Collin Sexton had a breakout year in the 2020-21 season. He averaged 24 points this year and was arguably Cleveland’s best player. Despite his great play, his reputation around the league is still mixed. As a result, Cleveland could look to move on from him this offseason.
Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer recently reported that two people around the league have suggested the Cavs should trade Sexton. On the surface, this move seems ill-advised, but considering some important details, the motives become clearer.
Something that Terry Pluto’s contacts mentioned was the impending free agencies of both Sexton and Jarrett Allen. Likely both will be looking for big contracts, which Cleveland can’t give without ruining their salary situation. Collin Sexton will surely be looking for a max contract. It will be up to Cleveland to decide if he’s worth that much or if it’s easier to move on.
Sexton’s fit on the team should also heavily factor into this situation. Earlier this year, Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported that Cavs players are frustrated by Sexton’s ball-dominant play style. It even goes as far as opponents taunting the team, saying, “you know he’s not going to pass you the ball.” The situation in Cleveland isn’t perfect, which could also play into a potential Sexton trade.
The two NBA people to who Pluto talked liked the idea of Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro in the backcourt. Garland was off the radar in his rookie year but showed big improvement this year. He’s flashed elite scoring ability and has proven to be a much better distributor than Sexton so far in his career. Okoro is an elite defender but hasn’t shown much else so far early in his career. The improvement of Garland could cause Cleveland’s front office to see him as their point guard of the future rather than Sexton.
Cleveland started the year out strong but struggled for most of the year. They now sit-in in the 5th lottery spot, which means they should have a high lottery pick in the draft this year. They may base their decision around Sexton closer to the draft time as they formulate a path forward.