LOS ANGELES– The Los Angeles Lakers acquired point guard Ramon Sessions from Cleveland on Thursday in a four-player trade sending Luke Walton and Jason Kapono to the Cavaliers.
The Lakers also got forward Christian Eyenga in the deal, while the Cavaliers will get the Lakers’ lottery-protected first-round pick in the upcoming draft and other considerations, according to the Lakers.
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The Lakers have had an eye on Sessions for several months, and they made the deal shortly before dealing veteran point guard Derek Fisher to the Houston Rockets. A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press about the Fisher trade. The Lakers didn’t immediately confirm they had traded Fisher, the five-time NBA champion and their starter at the position for the past five seasons.
Sessions is Kyrie Irving’s backup in Cleveland, averaging 10.5 points and 5.2 assists. He was expected to opt out of his contract following the season to become a free agent, but he is likely to have a major role with the Lakers alongside Steve Blake, who has been Fisher’s backup this season.
The Lakers unloaded the albatross contract of Walton, a two-time NBA champion who has played almost no significant minutes for Los Angeles in the past three years. The son of Hall of Famer Bill Walton has spent his entire nine-season NBA career with the Lakers, but was hampered by injuries the previous two seasons before failing to crack new coach Mike Brown’s rotation this year.
Walton is making $5.68 million this season and $6.1 million next season under a lengthy contract signed when he was still a contributor to the Lakers.
Kapono, who signed with the Lakers shortly before training camp last summer, returns to the team that drafted him out of UCLA in 2003. The 3-point specialist also hasn’t played much for the Lakers, averaging 2.0 points this season.
The Cavs want to build around Irving, and another first-round pick could help the 19-year-old No. 1 selection. While the trade may help Cleveland’s future, it may jeopardize its chances of making the playoffs this season.