There were a lot of emotions that hit me all at once upon hearing the news that the Lakers traded for Christian Eyenga. High flying images were left leaping through my mind. Dreams left unfulfilled. Questions left unanswered. The Cleveland Cavaliers 157th all time leading scorer left with more points than Christian Eyenga forever.
I thought about the night he dunked on Pau too. I thought about when he told me after that game that he could dunk like that on anybody in the League. I thought about how I already knew that before he told me. I thought about the hope I had for him this season after talking to him out at Impact this past September too, while he was working on his ball handling and jumpshot during the Lockout. I thought about talking to him at Media Day this past December, and how he won't be there at Cavs Media Day next year.
I also thought about the nickname we gave him, the interview we did when I explained the nickname to him and he told me he'd prefer it if I called him that. I thought about the points tracker series that Dave Wooley engineered, and the t-shirts that Fresh Brewed Tees made with his likeness on the front. As the shock subsided, I thought about all the good times we had.
Then I thought about how lucky Los Angeles is for being compensated Skyenga in this package. Not just the Lakers, but the entire city. In a lot of respects, Skyenga was always destined for Hollywood, and now he's going there. You guys thought Shannon Brown could dunk? In the words of Ozzie Guillen, please. Not even all the smog you have out there can keep this guy down. So appreciate what you got in this deal, LA, make my guy feel at home, and tell Jack to call him Skyenga. We'll miss you around here buddy.
Okay bro, enough, good trade or no?
Yes, it was a good trade. Ramon Sessions deserves to be a starting PG in this League, and now he will be. I know he tried that once in Minnesota, after playing for the Bucks in a reserve role behind Mo Williams, and that didn't go well for him then. But, there's no denying that he's improved his game dramatically in the seasons that followed here in Cleveland, and he turned himself into a player you'd trade a first round pick for in the process.
Ramon's hit more three pointers this season than he did, in total, during every season he played prior to this one. He looks good running the show as the lead guard, on this Cavs team at least, and he's become a bit of a facilitator under B-Scott too. All this, in addition to his ability to get to the basket which got him into the League in the first place. So what I'm saying is, he was going to opt out of that player option to be a starting PG somewhere. Good on the Cavs to help expedite that for him, and get something back in the process.
What that Lakers pick they did get back does give the Cavs is some serious flexibility heading into the Draft. The Cavaliers will have two first round picks now (Cavs pick + the newly acquired Lakers pick) and that's huge. That also goes along with two second round picks as well (Cavs pick + Hornets pick), and now you've got some options. The Lakers are third in the West right now, but that could change. The Cavaliers were contending for a playoff spot with Sessions, but without him that will change too.
Luke Walton and Jason Kapono I really don't care about. Not as people, I'm sure they're tremendous, but as pieces in this trade. Don't care. In fact, I'd argue that the Lakers got the better of the Walton + Kapono for Eyenga side of this deal, while the Cavs got the better end of the Sessions for a 1st round pick side. Sessions is a quality player, it's no knock on him, but getting back to my first point, dude was leaving anyways. So good job on this Chris Grant, should help facilitate this rebuild some. My only question: where you wearing your glasses when you pulled this trigger or no?
I wrote this in a comment on our site, but I'll repeat it here because I'm still fired up over people blasting the Cavs for this trade:
The thing that kills me the most about people complaining about the Sessions trade is that the Sesh-for-1st rounder rumor has been out there for 3-4 weeks. We've been writing about it on this site this whole time. And never once did I read anyone write anywhere that the 1st round pick wasn't enough for Sessions. But then, the instant the trade is announced, people flip out, say the Cavs got hosed, and that they didn't get near enough.
But yet nobody, not a single person, has told me yet what, specifically, the Cavs should have received from the Lakers. No lottery team was going to give the Cavs their 1st round pick for Sessions. It was the Lakers, and only the Lakers. And the Lakers had options. You don't think they could have traded with Portland for Felton? You think Charlotte wouldn't consider giving up DJ Augustin for the right package? At worst they could have taken Jonny Flynn from Houston. LA didn't need Cleveland, they just preferred Sessions because it was the perfect sweet spot between getting a quality starting PG and only having to give up the 1st round pick.
Maybe Cleveland shouldn't have taken Walton's salary as a favor? Fine. But it's Dan Gilbert's money. Taking on $6 million of Luke Walton for 1 season has ZERO impact on the rebuilding path.
This was a nice trade for both teams, and fans of both teams are (mostly) happy.