Two things are true when it comes to the offseason plans of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Collin Sexton. Cleveland wants to extend Sexton; the other is Sexton will be a restricted free agent.
Where the Cavs front office and Sexton may disagree is the amount of money Young Bull will make. According to NBA insider Michael Scott of the Hoopshype podcast, the Cavs want to retain Sexton, and Sexton will be demanding “starting guard money.”
“The Cavaliers want to retain Collin Sexton,” NBA insider Michael Scotto said on the HoopsHype podcast. “He’s going to demand starting guard money, I’m told.
“There are some teams who will be in the market for a point guard this summer, including the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards, who would have to acquire Sexton in a sign-and-trade if they want to get him. Last season, no restricted free agent signed an offer sheet, and players such as Cavaliers forward Lauri Markkanen switched teams via sign-and-trade.”
Sexton led the Cavs in scoring in 2020-21 (24.1 points per game) and 2021-22 (16.0 points per game) before he suffered a season-ending torn meniscus in his left knee 11 games into the season.
Should Cleveland decide to extend Sexton, he will be joining a team with a new pecking order after Darius Garland, and Jarrett Allen broke out and earned All-Star nominations. With Allen, Garland, and Evan Mobley as their franchise cornerstones, the Cavs (44-38) earned a spot in the Play-In Tournament thanks to their identity as a top-five ranked defense.
The Cavs also acquired Caris LeVert at the trade deadline. Both Sexton and LeVert play the same position. If Sexton returns, the Cavs will be facing a question of who starts and who comes off the bench. Both guards have experience playing a reduced role, with Sexton embracing the Cavs and asking him to take fewer shots for the team’s benefit. LeVert went from key weapon to coming off the bench to playing second-fiddle in his short time in Indiana.
The experience the two have in different roles will help make whatever transition Coach J.B. Bickerstaff will make. The main question will be if Cleveland wants to pay Sexton when they have a logjam at guard and will also need to prepare for extension talks when Garland becomes eligible in 2023. The other question will be does Cleveland believe they will repeat their success with Sexton next to Garland, LeVert, Allen, and Mobley.
Regardless, Cleveland has a bright future with Bickerstaff and GM Koby Altman at the top of the helm and Garland’s rise as the team’s face combined with the rapid development of All-Rookie center Mobley.