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Crawford's 6th man award reminds us Wizards didn't have one


Crawford's 6th man award reminds us Wizards didn't have one

Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford is the winner of the NBAs 2015-16 Sixth Man award, the league announced Tuesday. The veteran guard topped Golden State's Andre Iguodala, Oklahoma City' Enes Kanter and 16 others receiving votes to become the first player in league history to win the award three times.  

The 19 players to garner at least one vote represented 16 different teams. Nobody from the Washington Wizards made the list. 

That's not to suggest there was a massive oversight by the voters or that the lack of a viable sixth man for award consideration is further proof of a wasted season. The suggestion is that this element is something for the Wizards to strongly consider when they start spending money this summer.

Crawford and Kanter are offensive forces capable of carrying a team for stretches. Igoadala's two-way approach alters games on both ends of the court. Washington had helpful pieces, but none with such impact.

The lack of votes for any Wizard also serves as a reminder that, especially before the All-Star break, the relentless run of injuries prevented Washington from having any truly defined rotations.

The Wizards led the NBA in games missed due to injury for much of the season. Some will say this note is overblown because many of those missed games were not by the true stars on the team. There's some truth there, but it wasn't until February or March that players not named John Wall and Marcin Gortat knew what their roles would be on a regular basis or sometimes in back-to-back games. Considering the shift in schemes this season, there is also plenty of truth in suggesting the lack of a steady rotation hurt the adjustment.

Ramon Sessions probably filled the sixth man role above all. Truth is for the most of the season, the backup point guard was Washington's most consistent player and that goes beyond the fact that he was the only Wizard to play in all 82 games this season. Sessions didn't just serve as John Wall's primary backup, but often played alongside Wall especially when Bradley Beal missed games. Even when the overall offense struggled at times, Sessions' driving ability always gave the Wizards a bailout plan.

However, the limitations in his game are why the "sixth man" role isn't really for him. Despite his point guard label, Washington's assist percentage was lower with Sessions on the court than any other Wizard to appear in over 40 games this season. His defensive presence lacked punch. If the free agent returns, the Wizards must add a true facilitator on the second unit to counter Sessions' shoot-first approach and perhaps a defensive gnat capable of slowing down quick guards.

Garrett Temple once again exceeded production and minutes expectations after the Wizards added other guard options last summer. Showing far more confidence in his offensive game to go with his quality defense, the lengthy Temple showed he belongs in an NBA rotation. But sixth man, no.

Jared Dudley might have been the ideal candidate, but the Wizards needed him to start far more often than all involved imagined. Shifted to the bench soon after the trade for Markieff Morris, Dudley lost his perimeter touch playing with a second unit that ran far less pick-and-roll sets than the starters.

Nene's power and passing makes him the ideal sixth man option. His game-to-game uncertainty because of injuries and desire do not. 

Assuming restricted free agent Bradley Beal stays, the Wizards will have their starting lineup back plus rising second-year forward Kelly Oubre. Wish for enough improvement so Oubre plays more than he did as a rookie, but don't expect him as the team's sixth-man, a role often filled by offensive forces or defensive game-changers. There's a good bet that role next season is filled by someone who didn't play for the Wizards this season. 

MORE WIZARDS: Morning tip: Does new coach for Wizards mean new offense?

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5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

Associated Press

5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

The Washington Wizards signed point guard Ramon Sessions to a 10-day free agent contract on Thursday. Here are five things to know about the newest Wizards player...

**Sessions has played for Washington before. He was acquired by the Wizards at the trade deadline in 2015 and played out the 2014-15 season, appearing in 28 regular season games and 10 more in the playoffs. Sessions then spent the whole 2015-16 season with the team before leaving the following summer to sign a free agent deal with the Charlotte Hornets. In 1 1/2 seasons with the Wizards, Sessions averaged 9.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds. He shot 46 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three.


**Sessions played one season for the Hornets and spent part of this year with the New York Knicks. The Knicks waived Sessions on Jan. 13. Over the past two seasons in Charlotte and New York, Sessions has averaged 5.7 points, 2.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds while shooting 37 percent.

**This is Sessions' 11th NBA season. In addition to the Wizards, Hornets and Knicks, he has spent time with the Bucks, Cavs, Lakers and Kings. He began his career in Milwaukee after getting selected in the second round of the 2007 draft.


**Sessions went to the University of Nevada from 2004 through 2007 and left an impressive legacy as one of the best players in the program's history. The school's practice facility is, in fact, named after Sessions. It is called the 'Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center' and Sessions donated $1 million towards construction costs.

**Sessions overlapped with former Wizards player JaVale McGee at Nevada. Sessions was in his final season as a junior when McGee was a freshman. The Wolfpack were quite good that year. They peaked at No. 10 in the nation, the highest ranking in school history, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.


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Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards bring back familiar face, sources confirm

Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards bring back familiar face, sources confirm

For the Wizards, with a tough stretch coming and with John Wall still sidelined, depth and health is of the utmost importance.

With the team set to begin the second half of the 2018 NBA season on Thursday night against the Cavaliers, Scott Brooks and company decided to make a move to shore up their backcourt depth, a commodity the team cannot have enough of.

Veteran guard Ramon Sessions, who spent the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons in Washington, D.C., has been signed by the Wizards to a ten-day contract, NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller confirms.


The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN . Sessions played in 110 games for the Wizards over the course of his two seasons, playing in all 82 games during the 2015-16 season.

He joins the Wizards again having been waived by the New York Knicks on Jan. 13. Sessions averaged 12.8 mpg in 13 games for the Knicks.

Sessions is rejoining a former team for the third time in his career, having played in Milwaukee and Charlotte on two separate occasions.