As the Washington Wizards pursue veteran point guard depth, the team’s focus is on several players, including a former MVP as well as a familiar face.
Washington has expressed interest in signing Derrick Rose or Ramon Sessions, who played as John Wall’s backup from 2014-16, according to a person familiar with the situation. The Wizards’ front office has had recent conversations with Rose’s representation and has remained in contact with Sessions’s camp since he was waived by the New York Knicks in mid-January.
On Saturday, Rose, who was acquired by the Utah Jazz in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, was released and became eligible to sign with a new team before the March 1 playoff eligibility waiver deadline. This season, Rose, 29, appeared in limited action with Cleveland, playing in only 16 games and remaining on the inactive list for more than two months. He averaged 9.8 points and 1.6 assists per game for Cleveland. Before Thursday’s trade deadline, Cleveland made a flurry of moves, including a deal to send Rose to Utah in a three-team trade.
Although injuries have derailed Rose, his career has had some sparkling moments. The first overall pick in the 2008 draft, Rose played his first eight seasons with his hometown Chicago Bulls. Rose became the youngest player in league history to win the MVP award (at 22 years and five months). But following his MVP campaign, Rose missed the entire 2012-13 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the first game of the 2012 Eastern Conference postseason.
This season, Sessions, 31, became expendable to the Knicks when the team signed former Wizards point guard Trey Burke. He was averaging 3.7 points and 2.1 assists per game across 13 contests. Over his long and winding career, Sessions has played for eight teams, including two stops in Milwaukee and Charlotte (once as a Bobcat and last season as a Hornet). During his Washington stint, Sessions played all 82 games in the 2015-16 season and averaged 9.9 points and 2.2 assists.
The Wizards may need help sooner than expected: Both backup point guards had scary incidents during Saturday’s win over the Bulls. Tim Frazier suffered a nasal fracture after colliding with Bobby Portis’s knee, while Tomas Satoransky — during perhaps his best game as a Wizard, including a career-high 25 points — also headed to the locker room after a midair collision sent him hurtling to the floor late in the fourth quarter. Starting guard John Wall was ruled out six to eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery Jan. 31.
Washington remains more than $3 million over the luxury tax line, so the team will likely not engage in a bidding war to land any player. Before this season, Rose signed with Cleveland for the veteran’s minimum of $2.1 million while Sessions agreed to a one-year, fully guaranteed $2.33 million deal with New York.
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