Lakers guard Ramon Sessions drives against the Jazz on Sunday evening at… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)
An important answer from Mitch Kupchak was buried amid an avalanche of reporters' questions last week on Derek Fisher's departure and Ramon Sessions' arrival.
It was about Sessions' long-term future with the Lakers.
The 25-year-old point guard holds a player option next season for $4.6 million. Some of his new teammates expect him to opt out of his contract in a league where the average salary hovers near $5 million annually. It's a practical thing for Sessions to do if he keeps playing as he has in his first four games with the Lakers.
He becomes an unrestricted free agent if he opts out.
Free agency wouldn't begin until July, but the Lakers' general manager didn't seem overly concerned when asked whether Sessions would be the Lakers' point guard next season.
"Yes," Kupchak said. "That may mean he opts out. That may mean he doesn't opt out or he opts out and we re-sign him. I don't know how that's going to play out. But we were aware of that player option."
Sessions did not waive the right to opt out as part of the Lakers' trade with Cleveland last week.
"We have not made any decisions regarding his player option and whether he'll exercise it or not," said his agent, Jared Karnes. "Up until now, his focus has been where he was going to be sleeping [after the trade deadline]. Obviously, we're excited to be with the Lakers' organization and the great players there…
"It's a great fit for Ramon and when it's appropriate, we'll discuss his future and make a decision."
Sessions came to the Lakers on March 15, the day of the trade deadline.
He is averaging 12 points and six assists in only 25 minutes as a Lakers reserve, though a promotion to the starting unit might come as early as Friday against Portland.
Sessions broke through with his best game with the Lakers, a 17-point, nine-assist show in only 28 minutes of a 109-93 victory Wednesday over Dallas. He made seven of eight shots, had five rebounds and eased the load on Kobe Bryant, obviously an important task.
Just last month, Bryant complained that the Lakers weren't getting easy baskets, jealously noting the simplicity with which Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant scored his points. (Thank you, Russell Westbrook.)
Bryant seemed a lot happier after making 11 of 18 shots against Dallas.
"You saw me off the ball a lot more than probably you've ever seen me," Bryant told reporters in front of his locker. "My night was a lot easier. I had, what, 30 points? I didn't have to work for any of it because [Sessions] is doing all the penetrating and I was getting great screens."