One of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ top goals for this offseason was to re-sign guard Collin Sexton, who is a restricted free agent.
At first, it seemed multiple teams may end up being interested in a man who put up 24.3 points and 4.4 assists on 47.5 percent overall shooting and 37.1 percent from 3-point range in 2021.
But there appears to be scant interest in the 23-year-old, according to one prominent Cavs reporter.
“Sources say the Cavs are still hopeful and optimistic about a Sexton deal,” reported Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “Both sides want a deal — at the right price. There’s not only been positive recent dialogue but potential Sexton suitors continue to dwindle, with few cap-space teams capable of giving him the lucrative offer he covets and one the Cavs wouldn’t want to match. In many ways, Sexton’s situation has played out exactly how the Cavs anticipated, validating their belief about restricted free agency being advantageous and the market being in their favor, especially with Sexton coming off an 11-game season and significant meniscus tear.
“‘He has no market,’ an opposing executive told cleveland.com.
“Now it’s about Sexton and Cleveland trying to close that financial gap. Sources maintain Sexton wants ‘starting guard money with an annual salary that starts with a 2, not a 1.’ The Cavs are more comfortable with a yearly deal in the low-to-mid teens. Those negotiations will continue, and there’s a real chance Sexton plays this season on the $7.2 million qualifying offer, allowing him to rebuild his value and become an unrestricted free agent following the season. Still, there’s time to sort through that.”
Not that long ago, there were those who thought at least one team may end up offering Sexton a near-max contract, and the Cavs would either have to execute a sign-and-trade or simply let Sexton leave if that other team had the cap space to outright sign him.
But there seems to instead be little to no interest in him, especially as the entire NBA seems to be awaiting what happens with the Kevin Durant situation in Brooklyn.
How does Collin Sexton “not have a market” considering the dedication & commitment he has at 23 years old? Who else is in that gym with him working on his development? 🤔 https://t.co/JMkRWVW5Z7
— Reasonable Scout 🏀 (@ReasonableScout) July 8, 2022
Few NBA teams currently have lots of cap space, and the entire situation is working to Cleveland’s advantage, at least for now.
Sexton Can Help The Cavs Get To The Next Level
Early this past season, Sexton suffered a meniscus injury, limiting him to just 11 contests.
But his skill is undeniable, and he can be a big help to an offensively challenged Cavs team as they look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
His ability to attack off the dribble, finish efficiently at the rim, hit from the outside and make things happen in transition will add an extra dimension to Cleveland’s offensive arsenal.
Perhaps he shouldn’t start alongside Darius Garland for defensive reasons, but even if Sexton’s best role with the Cavs is that of a sixth man, he can become an indispensable part of a team that may become a title contender a few years from now.
Who could forget when Collin Sexton erupted for 42/5/5 to spoil the debut of the Nets Big 3 😤 pic.twitter.com/2lkPmtiexR
— Cavs Nation (@CavsNationCP) July 8, 2022
Perhaps Sexton could model himself after Manu Ginobili, who played a key role on four world championship teams for the San Antonio Spurs.
Ginobili only started 349 of his 1,057 NBA games, but he averaged 13.3 points in 25.4 minutes and was often a thorn in the side of his opponents because of how he fearlessly attacked the rim.
For his contributions to the Spurs, as well as his native Argentina in the Olympics, Ginobili got inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this year.
Cleveland Missed Sexton In 2022
In the 2021-22 season, the Cavs were a very strong defensive team, but they ranked just 20th in offensive rating and 25th in points per game, as well as 26th in pace.
Their 3-point shooting was also a problem, as only three of their rotation players shot above 36 percent from downtown for the entire season.
A healthy Sexton will allow Cleveland’s offense to be potent when Garland is resting, thus taking the load off him.
A strong bench is needed to make it through the long NBA season in one piece, especially since injuries are a part of the game.
The Cavs shouldn’t break the bank to keep Sexton in Northeast Ohio, and it’s starting to look like they won’t have to do so at all.