Collin Sexton is coming off of his best year as a pro with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He just averaged 24.5 points per game on fairly efficient shooting numbers, but the Cavaliers missed the playoffs yet again, and a Cleveland team that has several young perimeter players is now faced with a difficult decision. Sexton is now eligible for a five-year contract extension that could pay him as much as $168 million, and Cleveland needs to decide if he is a franchise player worthy of such a commitment.
At the moment, the Cavs seem somewhat skeptical. A source told The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd that Sexton is “very available” this offseason, and that based on what sources have told him, Lloyd is uncertain whether or not the Cavaliers would be willing to give Sexton the max. Lloyd mentioned Philadelphia as a possible trade partner for Sexton in a deal involving Ben Simmons, but an executive told him there was “no chance” such a deal would occur as Simmons remains significantly more valuable.
Scorers as accomplished as Sexton, at his age, are exceedingly rare. Sexton became just the 16th player in NBA history to average 24 or more points on a true shooting percentage of 57 or higher at age 22 or younger last season. Every other player on that list went on to become an All-Star. Many will make the Hall of Fame, and others started their careers under similar circumstances.
Players like Devin Booker and Trae Young scored at that historic level, but because they played for bad teams, they weren’t given the credit they deserved in the process. This season, Booker and Young played for contending rosters and were among the best players in the postseason as a result. In theory, the same could be true for Sexton if he is traded to the right team.
Cleveland has the No. 3 overall pick in this month’s NBA Draft, and could use it on a guard like Jalen Green or Jalen Suggs. If so, they’d have a logjam in the backcourt with Sexton, Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro, who split time between guard and forward last year, already in place. Even if they take a big man like Evan Mobley, Cleveland might simply decide that it would prefer not to invest in both Sexton and Garland, and by trading Sexton, they would put the offense entirely in Garland’s hands.
Cleveland isn’t going to trade a player like Sexton for peanuts. Even if the Cavs are nervous about extending him, a young player who performed as well as Sexton did last season would not be cheap. Still, youngsters like Sexton rarely become available at all. If he truly is available, there likely wouldn’t be any shortage of teams willing to make strong offers.
Courtesy: CBS Sports