During the offseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers will consider – and have to – all options, including a possible Collin Sexton trade
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland Cavaliers have no untouchables in their lineup.
LeBron James is gone. They weren’t able to draft Luka Doncic or Trae Young in 2018. They couldn’t get Zion Williamson or Ja Morant a year later. Out of reach for Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball in the 2020 NBA Draft.
With 60 wins in this post-LeBron era, and entering a decisive offseason, looking at the looming decisions that will determine whether this rebuild is successful or not, Cleveland will – and should – consider all options.
This means discussing a potential Collin Sexton trade. It means listening when teams call about the third overall choice, with some shallow conversations already underway. That means trying to find a solution with oft-injured Kevin Love who is owed $ 60 million over the next two years and who would rather play elsewhere. This means determining the commercial value of Prince Taurean’s expiring contract. That means figuring out if a tempting Larry Nance Jr. has business there, as Nance’s value across the league remains high even after playing just 37 games due to injury and illness last season. That means gauging Detroit’s interest in a choice swap, seeing if there’s a path to Choice # 1 – and Cade Cunningham. It means assessing the value of Jarrett Allen and then determining the contract talks from there. That means in-depth scouting reports on that draft class, assessing whether Florida State’s Scottie Barnes or G League forward Ignite Jonathan Kuminga are worthy of the third pick.
Whatever the cost. The Cavs are entering year 4 of rebuilding. It’s time to step up and push for a playoff spot. Even General Manager Koby Altman recognizes the urgency.
âOur guys are hungry. I think they understand that there is talent here and that now has to translate into wins at some point, âAltman said in his end-of-season press conference. âIt’s up to me to help complement this young talent and it’s up to JB (Bickerstaff) to continue to develop the culture here. He is the right voice for this team and this young nucleus. But we know it’s time to take the next step. I don’t know what the next step is, but definitely move this thing forward and put us in a position to play real games and meaningful games at the end of the season.
The arrival of the third pick in a highly regarded draft class raised expectations, altered the trajectory of this potential turnaround, and created options that weren’t there before. With such a valuable trading chip, Cavs’ business goals are different these days. They can go hunting for the stars, swinging either their first round or some of the pieces assembled in recent years. Or they can happily keep No.3 and get the franchise cornerstone they currently lack during the draft.
Considering a trade is one thing. Finalization is another.
Recent rumors indicate that Sexton’s name is involved in business talks – even though sources close to Sexton have had the impression that the 22-year-old polarizing shooting guard is part of the team’s long-term plans.
The chatter shouldn’t come as a surprise. Sexton is eligible for the extension this summer and his agent Austin Brown, the same guy who got Donovan Mitchell the maximum rookie from Utah, will be looking for a big paycheck. Sexton deserved it. Although he was selected eighth in 2018, he established himself as one of the best players in the class, with a career record average in points (24.3), in assists (4.4) and in basket percentage (47.5%) last season. He gets better every year and his relentless work ethic points to a guy who will likely continue to rise.
Sure, he’s missing some developing pieces in front of him resulting in eye rolls and palms raised, but the blows on him as a distributor are overkill, especially given his role as a side playmaker. Since joining, despite four different head coaches and a revolving door of teammates, he has been one of Cleveland’s most consistent players.
Yet questions remain. Does Sexton’s style of play – described by some as âuglyâ and leading to paltry advanced measures – translate into a victory? What is the cap for a team with a small defensively challenged backcourt? Is paying Sexton – an outlier undersized shooting guard – the best approach to team building, especially if it costs the maximum or near? Would Jalen Green or Jalen Suggs – players the Cavs might pick in No.3 in the draft – be better options alongside point guard Darius Garland?
The Cavs don’t have to make the Sexton decision immediately.
If the two sides fail to strike a deal, Sexton could enter restricted free agency in 2022, with the Cavs retaining the right to match any offers he receives. It’s similar to Allen’s situation this summer.
If Evan Mobley, considered the Houston Rockets’ most likely No.2 pick, is ruled out and the Cavs pick one of the Jalens on July 29, there is no rule against having too many guards. quality on the list. The Cavs spent the 2020-21 season bemoaning a lack of a point guard. Fans moaned that they didn’t have Kevin Porter Jr. There are 48 minutes in a game and plenty of ways for the three to hypothetically connect around. 30 minutes per night. Three-guard queues are a chic setup these days. Shouldn’t the Cavs see what this rotation looks like before passing a rash judgment?
Drafter Green or Suggs doesn’t mean Sexton has to go. There is a way to make it work, financially and schematically. Likewise, Mobley falling to No.2 wouldn’t require a separate Allen maneuver. No matter the position, the Cavs just need more good players. Then again, if the right opportunity arises, allowing the Cavs to rearrange the roster and join Love’s inflated contract, something they would want in any potential Sexton move, the front office would be foolish not to consider it. .
This would be the easiest way to solve the Sexton Contract riddle.
Trade discussions will continue. It’s Altman’s job to explore all the possibilities and figure out what’s best. Whether something happens with Sexton or another player will depend on what the Cavs get in return. Maybe he stays. Maybe he goes. Now is the time to explore. But it is not necessary to act out of desperation. Having the third pick changes everything – and it gives the Cavs plenty of compelling options.
For the right price, anyone on their list could be moved. Just the way it should be.
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