LOS ANGELES — Point guard Ramon Sessions will not exercise a player option to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers and will become a free agent, the Los Angeles Times has learned.
The Myrtle Beach native would have earned $4.55 million next season but chose to test the market. There’s still a chance that Sessions will return to the Lakers by signing a contract, but there’s no guarantee of it.
“Ramon has carefully considered this decision,” said Sessions’ agent, Jared Karnes. “He had to make a career decision and ultimately decided to do what was best in providing stability and longevity for him in the NBA, and this could only be achieved through a multiyear contract.”
Sessions, 26, started off well with the Lakers after being acquired at the trade deadline, averaging 13.7 points and seven assists as a starter in 23 regular-season games.
He tailed off in the playoffs, however, his numbers dropping to 9.7 points and 3.6 assists a game and 37.7 percent accuracy. He had never been to the playoffs in four other NBA seasons spent mostly as a backup.
He had until Wednesday to decide on his option. Free agency begins July 1.
The Lakers acquired Sessions from Cleveland on March 15 for Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, under $1 million in cash and a first-round pick that turned out to be 24th overall. The Lakers also received seldom-used forward Christian Eyenga in the trade.
The Lakers now have only one point guard under contract next season. Steve Blake has two more years and $8 million remaining on his deal.
Darius Morris took the unusual step of signing a one-year deal as a rookie and is a restricted free agent after playing only 19 games with the Lakers.
Sessions suggested he would not exercise his one-year option in an April interview with the Times, hoping to work out a multiyear deal with the Lakers after becoming a free agent.
“I want to be here. I don’t know what that means or how that’s going to happen,” he said at the time. “It ain’t no secret. I’ll tell anybody that. I tell Mitch Kupchak. I tell my agent. I want to be here. Period. For a long time.”
Sessions has been with three other teams in his NBA career – Milwaukee, Minnesota and the Cavaliers.