The Cavaliers found their versatile guard tonight who can play either position. It cost them another versatile guard who can do the same.
The Cavs traded Delonte West and Sebastian Telfair to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for guard Ramon Sessions, center Ryan Hollins and the Timberwolves’ second-round pick in 2013.
Sessions, 24, is the key from the Cavaliers’ perspective as they continue to find pieces that will fit new coach Byron Scott’s up-tempo offense. His minutes were cut considerably last season, when he averaged 8.2 points and 3.1 assists in about 20 minutes a game in his first season after signing a four-year, $16 million deal with the Timberwolves.
Sessions, 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, will be reunited with point guard Mo Williams. The two played together in Milwaukee during Sessions’ rookie season in 2007-08, when Sessions became the first 20-20 player in Bucks history with 20 points and 24 assists in a game against the Chicago Bulls. Sessions’ best year was 2008-09, when he averaged 12.4 points and 5.7 assists and set a career-high with 44 points against the Detroit Pistons.
Sessions signed a four-year, $16 million offer sheet as a restricted free agent with the Timberwolves before last season and the Bucks failed to match it.
“We’re excited to add a young, multi-dimensional guard,” Cavs GM Chris Grant said. “We think both Ramon and Ryan are really good fits for this team.”
Hollins, 25, averaged 6.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 17 minutes a game last season. The 7-footer was primarily a reserve in Minnesota, but did start 27 games last season. Entering his fifth year in the league, the Cavaliers will be Hollins’ fourth team. He will make about $2.3 million this season and holds a player option for about $2.5 million in 2011-12. Sessions is due to make about $12.7 million over the next three years.
The Cavaliers had until Aug. 5 to make a decision on West. He is due about $4.6 million this season, but only $500,000 is guaranteed. West avoided jail time earlier this month when he pled guilty to weapons and traffic charges in a Maryland court. He was sentenced to probation, electronic monitoring and community service.
West was arguably the Cavaliers’ second-best player during the postseason two years ago, when the Magic eliminated them in the Eastern Conference finals. But West lost his starting job last season and was in and out of the lineup while battling personal problems.
He became a non-factor in the playoffs this season, shooting 38 percent in the series against the Celtics while averaging 5.7 points and 1.8 assists.
Telfair, acquired by the Cavaliers in the deal that brought Antawn Jamison to Cleveland, played sparingly with the Cavs over the final few weeks of the regular season.