One of the minor talking points entering free agency (which starts in a matter of hours) is whether the Charlotte Hornets would pick up the team option for Ramon Sessions. We now have our answer.
According to Rick Bonnell, Sessions won’t be back:
The @hornets won't make it official until midnight, in case some trade comes up, but they will NOT pick up Ramon Sessions' option.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) June 29, 2017
This news isn’t surprising. Sessions had a bad season marked by inconsistent play and an injury that kept him out for the last part of the season. The Hornets were banking on his familiarity with the staff and players, having played in Charlotte before, but it didn’t work out as they’d hope.
Sessions was set to make $6.25 million next season. Declining his option frees that money up, but still doesn’t give the Hornets space to target top free agents. The MLE, which sits at $8.4 million, will be their biggest bargaining chip for any potential free agent.
The focus for the Hornets will undoubtedly be on finding a new backup point guard. While a few legitimate options will be available, the market will be competitive and the Hornets may not have enough money to offer them. My guess, based on how the front office has operated in past, is the team will pursue a point guard who’s stock is low and offer a shorter contract while selling them on the idea that Charlotte will maximize their skill set. That is, unless they can entice their top targets to play for them under the MLE.
All that said, we wish Sessions well. It didn’t work out this time, but he was a solid player, and by all accounts a great locker room presence. Hopefully he lands somewhere else.