The Indiana Pacers are in desperate need to find some help after losing Lance Stephenson and Paul George already this offseason, and there isn’t much left for them to choose from. They have applied for the Disabled Player Exception, which will give them about $5.3 million to spend on a free agent or trade for a player in the last year of his deal, but they also don’t have much tax room to work with. Indiana is less than $2 million away from going over the tax, which is something that they have been adamant about not wanting to do.
One option left on the free agent market is point guard Ramon Sessions, and he could end up being the perfect fit for Indiana. The move would allow Indiana to start George Hill at shooting guard, and slide C.J. Miles over to the small forward position. Indiana is going to need help offensively, and that is exactly what Sessions does best.
His offense was shown last season in his 28-game stint with the Milwaukee Bucks, where he averaged 15.8 points per game. Not only did he score the ball at an impressive rate, he also shot solid percentages all around the table. He shot 46.1% from the floor overall, and also shot 35.7% from three-point range and 84.1% from the foul line.
There is no denying that Sessions would be a great move for the Pacers at this point in time, and would give them some sort of punch in the wake of losing their best two players. Moving Hill to the shooting guard position would allow him to be aggressive and score up to his capabilities. The Pacers have been trying to convert Hill to point guard, but it simply hasn’t worked and even Hill himself has said that he isn’t a point guard.
Sessions isn’t the best point guard out there, but his quickness and ball-handling ability allow him to be effective. He averaged 4.8 assists per game last season, and did an excellent job of running a fairly poor offense. His defensive ability would allow him to fit into the Pacers’ mentality as well, and at 28 years old he is still in the prime of his career.
Miles seems to be the best bet to fill the small forward position with his scoring ability while still playing tough defense. He would bring perimeter shooting, as well as the ability to get to the rim and finish. Unfortunately, he would be a bit undersized to play against small forward like Kevin Durant and LeBron James, but he does play with a lot of effort and heart.
All of that being said, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Pacers go after Sessions when they are approved for their exception. The Pacers can open up more space as far as their tax is concerned by cutting Donald Sloan and Shayne Whittington, and they could also get rid of Luis Scola who has a partially guaranteed deal. It is unknown exactly how much money Sessions is looking for, but the opportunity to start for a playoff contender might make him come cheaper than expected.
If the Pacers do end up making this move, they would still have good depth at every position. C.J. Watson would still be the primary backup point guard, while newly signed Rodney Stuckey would man the backup shooting guard role. Solomon Hill, Damjan Rudez, and Chris Copeland are all capable of playing minutes at small forward, and the Pacers also have a combination of Copeland, LaVoy Allen, Scola, and Ian Mahinmi coming off of the bench.
Overall, the Pacers don’t have many options that are capable of making an impact left in play. Sessions seems to be the only guy left that can come in and make an impact immediately to their team, and he could come at a discounted price with the offer of starting at point guard. Larry Bird knows that he needs to make something happen, and Sessions could be the guy that he turns to with Shawn Marion likely heading to the Cleveland Cavaliers.