Knicks point guard Ramon Sessions was inactive for the first time Friday night in Minnesota and Saturday was officially waived by the Knicks. It will pave the way for the signing of former lottery pick Trey Burke, according to an industry source. The official announcement on Burke is expected Sunday.
The Knicks need a penetrator to help spread the court and set up easier shots for Kristaps Porzingis and Sessions didn’t turn out to be suited at age 31. Known best for his driving ability, Sessions won the starting job over Jarrett Jack but after the Knicks started 0-3, Jack inherited the role and didn’t give it up.
“We thank Ramon for being a consummate professional and providing this team with veteran leadership,” general manager Scott Perry said. “He is incredibly well respected throughout the organization and we wish him the best moving forward.”
One source indicated Sessions didn’t get off to a good start with the Knicks after signing for the $2.1 million veteran’s exception when he missed almost all of the voluntary workouts. Knicks president Steve Mills signed Sessions but Perry urged him to add Jack to the mix in early September. Jack became one of the team’s leaders while Sessions faded from view.
The Knicks took a gamble on Sessions as their starting point guard after he had his worst season last year in Charlotte, playing just 50 games in an injury-marred campaign. He wound up appearing in 13 for the Knicks but mostly garbage-time minutes after he lost his starting job.
Sources indicated Jack proved to be the more impressive mentor to rookie backup Frank Ntilikina, who has struggled immensely the last two games in perhaps a sign of hitting the rookie wall.
Burke was a late add to training camp after turning down non-guaranteed deals with New Orleans so he could fine-tune himself in the G League with the Westchester Knicks. Burke, selected with the 9th pick by Utah in 2013, said recently he wanted the big stage of Westchester to “recreate his brand.’’
It was first reported Monday by The Post that Sessions was expected to be released to make way for Burke, who was held out of the G League showcase this past week in a Toronto suburb. The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that Sessions would be cut Saturday. Yahoo Sports first reported Monday that the Knicks were in negotiations with Burke.
Burke, who lacks defensive prowess, won G League Player of the Month for December. However, one NBA coach said of Burke, “He’s a scoring guard who can’t score. The best player in the G League still could be the 14th, 15th man.”