By David Aldridge, TNT analyst
Posted Sep 11 2009 3:03PM
The Milwaukee Bucks officially declined to match the four-year, $16 million offer sheet for guard Ramon Sessions on Friday, allowing Sessions to go to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Bucks were not expected to match the offer sheet for the 23-year-old Sessions, who vastly improved last season to become one of the better young point guards in the league. Matching the offer sheet would have put Milwaukee over the luxury tax threshhold for next season, forcing them to pay a dollar penalty for every dollar they were over the threshhold.
"We are not going to match the Ramon Sessions offer sheet," Bucks general manager John Hammond said. "As always we will be diligent in looking to improve our roster. We wish Ramon the very best."
The Knicks and Clippers both went hard after Sessions, and the Knicks thought they were close to a deal with him in August. But ultimately New York decided to keep its salary cap room free for the 2010 offseason, when players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will be available in free agency. Because Sessions was a restricted free agent, any team signing him to an offer sheet would have to give him at least a two-year contract.
Sessions will now compete for the starting job in Minnesota with rookie Jonny Flynn, one of the Timberwolves' first-round picks. The Wolves also took Spanish guard Ricky Rubio, but Rubio opted to stay overseas for at least two more years by accepting a transfer from Joventut to Barcelona, which acquired his rights. The Wolves will be able to buy out his contract in two years for approximately $1 million euros, a little more than $1 million U.S.
Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said last week that the team's signing of Sessions would have no impact on what they ultimately decide to do with Rubio.
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