Twenty-four hours ago I was marveling at how Chubby Wells seemed to have the media and New York Knicks on a string. After all, for days he'd been feeding the media info about how the Knicks and Clippers were on the verge of giving his client Ramon Sessions a mid-level deal, and some reports in the New York media were finally corroborating Wells' optimism. But hour after hour ticked by and the imminent offer sheet never came. The five year, $34 million MLE deal Wells originally wanted became four years, $26 million yesterday. Then this morning the Knicks were reportedly hoping to do a deal for slightly less than the MLE over four years. OK, so can we just sign the damn thing and get on with it?
Maybe not. With Andre Miller still available and 2010 cap room still their primary concern, David Aldridge reports the Knicks might be having second thoughts.
Several league sources said Wednesday that they believed the New York Knicks had abandoned their pursuit of Bucks restricted free agent guard Ramon Sessions, leaving the Clippers as the prime candidate for the 23-year-old. The Oklahoma City Thunder has a tangential interest, according to sources, but is not believed to be seriously pursuing Sessions.
In contrast, Gery Woelfel tweeted this evening that the Knicks were "still very much in the hunt" for Sessions. That's likely coming straight from Wells of course, so take that as you will.
Then again, it's not like the Knicks hadn't thought about their 2010 cap situation before they started negotiating with Sessions, so giving up on him entirely with the futures of Miller, David Lee and Nate Robinson still unclear seems a bit rash. More likely the Knicks simply realized that they were the best gig Sessions could find, and with the Bucks content to wait things out they decided to first focus on more pressing matters--like Miller. Sessions' only other realistic option seem to be with a notably worse situation in Clipperland, where he'd be buried behind Baron Davis while enjoying the sideline brilliance of Mike Dunleavy. I know the Thunder also have been mentioned, but with Westbrook and Harden around I don't see the logic. As much as Sessions wants to get paid, waiting out the situation in New York, even if a deal just gets matched by the Bucks, could be a more appetizing course of action.
Woelfel also tweeted today that Bruce Bowen was likely to be dealt soon, which at first glance would be a strong signal that the Bucks don't intend to bring back Sessions. Remember, a good chunk of the dollars the Bucks could potentially use on Sessions would come from waiving Bowen, whose $4.1 million salary is only guaranteed to the tune of $2.1 million if he's waived by August 1. It's possible he could be dealt to a team with a big enough trade exception to absorb his salary for nothing, but I'm not sure why anyone would bite on that when he'll likely be a free agent commanding far less than $4.1 million in a matter of weeks (unless cash was thrown into the deal). Ironically, Bowen asked via his own Twitter feed whether anyone knew anything about a potential trade.