the boards for four quarters. The Grizzlies, now 27-24 on the season, have also been playing solid basketball of late, winners of five in a row and eight of their last nine. 

J.J. Hickson led the way for Cleveland with 31 points and 15 rebounds. Guard Ramon Sessions added 20 points and 11 assists.

Next up for Cleveland is what would appear to be a more favorable match-up: the Portland Trail Blazers. While the Blazers are just 1/2 game behind the Grizzlies in the Western Conference, they've been dogged by injuries recently and will not possess much of a height advantage down low.  Portland is also not playing its best basketball of the season, as a 100-87 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday night gave the Blazers their fourth loss in five games. 

What's more, while the Cavaliers are dead last in the league in offensive efficiency, the Blazers have struggled to score lately, unable to top 100 points since a Jan. 20 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. The team has been anemic from outside and unable to provide power forward LaMarcus Aldridge with much offensive support in the paint. Portland's front court rotation, aside from Aldridge, consists of the undersized Dante Cunningham, the still-rehabbing Joel Przybilla and the ineffective Sean Marks, as center Marcus Camby is out following knee surgery and D-League call-up Chris Johnson was not retained after a 10-day contract.

Put all of that together, and the Cavaliers, having lost franchise player LeBron James last summer and Anderson Varejao to injury earlier this year, really can't ask for a much better opponent than the cold-shooting, under-manned, under-sized Blazers, who will be coming into Cleveland to play on the second half of a back-to-back. 

Should the Cavaliers lose to the Blazers, they will have the opportunity to set the NBA's all-time record for consecutive losses (regardless of whether it stretched over multiple seasons) during a Monday night game against the Mavericks in Dallas. The Mavericks, 34-15 on the year and in second place in the Southwest Division, would be the prohibitive favorites to help the Cavaliers make history.
Posted on: October 26, 2010 3:47 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:05 pm

Minnesota's Jonny Flynn gone till November

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Jonny Flynn is expected out until mid-November, at the earliest. Posted by Ben Golliverjonny-flynn Yesterday, we noted that Minnesota Timberwolves wing Martell Webster, acquired in a draft day trade with the Portland Trail Blazers, underwent back surgery and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks. In another piece of Timberwolves injury news, Jerryd Zgoda of StarTribune.com reports on Twitter this afternoon that Minnesota's presumed point guard of the future (at least until he's inevitably traded) Jonny Flynn, a second-year player out of Syracuse, "predicts he'll be back playing games in mid to late November." Flynn continues to recover from hip surgery this offseason. A sensation at the 2009 Las Vegas Summer League, Flynn has booster Rockets going to the basket off the dribble, but struggled to run the team's offense during his rookie season. His personality and work-ethic are tops in the league, and he would be a media darling if anyone actually cared about the Timberwolves. The Timberwolves could have replaced Flynn with either Ty Lawson or Ramon Sessions, but both were traded. 2009 lottery pick Ricky Rubio would have been another good option, but it will be 100 degrees on Christmas in Minneapolis before the Spanish sensation ever suits up for general manager David Kahn and company.  So, in Flynn's absence, veterans Luke Ridnour and Sebastian Telfair (weird to call Telfair a veteran, but it's true) will pick up the point guard slack for coach Kurt Rambis.
Posted on: July 27, 2010 7:56 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2010 7:57 pm

Video: Offseason review - Central Division

Posted by Royce Young

The Central was the center of free agency this offseason. LeBron's decision, the Bulls multiple moves and plus, some other interesting transactions. It's all been graded and broken down , plus here's some talking about it as well.

Posted on: July 27, 2010 6:12 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2010 8:30 pm

Offseason Reviews: Central Division

Posted by Matt Moore

With only a handful of free agents left on the market and with summer league over, we thought we'd take a look at how teams in the Central Division did over the summer in negotiating their moves.

Chicago Bulls

Added: Carlos Boozer (sign-and-trade), Kyle Korver (free agency), Ronnie Brewer (free agency), Kurt Thomas (free agency), C.J. Watson (trade)
Lost: Kirk Hinrich (trade), Hakim Warrick (sign-and-trade), Brad Miller (free agency)

Philosophy: "Why have excellent when you can have above-average?"

Well, hey, they didn't get LeBron. Or Dwyane Wade. Or Chris Bosh. Or Amar'e Stoudemire. But they got Carlos Boozer!

And sure, they didn't get Anthony Morrow. Or J.J. Redick (though they tried). But they got Kyle Korver!

And that's pretty much the Bulls summer. The Bulls swung out on the big boys and got the next best thing they could rustle up. Boozer's numbers are good, and he certainly solves a lot of their needs. That's really what it comes down to. All of the Bulls' signings were exactly what they needed, they just weren't the best guys they could get. Carlos Boozer gives them a low-post power forward with offensive versatility. He's just not Amar'e Stoudemire or Chris Bosh. Kyle Korver adds three-point shooting,and was a better option than even Anthony Morrow would have been. Ronnie Brewer may have been their best signing. They essentially took Kirk Hinrich, a defensive combo-guard that can't really shoot anymore (I'll never figure out where his shot went), and his considerable salary and moved him for Brewer, a defensive combo-wing that can't shoot.

It's hard to knock the Bulls, since they did at least stay aggressive, and did make moves. And trying to grade them based on expectations in this competitive of a year is tough. But with one of the biggest markets, cap space, and a handful of advantages, you still have to look at their moves and ask "Really?"

Grade: B-

Cleveland Cavaliers

Added: Ramon Sessions (trade), Ryan Hollins (trade), Christian Eyenga (draft)
Lost: LeBron freaking James (sign-and-trade), Delonte West (trade), Sebastian Telfair (trade), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (free agency)

Philosophy: "Not with a bang, but with 'The Decision'"

Yeah, I think this pretty much sums it up .

How do you judge them for this? How do you evaluate them after losing the most important player in franchise history in one of the most embarrassing ways possible? Can you blame them? Can you exonerate them simply because of James' classless behavior? At the end of the day, it's the responsibility of a front-office to make the team the best it can be. And in this case, it didn't. Whether there were forces beyond their control or foresight is irrelevant. We are judged by our performances, and the results sadly speak for themselves.

Sessions is a great pick-up, though, and Hollins has some potential outside of the triangle.

Grade: F+

Detroit Pistons

Added: Greg Monroe (draft), Terrico White (draft), Ben Wallace (re-signed)
Lost: none

Philosophy: "Running in place is good for the soul."

Such a wasted opportunity. Rip Hamilton, out there to move, with teams who missed out on the Big 3 needing impact players. Tayshaun Prince, same deal. Rodney Stuckey, conceivably expendable. Instead, Joe Dumars and company elected to simply do nothing. No additions, no trades, no moves. Just the consistency of mediocrity. Perhaps the idea is that things could not go as badly as they did last season. And it's hard to argue against that, with all the injuries. But the problems remain with an ineffective frontcourt and an inconsistent backcourt. There was still a lot Dumars could have pursued, he's pulled off those moves before. But instead he seems convinced that this roster as constructed can get the job done.

The shining light? Greg Monroe looks good. Really good. The kind of low-post player they've needed for years and have been getting by with Kwame Brown for. The wasted opportunity docks them, but their draft was solid enough to save them to a degree.

Grade: C-

Indiana Pacers

Added: Paul George (draft), Lance Stephenson (draft), Magnum Rolle (draft)


"The vague semblance of a plan."

The Pacers did the same amount of stuff that the Pistons did, so they get the same grade right? Sadly, no. Fair is not always equal. The Pacers get a much improved grade from years past thanks to their willingness to go away from what has been their calling card. Instead of opting for big-resume players from major programs in college and veteran marginal free agents, the Pacers went with talent. Best talent available. And now? They have a roster with movable veteran pieces (Ford, Murphy, Foster), with replacements in place for them, and have managed to get involved in multiple talks for Granger without losing leverage.

Lance Stephenson, even if Summer League was a complete mirage, has long-term value to be able to invest in at both the point guard and combo-guard position. George has long-term development potential. Roy Hibbert has been given opportunities to develop and showed signs last year, and they didn't do anything in the draft or free agency to interfere with that. Even Magnum Rolle looks like a decent backup prospect.

I don't really know how to live in a world where I'm about to give this grade, but I'm going to.

Grade: B+

Milwaukee Bucks

Added:   John Salmons (re-signed, Drew Gooden (free agency), Corey Maggette (trade), Jon Brockman (trade), Keyon Dooling (free agency), Larry Sanders (draft), Darington Hobson (draft), Tiny Gallon (draft)
Lost:   Luke Ridnour (free agency), Kurt Thomas (free agency), Royal Ivey (free agency), Charlie Bell (trade), Dan Gadzuric (trade), Darnell Jackson (trade)


I love what the Bucks did. I hate what the Bucks did. I totally understand what the Bucks did. I'm completely baffled by what the Bucks did.

Okay, here's what we know.

John Hammond believes this roster can contend. Andrew Bogut, when healthy, can be the cornerstone. Brandon Jennings will only get better. They have movable assets of value. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is versatile and talented at multiple positions. They needed scoring. A high-volume, high-usage, efficient shooter that isn't named Michael Redd Who Has No Legs. So they got Corey Maggette. Nice. That works. Sure, Maggette's a defensive question mark, but we've seen terrible defenders become semi-decent in good systems, and the Bucks have one of the best around. They re-signed Salmons, for a lot less than I thought he would garner in this market. They now have offense and defense.

But in addition to that, the Bucks got gluttonous. Drew Gooden, for the amount of money he was signed for is fairly unforgivable. Three days later, Hammond got Salmons back for a quality price. It was like every move they made, they followed with one on the other end of the sense spectrum. One thing is for certain: the Bucks are good at power forward. After watching Larry Sanders look fairly incredible at Summer League, I'm ready to commit to a bet that the Bucks will lead the league in blocks next season. With Bogut, Gooden, Mbah a Moute, Sanders, and whoever else gets in on the act, I think they have a good shot at that.

The question is if the unbalanced nature of their acquisitions (all high-usage players) will maintain a balance with their defense to ensure they reach last year's performance and exceed it. And on that front, it's a mixed grade.

Grade: B-

Posted on: July 26, 2010 9:20 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 9:24 pm

Cavs trade West, Telfair to Wolves for Sessions

Posted by Royce Young

The Cavaliers
have traded Delonte West and Sebastian Telfair to Minny for Ramon Sessions, Ryan Hollins and a future second-round pick, Brian Windhorst reports .
The second-round pick is in 2013.

Obviously this is something David Kahn and Minnesota have been trying to get done, especially after Luke Ridnour signed. By acquiring West now, his buyout is only $500,000. If he would've been grabbed by someone a few weeks later, his contract would've been guaranteed and a buyout would've cost a lot more.

It's slightly interesting Hollins was included in the deal. Minnesota pursued Hollins pretty hard last summer in free agency, pulling him from Dallas for a relatively small deal. But Hollins never found consistent playing time and with the Cavs being a roster in transition, this could be a nice move for him.

And by dealing Sessions, the Wolves basically swapped their two free agent signings from last summer for a contract that they can buy out and a third point guard. As always, Kahn's plan isn't easily deciphered in this deal.

Sessions is a player the Cavs have been actively trying to grab, or at least a player like him. New coach Byron Scott prefers an up-tempo attack and Sessions is a fast, high pace point guard. Mo Williams can likely slide into more of a combo guard role as Sessions commandeers the offense.
Posted on: July 19, 2010 10:28 am
Edited on: July 19, 2010 10:30 am

Reports: Wolves, Cavs talking deal for Sessions

Posted by Royce Young

Brian Windhorst of the Plain Dealer reports and Chris Tomasson of FanHouse confirms that the Cavs and Wolves are talking a trade that would send Ramon Sessions and Kosta Koufos to Cleveland.

Tomasson mentions the Wolves may attain guard Delonte West in return, but waive him since West's $4.6 million contract has only $500,000 of it guaranteed if he's waived by August 5.

Koufos is an Ohio native that attended Ohio State before leaving after his freshman year to be drafted by the Utah Jazz. I don't know why it's always necessary to mention when a guy could be playing near his hometown as if that will make him an immediate star, but it is. Regardless, Koufos has talent, but he's raw and a clear indication that if acquired, the Cavs are rebuilding.

Obviously David Kahn needs to move Sessions with the recent addition of Luke Ridnour. And the Cavs have already pushed for multiple point guards this offseason already but haven't grabbed one they want yet. There was talk on LeBron's Decision Day that the Wolves and Cavs were discussing a deal bringing Jonny Flynn to Cleveland, but the Wolves are intent on keeping Flynn.

Posted on: July 14, 2010 2:46 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2010 2:47 pm

Report: Bobcats sign Livingston

Posted by Royce Young

Shaun Livingston has agreed to a two-year, $7 million contract with the Bobcats, Adrian Wojnarowski reports . There's also reportedly a non-guaranteed third year on the deal as well.

First off, good for Livingston. We all know what happened to him and how he's been working to get back. After some time in the D-League, a year with the Thunder and some time spent with the Wizards, Livingston has earned his way back to a multi-year contract.

Livingston is still only 24 years old (I know, just 24? ) and in 36 games for Washington, averaged 6.9 points and 3.6 assists per game. He's always been considered a unique talent because of his size for a point guard that goes along with his excellent court vision and passing ability.

But this signing could have bigger implications than just some feel-good vibes for Livingston. The Bobcats were rumored to be the most possible destination for Minnesota guard Ramon Sessions. Now with D.J. Augustin's backup position filled, Sessions is likely off Charlotte's radar. The other prime landing spot for Sessions has been Indiana.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com