The Bucks Absolutely Need To Keep Ramon Sessions

The point guard is often thought of an extension of the coach on the floor, or the "quarterback", or floor general. --CoachesClipboard

This is an absolutely true statement, and teams need a solid point guard in order to be competitive. It is, in my opinion, the most important position on a basketball team, followed by a low post presence. Since the Bucks have Andrew Bogut, they need to resign Ramon Sessions, a rising star at the point guard position.

When I got to looking through the Basketball Prospectus stats for Ramon, I really was amazed at all the things that he brings to the table.

His WARP (Wins Above Replacement Level Player) is 6.4, the best on the Milwaukee Bucks. Basically that means if you took a team full of replacement level players, and put Ramon Sessions at the point, they would win about 6.4 games more than expected based on his talent alone. The next closest is Charlie Villanueva at 5.9, not surprisingly the other guy the Bucks will have trouble retaining. Andrew Bogut is at 3.4, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute at 2.4, Luke Ridnour at 2.4, Michael Redd at 2.3, and Richard Jefferson at 1.9.

By that metric alone you could argue that Ramon Sessions has actually been the MVP of the Bucks this year, and you can't just let a guy like that walk away from the organization. In actuality, I would argue that the Bucks' most valuable players are Bogut and Redd. The Bucks have actually missed Redd more than you might think. Because of his injury, his WARP is skewed low, but his wins produced per 3000 minutes is a remarkable 8.2. His raw wins produced was 3.3, meaning the Bucks missed about 5 wins just from him being out for the season. It is worth noting that Sessions still has a higher wins produced per 3000 minutes than even Andrew Bogut.

What makes Sessions so valuable, other than the fact that he's arguably the Bucks most talented point guard? He dishes out the ball well. His assists/40 mins mark is up to 8.4, and he averages 5.6 assists per game. His pass rating (a combination of assists normalized by minutes played, and assist/turnover ratio) is up at 6.06, by far the best on the team. This rating puts him near the top of the league, and he even ranks better than the likes of Tony Parker (5.54), but not quite up to the caliber of Steve Nash, Jason Kidd or Rajon Rondo yet (all in the double digits).

Furthermore, Sessions is a big part of the offense. He hands out an assist on 9.2% of the team's possessions which seems low, but when you think about it, it's a good margin (also puts him among the top in the league). He is responsible for creating 1039 points for the Bucks this year, in some fashion or another - about 13.5 per game.

What sets Sessions apart from Ridnour as the other point guard option on the team, in addition to what has been said, is his defense. Sessions only had 937 points created against him this season so far, which means that he created close to 1.5 points more per game than he allowed. His dMULT is 0.959 which means that he held his counterpart to about 96% of their normal production on a per possession basis. Compare these stats with Ridnour, who allows about 1.2 more points per game than he creates and allows his counterpart to score about 102% of their normal production.

Moreover, his player winning percentage is .572, which means that a team made up of 4 average players and Ramon sessions would win about 57% of their games. Such a team would currently grab the 5th seed in the east, falling just barely behind the Hawks for the 4th seed. Also encouraging is that when Andrew Bogut and Michael Redd were on the floor this season, the Bucks outscored their opponents by a fair margin. The main problem has been they were out for most of the year.

Getting back Bogut and Redd will be a big positive, and returning Luc Mbah a Moute (one of the most valuable players on the team) should set up the Bucks to be back in the playoff hunt next year if everyone can stay healthy. But the Bucks cannot afford to lose another talented, up-and-coming point guard (see Mo Williams and the Cleveland Cavaliers). They cannot afford to lose one of their most valuable and efficient players for the second year in a row.

It would also be nice to find a way to sign Charlie Villanueva. But if you have to choose between him and Ramon, you sign Ramon in a heartbeat. I think Ramon's stats will actually improve with two more efficient offensive players around him (Bogut and Redd).

Say what you want about Redd, but he is the best player this team has and its greatest offensive threat. If you want trade bait, how about Richard Jefferson (WARP of only 1.9, allowing his man to score about 105% of their normal production) who has proved durable and is quietly averaging almost 20ppg? He could be a hot commodity on the trade market for his scoring ability and veteran presence, but he has a huge contract, hasn't been playing great defense, and hasn't added a whole lot of wins for the Bucks that another player wouldn't as well. If we can unload Jefferson's contract, we could have the room to sign Villanueva and Sessions.

Just my 2 cents.

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