The title of this post could’ve also been “Which Is Worse For You: Eating seven double whoppers a day for the next 10 years or 30 seconds of gasoline chugging.” But thankfully we’re discussing backup point guards instead of first or second scoring options. Things could be worse.
It’s been reported that the Knicks have been in preliminary discussions with Minnesota in a deal that would send Toney Douglas to the Timberwolves for Jonny Flynn. So it goes, with Ricky Rubio now in the fold, Flynn has become an expendable piece. In Cleveland, if the Cavaliers select Kyrie Irving with the number one pick (or Brandon Knight with their number four) then Ramon Sessions becomes unnecessary. Let’s take a lot at both guys to determine which is more suited to give Chauncey Billups a breather next season.
From the gate, there’s one thing about Ramon Sessions that screams incompatible with a Mike D’Antoni coached team: he does not shoot three-pointers. Sessions dropped 32 in a win against the Lakers last February while attempting (and making) just one, and two years ago against Detroit he scored 44 without trying one shot from downtown. For his career, Sessions has shot just 18 percent from beyond the arc. This is roughly what I’m shooting right now in my men’s rec league, and I definitely can’t help stretch the floor for Carmelo Anthony.
What Sessions does do well is attack the basket. It’s how he opens the floor for everyone else, but last year his teammates weren’t particularly adept at taking advantage.In Cleveland he attempted a career high 4.4 shots at the rim which was more than Deron Williams and Rajon Rondo.
It’s always good when you make a purchase—whether it be a movie you love or a simple food staple—that you know what you’re getting. The buy is without risk, but you won’t be wowed with it either. Sessions is destined to backup a starting point guard; it’s his established role in the league. (Two years ago Sessions was in Minnesota serving as Flynn’s backup.) If the Knicks sign Ramon Sessions, it’ll come with little surprise. He isn’t talented enough to start full time for a playoff contender, but as an effective point man coming off the bench, he can certainly have a positive impact. This is where the fundamental difference between Flynn and Sessions exists.
With Jonny Flynn, we won’t know what we’re getting. By all accounts he didn’t impress a single person last season. Coming back from offseason hip surgery which prevented him from working on his game and brought new meaning to the phrase “Sophomore Slump”, the 22-year-old saw dramatic drops in almost every statistical category. But there’s something about Jonny Flynn that I like. A player so young, with such heart and desire, has to have some upside. Flynn was arguably the worst starting point guard in the NBA his rookie season, but the harshness of that judgement comes off a little strong for two reasons: 1) He played for a rookie head coach who was relentlessly matching his triangle offense with personnel that didn’t fit. 2) IT WAS HIS ROOKIE SEASON. I’m not excusing Jonny Flynn for playing so poorly, but to give up on someone so early in his career seems silly. Maybe he just needs a change of scenery. Moving to New York, playing in an offensive system designed to help point guards, could really help turn things around.
We know what Ramon Sessions is, and his play would be steady, serviceable, and appreciated. But we don’t know what Jonny Flynn can be; he could spontaneously combust or rise from the dead. Trading for him would be a much larger gamble than dealing for Sessions, but the reward could be much, much greater. He’d bring a nervous excitement with him to the Garden. Whether he thrives under pressure or crumples in a heap, Flynn seems like the prototypical New York Knick.