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It’s Time For the Cavaliers to Move On From Collin Sexton

NBA fans around the country knew that after LeBron left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time, it would be a long road ahead for Dan Gilbert and company. It didn’t help much that Kyrie Irving basically held his knee hostage and forced his way out of town. However, when Irving was traded to the Celtics, the prize of their trade package was a top-10 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. With that pick, the Cavs drafted Collin Sexton, a 6-1 point guard from Alabama.

Sexton had an impressive rookie year, making the all-rookie NBA second team. However, in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Cavs decided to draft Darius Garland with the fifth overall pick. Garland is nearly a clone to Collin Sexton. Both are undersized guards, but Garland’s play-making ability and deep range make him more compatible to today’s NBA game.

This past year, Sexton had his best statistical season of his career, averaging 24.3 points per game to go along with four assists per game. However, behind closed doors, all was not what it appeared.

Collin Sexton cavaliers cleveland
Credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images

Sexton’s Teammates Don’t Like Playing With Him

In early May of this year, Joe Vardon of The Athletic released a report that stated Sexton’s teammates were not his biggest fans, because of how he dominates to ball. In the report, it also says that Cavalier players are often taunted by opponents who would tell them, “you know he isn’t going to pass you the ball.” In fairness to Sexton, there isn’t a wealth of talent around him. However, the way he plays is not conducive to today’s NBA. His assist numbers have gone up since his rookie year, but compared to other lead guards, it’s not even close.

For example, take Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a lead guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who was picked three spots behind Sexton in the 2018 NBA Draft. They both have similar stat lines and usage rates. However, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged nearly six assists per game this year. On top of that, the former Kentucky guard takes nearly two less shots than Sexton per game and shoots a better percentage than him.

The final nail in the coffin for Sexton is his three-point shooting. Look at an elite lead guard like Jamal Murray. He shoots just over 6.5 threes per game and hits them at a 41% clip. Sexton shoots just over four threes per game and shoots them at only a 37% clip. As the NBA game continues to grow, it’s obvious that the three-point shot will become more and more valuable.

Collin Sexton is Undersized and Isn’t a Franchise Player

If Sexton had the build of a guy like Devin Booker or Jaylen Brown, he would be a hugely-coveted wing player. However, he stands at 6-1. On top of all of this, Sexton is a defensive liability. This year, he had a negative defensive rating of -1.1. However, in his defense, he does have a 1.6 offensive rating. The main point being neither of those numbers are very good for a franchise player, which Sexton is clearly not.

I know the Cavs have more problems than Sexton’s ball dominance. However, take for example this clip from the end of the half in a game versus Oklahoma City last year

Kevin Love is also part of the problem in Cleveland, with his $30 million contract. However, he’s a respected player who has won a championship. Basically, he knows how to win. Especially last year, Sexton had absolutely no business dribbling down the clock and holding it for him to take the last shot. Sexton is a good player, but at this point, the Cavaliers are better off trading him. Unfortunately, that’s going to be harder than expected. By now, teams around the league know about Sexton and his usage. The Cavs will want a first-round pick and probably another good-to-very-good player.

In the end, Sexton isn’t a franchise player. It’d would be more wise for the Cavs to build around Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland going forward.

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