Today brings the news that the Lakers’ point guard of the last half of the season, Ramon Sessions, plans to opt out of his deal with Los Angeles and test his worth in free agency. L.A. got one of the best deals of the trading deadline when they got him from Cleveland for Luke Walton, Jason Kapono and a draft pick. It was expected he’d test the water after he’d played such a strong 23 games with the Lakers.
He turned into one of the steals of the deadline who, until a poor Western Conference Finals series, seemed to grasp Mike Brown‘s plans in L.A. quicker than some of the Lakers had. Would you pay more than the $4.5 million that would have been owed to Sessions had he opted in? We’ll see on July 1. He averaged 12.7 points and 6.2 assists per game once he bolted Cleveland and his best asset was clearly his shooting: 48.6 percent from three and 47.9 from the field. But who were the other best pick-ups of the trade deadline? Here’s the top five in our 20/20 hindsight.
5. JAVALE MCGEE
In all that’s happened since the Lakers beat Denver in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs, McGee’s monster Game 5 (21 points, 14 rebounds) has almost fallen through the cracks. He averaged 8.6 points and 9.6 boards per game in seven playoff games and also averaged 8.6 points per in 20 regular-season games in the Mile High. Will McGee’s talent ever take precedent over his antics? We’re not really sure, but that game in Los Angeles put people on notice about he stands out even in a league of incredible athletes. His offensive rebounding in particular stood out in the series, with 23 of his 44 boards against LA coming on offense. We’ll soon see how his ratio of length/antics equates to a worth for possible suitors in the offseason.