Ramon Sessions recently supplanted Tim Frazier in the rotation as the team’s backup point guard in what we can only imagine is a move to bridge the backup point guard gap until John Wall returns from injury. The thing is, in his limited time during his second stint in Washington, Sessions hasn’t proved that he’s the better option over Frazier.
Sessions’ M-O, dating back to his first go-round with Washington, is that he’s an attack-first point guard. He’s not the best shooter (he’s only shooting 34.3 percent from the field in Washington) but has a knack for keeping the defense off-balance in transition and can slice his way to the hole. He averages 8.5 free-throw attempts per 100 possessions – the best rate on the team – but that’s where the buck stops.
The ten-year veteran is the furthest thing from a lockdown defender. The Wizards have been outscored in six of the seven games when Sessions has been on the floor. The lone exception came in Wednesday’s game against the Spurs when the Wizards went on a late run during garbage time. He also doesn’t do much to get other players on the floor involved as he’s averaging just 8.9 assists per 100 possessions and can be a bit of a ball-stopper at times.
Washington’s front office knows what Sessions brings to the table, as well as what his shortcomings are, yet still opted to sign him off the street when they have already had a player capable of producing similar results in Tim Frazier.
No, Frazier isn’t much of a scoring threat – but the ball doesn’t stick when he is in the ball game. He knows his role is to trigger offensive sets and set guys up when he’s running the second unit. He’s averaging nearly three more assists per 100 possessions than Sessions and does it while posting a significantly lower usage rate.
And defensively for these guys? Well, it’s probably better that we not dive into those numbers for everyone’s sake.
While Sessions and Frazier have different styles, their overall impact on the team is virtually the same, which again begs the question of why the Wizards signed Sessions in the first place. They filled an open roster spot with a player they already have – and who isn’t very effective.
Were the Wizards likely to find a playoff rotation guy on the street or buyout market? No. However, tying up a roster spot with a fourth point guard who isn’t going to see the court come playoff time isn’t ideal either unless their plan with Sessions was solely to just bridge the backup point guard gap while Wall is out.
Guys like Joe Johnson, Ersan Ilyasova, and Marco Belinelli were available on the buyout market, but you never even heard whispers that they might end up in Washington. Perhaps none of them were interested in a role in Washington and certainly, none of those guys would have been the saviors for this squad but they would have added depth at positions where Washington is razor thin. Just look at what happened when Jodie Meeks missed Wednesday’s game with the flu. The team had to play Sessions and Frazier together, despite their shooting flaws, to give Beal and Satoransky some rest.
From a production standpoint, this Sessions acquisition doesn’t make sense. From a personnel standpoint, this acquisition doesn’t make sense. But for the Washington faithful, we can only hope that the return of a healthy John Wall will make the Ramon Sessions vs. Tim Frazier debate a moot point.