Rising guard Collin Sexton is a restricted free agent, and about two weeks into NBA free agency, he still remains unsigned.
His market value has apparently turned out to be lower than expected, yet the Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t inked him to a new deal yet.
Reportedly, the Utah Jazz have looked into acquiring Sexton in a sign-and-trade deal in return for veteran point guard Mike Conley.
Report: Jazz have explored sign-and-trade that would send Mike Conley to Cavs for Collin Sexton https://t.co/kleT2rJJCB
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) July 13, 2022
Conley has played 15 seasons in the NBA and has solid career averages of 14.8 points and 5.6 assists per game, as well as a career accuracy of 38.2 percent from 3-point range.
At first glance, he would appear to be a nice addition for the Cavs in terms of giving them an experienced and seasoned floor general.
However, when one takes a closer look, it becomes apparent that such a trade would be a huge mistake.
Conley Seems To Be In Slow Decline
Conley, who is a native of the Midwest and played his college ball at Ohio State University, is 34 years of age and will turn 35 just prior to the start of the new NBA season.
During his heyday with the “Grit and Grind” Memphis Grizzlies, he was a very good point guard who would dictate the tempo, get the ball where it needed to go and score when needed.
Conley has also been a strong defender who was named to the 2012-13 All-Defensive Second-team and has a career average of 1.4 steals per game.
But his production has dropped of late.
This past season, Conley averaged just 13.7 points a contest, his lowest output in 10 years, and he really struggled in Utah’s first-round playoff loss to the Dallas Mavericks, putting up just 9.2 points a game on 33.3 percent overall shooting and 20.0 percent from beyond the arc.
As a lean 6-foot-1 point guard, one also has to wonder how much his defensive production will hold up.
In general, many feel it is a bad idea to give an ascending player such as Sexton for someone like Conley who is on his last legs, all things being equal.
Conley is under contract for two more seasons at well over $20 million a year, which seems like a steep price to pay for a player who does what he does at this point of his career.
By the time the Cavs become a contender, Sexton will likely be gone, and he may be hard to trade before his contract expires while getting some type of viable value.
The Collin Sexton-for-Mike Conley trade rumor makes zero sense for the #Cavs. Conley will be 35 when the season starts, and the Cavs don’t need another 6’1” point guard when they have Darius Garland.
— Ed Greenberger (@EdGreenberger) July 14, 2022
Sexton Is A Player Cleveland Should Make A Strong Effort To Keep
If the Cavs are unable to come to terms with Sexton on a new contract, they shouldn’t trade him for someone who is diminishing in value.
But overall, Sexton is someone they should really try to retain, within reason, of course.
He has emerged as a talented scorer, and his ability to hit 3-pointers can help Cleveland with one of its biggest weaknesses.
Sexton has a career mark of 37.8 percent from downtown, and in 2021, his last full season, he put up 24.3 points per game.
If the Cavs do re-sign him, he can be a big asset and spark plug for them, whether he was to start or come off the bench.