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2012 NBA Finals
Ramon Sessions opted not to exercise the final year of his contract with remain with the Los Angeles Lakers next season, choosing to test the free-agency market in pursuit of a multi-year contract.
"Ramon has carefully considered this decision," said Jared Karnes, Sessions' agent, in a statement. "He had to make a career decision and ultimately decided to do what was best in providing stability and longevity for him in the NBA, and this could only be achieved through a multiyear contract."
Sessions would have earned $4.55 million next season if he opted to stay with the Lakers. Teams and free agents can negotiate starting July 1.
Sessions said the Lakers expressed interest in keeping him after his exit interview with general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Mike Brown in May
"It was definitely clear leaving the meeting they want me back. It was definitely 100 percent clear," Sessions said.
If they are indeed serious in keeping Sessions, the Lakers can still sign the playmaker from the free agent market.
The Lakers acquired Sessions at the trade deadline from the Cleveland Cavaliers to replace veteran Derek Fisher, who was sent to the Houston Rockets in a subsequent deal.
Fisher then agreed to a buyout with the Rockets before joining the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are now playing in the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.
In 23 regular-season games, the 6-foot-3 Sessions 12.7 points, 6.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds on 47.9 percent shooting from the field and 48.6 percent shooting from three-point range.
But Sessions played poorly in his first postseason appearance, averaging just 6.8 points and 3.0 assists while shooting 35.3 percent in the Western Conference semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Before joining the Lakers, Sessions played parts of his five-year career with cellar-dwelling teams in Milwaukee, Minnesota and Cleveland. In 323 games, Sessions averaged 11.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists.
With Sessions' departure, the Lakers have only one point guard under contract next season. Steve Blake has two more years and $8 million remaining on his deal.
Lakers Guard Sessions to Turn Free Agent