Collin Sexton, the Cleveland Cavaliers guard, has steadily improved since being drafted eighth overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. Sexton nearly had an All-Star appearance after averaging over 24 points last season with 4.4 assists. Even after a great season, Sexton was heavily involved in trade rumors after the season ended.
The Cavaliers got a lot of interest from teams when shopping Sexton, but the Cavs took the patient approach. Cleveland was not going accept a trade before the 2021 NBA Draft unless they received an extremely attractive offer. After winning the third pick in the NBA Draft Lottery and drafting Evan Mobley third overall, Sexton trade rumors fizzled out. Sexton could now be in Cleveland long term with a potential contract extension.
Extension back on the table
According to Evan Dammarell of Fear the Sword, an extension for Sexton is back on the table.
An extension for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton is back on the table, per sources.
Sexton enjoys being in Cleveland and wants to be here long term. Expect things to start heating up hopefully soon.
— Evan Dammarell (@AmNotEvan) August 11, 2021
What kind of contract Sexton gets will be interesting. His scoring totals would tell you he should receive a max contract, but that is unlikely. Many claim Sexton is only scoring this much since the Cavs are a losing team with few capable scorers. This is truly an unusual case when Sexton can score on all three levels.
Sexton’s defensive struggles is the main factor in not receiving a max contract, but this still seems odd when looking at guards around the NBA. Look at some of the best young, scoring guards in the NBA. Is Trae Young or Ja Morant great defenders, not really. In addition, veteran guards like Kyrie Irving are not great defenders, their offense outweighs defensive concerns. There is just a sense that Sexton doesn’t have a high potential, so he is not worth a large long term contract.
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com discussed Sexton’s possible contract on his podcast,
I think there’s a recognition on Collins’s part that they’re not getting the max, not from Cleveland and not from another team in the NBA. That’s just the sense that I get right now. It is, they are going to ask for $100 million contract plus. And then I don’t know what the number after that is going to be.
This is the most reliable source to claim Sexton will not be getting a max contract. This makes Sexton’s extension with Cleveland a lot more likely. As Dammarell said in his report, Sexton enjoys playing for the Cavs franchise. Sexton is committed to winning in Cleveland and still has a lot of potential, the Cavs should extend him.
Sexton has help behind him on defense
Assuming Fedor’s reports are correct, the Cavs should extend Sexton. How many 22-year-old guards that average over 24 points in a season can be extended for under the max? He is expected to get under the max since there are some concerns about Sexton’s playmaking ability and defensive ability. There are definitely some negatives with keeping Sexton at shooting guard long term.
Sexton at 6-foot-1 playing shooting guard is just not ideal for the Cavaliers’ defense. Even when playing point guard Sexton’s defense is not very good, he has a career defensive rating of 119.1. However, they could feel comfortable with this now that they drafted Mobley. Cleveland will have Mobley at 7-foot and Jarrett Allen at 6-foot-11 in their frontcourt. Both Mobley and Allen are good shot blockers with great length. In addition, the Cavs have the versatility of Mobley’s ability to defend on the perimeter and Isaac Okoro’s ability to guard multiple positions. Sexton’s lack of defense could be hidden in a sense with talented defenders surrounding him. More than likely, Sexton will never be a great NBA defender due to his lack of size and length, but he can improve. Overall, Sexton’s offense outweighs his defense.
Elite offensive numbers
When any NBA franchise extends a player they must look at both the positives and negatives of a player. Sexton’s best attribute is his ability to score. Sexton has shown so much promise on the offensive end that it trumps his poor defense. Averaging 24.3 points in a season while shooting 47.5% and 37.5% from three is not easy. Sexton did this in his third season in the NBA.
Also, Sexton is one of eight players in the NBA since 2000 to average 24 points while having a true shooting percentage of 56% at 22-years-old. This is a pretty eye-opening stat, Sexton is in elite company here. The other seven players to do it are Amar’e Stoudemire, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Devin Booker, Trae Young and Luka Doncic. This is a list of nothing but NBA All-Stars, is this a sign of what’s to come for Sexton?
Advanced analytics like plus-minus and defensive rating are the primary source of doubts surrounding Sexton. Offensive stats suggest Sexton could be an elite offensive talent, and signing this under the max could be a steal in the future. People are forgetting how young Sexton is, he can improve so much going forward. The Cavalier franchise struggles to bring in free agents, they must keep their successful draft picks. Sexton is someone Cleveland cannot afford to lose right now. Cleveland should resign Sexton especially for under the max, this should be a no-brainer.
Featured image courtesy of Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
“From Our Haus to Yours”