The Cleveland Cavaliers made the expected move and Tuesday extended a qualifying offer to guard Collin Sexton, who missed most of last season with a knee injury.
Sexton is now a restricted free agent and the high-energy scorer could draw interest from other teams. If Sexton receives an offer sheet, the Cavs can match it.
Teams can begin negotiating with free agents on Thursday.
A first-round pick in 2018, Sexton played in just 11 games last season before tearing meniscus in his right knee and undergoing surgery. The 23-year-old had been playing well and seemed to accept a lesser scoring role alongside All-Star Darius Garland.
Sexton averaged a career-best 24.3 points the previous season.
The Cavs value his productivity and were thrilled with his attitude last season, when he stayed around the team while rehabbing his injury. Sexton's enthusiasm played a role in the Cavs' 22-win improvement.
Sexton's role isn't as clear as it once was on a team with solid young talent in Garland, second-year forward Evan Mobley and All-Star center Jarrett Allen. However, Koby Altman, the team's president of basketball operations, last week called Sexton “super important” and a "big part of our culture.”
Sexton and the Cavs were unable to reach an agreement on a long-term contract before last season.
The Cavs also made a two-way qualifying offer to guard R.J. Nembhard, He signed a two-way contract in October and appeared in 14 games for the Cavs.