The Scoop:Rockets beat writer Jonathan Feigen called the chances Sessions ends up in Houston "unlikely." News that the Rockets were trying to swing a sign-and-trade emerged Monday, but now it appears a chance of a swap is off the table. Sessions is a nice backup point guard, but should not be on fantasy radars until he has defined role on a team.
The Scoop:It would be a terrific fit for the Rockets. Sessions is among the league leaders in drives per 48 minutes and the Rockets really need a backup point guard. He would likely come off the bench behind Pat Beverley while Sessions would hurt the chances of guys like Isaiah Canaan, Troy Daniels and Nick Johnson. This move would hurt Beverley's upside.
The NBA is most definitely perched in its slow season, with the top free agents long having signed away, and the anticipated deal sending Kevin Love to Cleveland still a few weeks away from being NBA-legal. Beyond Friday’s Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony, and the next time Nick Young beefs with whatever the heck an “Iggy Azalea” is, all we’ve left to do is wait out the futures of all manner of available free agents. Whether they be restricted, ancient, lunkheaded, undervalued, outmoded or just plain weird, they’re all out there. Here’s the best of what’s left: Eric Bledsoe It was rumored on Tuesday that Bledsoe would be willing to take the qualifying offer from the Phoenix Suns, play out his year, and hit the open market in 2015 as an unrestricted free agent. Whether this is a plant or not, it’s a solid feint from Bledsoe’s camp, which has absolutely no leverage in dealing with restricted free agency. Bledsoe was not a high end draft pick, so his relatively slim qualifying offer of over $3.7 million would be less than a third of what the Suns are reportedly offering for next year’s salary, and under a quarter of the maximum contract yearly averages that he desires. It would seem to be a solid gambit, plenty of teams will pounce on Bledsoe as their highly-compensated consolation prize next summer, and he should make up that sort of qualifying offer cash in the long run. Ideally. Bledsoe has already undergone two of the scarier NBA knee procedures in tearing his meniscus twice. During the second repair, it was revealed that surgeons decided to take what is usually a penny-wise, pound-foolish approach to the knee, but that decision may have been instructed more by the bad shape Eric’s knee was already in more than it was a move to get him back on the court. They may have had no chance. Not taking the guaranteed money is a risky move for Bledsoe, and while he’ll have solid free agent suitors next year if his knee goes out again, or he misses time (he’s missed a total of 72 games in four NBA seasons) with another injury, the market will worry the bottle. From there, we move to the Suns’ approach, which is a smart but uneasy one. Bledsoe has already acknowledged that the Suns are “ using restricted free agency against me ,” and while he didn’t say this unkindly, this cannot be fun. Bledsoe would seem to have a brighter future than most guards making $48 million over four years, especially provided that he continues to team with Goran Dragic, but again – two knee surgeries, 72 games missed, not a long track record of running his team on his own. And relatively iffy numbers when charged with as much with Dragic off the court next season. Bledsoe will likely stay a Sun. The only question is regarding how angry this Sun will be, and for how much money? Greg Monroe We’ve already discussed at length Monroe’s prospects in an earlier column , and little has changed since it came out. The Pistons are in a unique situation as they attempt to rebuild with both veterans on contracts, rookies on rookie deals, and Monroe’s restricted free agency looming. Monroe, like Bledsoe, has little if any leverage, and it’s reported that he’s convinced Detroit isn’t so much holding his feet to the fire as it is they just don’t want the guy back. That’s debatable, new coach Stan Van Gundy is a competitor and though Monroe isn’t his typical power forward, SVG probably thinks he can make light of Detroit’s currently crowded front court situation. Until a deal is reached, opposing teams aren’t going to waste time compiling a contract with Monroe just to get Detroit’s affairs in order, and they’re certainly not going to overpay and scare the Pistons away from matching a restricted offer. Monroe was a lottery pick, so he doesn’t take nearly as much hit as Bledsoe would in playing for the qualifying offer. Shawn Marion It’s worth noting that, though he had aged well in the years leading up to 2013-14, Marion’s production took a bit of a dive last season. His rebounding and assist percentage dropped severely, he shot less, and not even an uptick in three-point shooting (to a reasonable 35.8 percent) could stave of Shawn’s worst year yet. The addition of Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon’s heavy-usage ways may have played a part in some of that, but it’s important to note for teams looking for the Shawn Marion they saw in recent years, much less a decade ago. Cleveland and Indiana know that, however, and this is why they’re attempting to lure Marion for either frontcourt depth (the Cavaliers) or as a desperate bid to save a decimated small forward slot (Indiana). Marion would seem to be a great fit on the defensive-leaning Pacers, but it’s hard to believe the Pacers would break the luxury tax after years of taking a stance against such things, and Marion would have to play for “only” $2 million next season in order to allow Indiana from going over its limit. The team could add more wriggle room by releasing Luis Scola and Donald Sloan, but is losing depth at needed positions worth it to sign Marion at age 36? Especially when he’s a complementary player on a team full of players that can’t create their own shots? This is why the Cavaliers seem a logical destination, especially after a very public meeting with the team’s coach and general manager on Monday: @MySportsLegion @matrix31 in Ohio City today meeting with coach Blatt and gm David griffin... You heard it first pic.twitter.com/wgB6DSJ6iN — Joey Rosen (@RealJoeyRosen) August 4, 2014 It’s true that Marion would technically be brought on board to spell LeBron James, but if the proposed trade involving Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett goes down, even with Kevin Love coming into Cleveland the Cavs would be down a versatile forward, and nothing screams “WIN NOW!” like dealing the last two top overall picks and signing a 36-year old. Ray Allen Allen’s future has also been discussed recently in these parts , and his future is entirely up to him. Should he decide to return for his 19th NBA season, he’ll have the pick of the litter as just about every NBA team after his mix of sensibility and shooting. The Los Angeles Clippers, with former Allen cohort Doc Rivers running the show, would seem to be a candidate alongside Cleveland and Miami, but they’re just about hard-capped out entering 2014-15. Ramon Sessions Sessions seems criminally underrated just about every summer he’s available on the open market. He’s not ideal as a starter unless you’re boasting some sort of dream team alongside him, but as a penetrator and scorer he remains a productive player that is about to enter his prime. Sessions had to wait until September to sign as a free agent back in 2009, and this appears to be the case this time around as well. Sessions gets to the line a ton, especially for a non-star, he’s not a three-point shooter but makes up for that with his wily scoring instincts that figure to hold up over the next couple of years. Elton Brand The former All-Star looked his age last year, sturdily working as a reserve big man at age 35. His block rate continues to rise as the years move along, he remains a heady and long defender despite his 6-8 frame, though he rarely shoots and his rebounding rates are declining, and he’s a long seven years removed from an Achilles tear. Brand gave no indication as Atlanta’s year ended last spring that he was ready to retire, and he shouldn’t have to. As the NBA continues to get smaller and smaller, Brand’s footwork can still do some defensive damage off of a team bench. He won’t provide the sort of offensive spacing that teams are currently looking for in their bigs, but Elton Brand’s career shouldn’t be over yet. Jermaine O’Neal O’Neal didn’t suffer one massive, career-altering injury as Brand did in 2007, but he’s perpetually banged up, and you can just about pencil him in for missing a goodly chunk of the season. This isn’t O’Neal’s fault, his spindly frame and all-