February 19, 2015

The Washington Wizards wanted a stronger, quicker guard backing up All-Star John Wall. The Sacramento Kings were searching for a savvy reserve to provide leadership.

And a few hours before the NBA trade deadline, they found a way to meet each other's needs.

The Wizards acquired Ramon Sessions from the Kings for Andre Miller on Thursday, a minor move both teams hope pays off big this season.

''Ramon is a proven veteran who will bring an up-tempo style to our second unit and give us quickness, energy and defensive presence,'' Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said. ''He can make plays for himself as well as others and will help to solidify our bench as we head into the final 28 games of the season and the playoffs.''

The 28-year-old Sessions has struggled in Sacramento, averaging 5.4 points, 2.7 assists and 17.8 minutes for a team that is on its third coach this season. But he averaged 12.3 points, 4.1 assists and 26.7 minutes with Charlotte and Milwaukee last season and has been a reliable reserve for most of his career.

Washington (33-21) is counting on Sessions to be a more athletic defender than Miller. Sessions also is a shoot-first point guard who can give the second unit some scoring punch.

Miller will be reunited with new Kings coach George Karl in California's capital city. The two had a close relationship in Denver, where Miller enjoyed some of his best seasons.

Karl and the Kings (18-34) will lean on Miller to provide veteran leadership on a team that has sorely lacked it.

Miller, who turns 39 in March, is averaging 3.6 points, 2.8 assists and 12.4 minutes. He played for Karl from 2003-07 and 2011-13 with the Nuggets.

''Adding Andre bolsters our backcourt with one of the most prolific ball distributors in the game,'' said Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro, who worked for the Nuggets during Miller's time in Denver. ''He'll also provide veteran leadership to the locker room and a wealth of experience at the point guard position. We're excited to have him join the team. We also want to thank Ramon and wish him the best moving forward.''

Both teams return from the All-Star break Friday night. Washington hosts Cleveland, and Sacramento is home against Boston for Karl's debut as the franchise's coach.

The Kings hired Karl over the All-Star break to replace Tyrone Corbin, who took over after Michael Malone was fired 24 games into the season.

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Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP

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