With apologies to Señior Ramon, the only way we’re going to properly pump Ramon Sessions is to properly dump Baron Davis. It has to be this way. It’s a law of nature. Like women always hanging their handbags at the bend of their elbow despite having two free hands. Or that literature written by women doesn’t suck because it’s authored by them, it sucks because it’s about them. This is the same thing. It’s impossible to hype a backup sleeper without havin’ a go at the guy he’s backing up. So here we go. Firstly, two teams and a pair of knees rejected Baron Davis last year. That’s not good. And while his PER and per36 stats were closely aligned with his production from the previous two seasons, you have to wonder about his body. Not in the same way one wonders about Rihanna’s body. Davis came into Clippers camp busted and he left Cleveland in the same condition 82 games later. And that was at the age of 31. Your abacus tells you he’ll be 32 next year and on an even more hopeless squad than any of his three Clippers rosters. He’s missed 24 percent of his teams’ total games over the last nine seasons (178/738), has only appeared in 68+ games twice in that time and again, nothing about last year’s circumstances will improve next season. And so now let’s compare that outlook with Sessions’ for 2011 fantasy basketball.
Quietly, amid the clatter and clang of a pitiful post-LeBron Cleveland franchise, Sessions jumped from a 12.9 PER in 2009 to a 19 PER. By season’s end, he was widely owned, but only as a stopgap for whichever busted PG you were probably stuck with at some point this season (or in real basketball for Mo Williams and then for Baron Davis). Sessions was an afterthought for half of his time in Milwaukee, was traded to Minnesota where he was an afterthought there too and then traded to Cleveland where, only when they completely ran out of options was he not an afterthought. And he thrived. He’s thrived everywhere he’s been given a chance. Three lousy teams, yes, but this is fantasy and we don’t see NBA win-loss records, do we? Davis will enter the 2011 season as Cleveland’s starting PG, but what are the odds he starts more games next year than this year (44)? And of the games he plays, what are the odds he averages more than the 28 mpg he averaged in 2010? Sessions averaged 15/4/6 in 31 mpgs as a starter last year; better than Augustin, Conley and Udrih (not combined – that would be bananas). He’s not underutilized-but-explosive like 2010 Ty Lawson, doesn’t have stupendous upside like 2011 Jeff Teague, doesn’t shoot threes, steal or block much, but he’ll be 25 and has improved every season in his last four. He doesn’t need to start to have value, he needs to have a permanent roll and that roll needs to come packaged with at least 25-28 mpgs. He averaged 26.3 last season and will play behind the top 20 point guard owners least want to own. Is grabbing his 13.5/4/5 handcuff in the 12th round really that much of a stretch?