Among this offseason's crop of free agents, some players are
flying under the radar. Coming off a torn meniscus, Cleveland
Cavaliers combo guard Collin Sexton enters restricted free agency
with an uncertain long-term future with the organization.
With Darius Garland’s massive jump last season, alongside the
midseason addition of Caris LeVert (who is extension-eligible),
does Sexton still fit into Cleveland’s vision? At the moment,
Sexton feels slotted into a sixth man role for the Cavaliers or as
a secondary piece behind Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett
Throughout his career in Cleveland, Sexton has shown a true
knack for scoring the basketball at an efficient clip, averaging
20.0 points, 3.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game on 55.0% True
On Tuesday afternoon, the Cavaliers extended a qualifying offer
to Sexton, which means they can match any offer sheet he receives
the open market. However, how many teams will seriously pursue
Sexton? After the draft, the landscape looks much clearer for
potential destinations outside of Cleveland.
A return to the Cavaliers is certainly possible. But let’s dive
into the three best landing spots for Sexton around the league if
he doesn't stick around in Northeast Ohio.
It’s no secret at this point that the Wizards covet a
point-guard upgrade to pair alongside Bradley Beal. Whether it be
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dejounte Murray, Malcolm Brogdon or Tyus
Jones, Washington seems to be making calls everywhere at the
Could we be underrating the Wizards as a potential fit for
Sexton in the process? Next to Beal, Sexton would consistently see
open looks, but his playmaking chops would have to improve to a
more consistent level, as Washington needs a smooth operator to run
head coach Wes Unseld Jr.’s system.
The offensive fit for Sexton with Beal is super fun, but the
defense is also super questionable. However, there’s no denying
Sexton would be the best point guard Beal has played with in D.C.
since John Wall. And that’s not hyperbole either. The Wizards need
to have something click for them in their backcourt, and the clock
is now restarting once Beal inks his new lucrative deal.
It's highly unlikely that Sexton would come to D.C. with a
mid-level exception offer — regardless of whether it's the $10.3
million non-taxpayer annually or the $6.3 million taxpayer annually
— so the team would have to get creative to get him there, likely
via a sign-and-trade. We know that Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious
Caldwell-Pope could be available, but would that entice Cleveland?
How about Deni Avdija or Rui Hachimura, both of whom have flashed
upside albeit inconsistently?
Sexton would solve a lot of scoring woes for Washington, but is
the price of admission worth it for a team seemingly trying to
simultaneously retool and make win-now moves?
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
A week ago, this option would’ve never seriously been
considered. Now, it seems San Antonio is seriously considering a
pivot to a full-scale rebuild, which would mean trading away their
All-Star point guard Dejounte Murray. The Atlanta Hawks have been
consistently rumored as a potential landing spot for Murray, and it
makes a lot of sense as I covered earlier this
From the perspective of Sexton and the Spurs, it could become a
realistic marriage that makes sense for both sides. The Spurs' hole
at point guard would be serious, but trading Murray could easily
signal their intentions to tank the season for generational
prospect Victor Wembanyama. Would Sexton fit the Spurs’ new
timeline around their young core? Absolutely. Remember, Sexton is
only 23 years old, so he actually makes sense as a long-term piece
to their puzzle alongside Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Jeremy
Sochan and others.
While the market for Sexton away from Cleveland is thinner than
expected, San Antonio truly makes sense as a logical landing
With Dallas now expected to lose Jalen Brunson to the New York
Knicks in free agency, could Sexton all of a sudden become a
realistic fallback option? If the Mavericks are able to secure a
large trade exception in a deal with New York for Brunson, they
could become an interesting trade candidate for guards such as
Malcolm Brogdon or Sexton. (However, it's looking like the Knicks
will be able to sign Brunson outright.)
Alongside Luka Doncic, Sexton would excel in a score-first role.
For the Mavericks, Sexton represents a player with upside on the
same timeline as Doncic.
The big question becomes: What exactly would the Mavericks be
willing to pay for his services if they create that aforementioned
traded-player exception? If it’s on a similar tier as Brunson,
around $20 million, it actually could be a very plausible reality
for Sexton to be a strong backcourt partner with Doncic in Dallas.
(If Dallas doesn't get a traded-player exception, they would only
have the mid-level exception, so sign-and-trade would be the only
realistic route to land Sexton.)
However, thinking out loud, it should be noted that Tim Hardaway
Jr. will be returning in basically the same role, and his contract
is designed to descend year-by-year — an advantageous structure
given that Doncic is starting his rookie max extension next season.
(Dorian Finney-Smith also begins his new deal.) Spencer Dinwiddie
joined the Mavs' fray at the trade deadline to boot, and proved to
be a key contributor in multiple moments after he was acquired as
It will be very interesting to see where exactly Sexton lands
within the next few weeks. If he ends up staying in Cleveland, will
it be beyond the 2022-23 campaign?
These looming questions will soon be answered for Sexton, the
No. 9 ranked free agent on
BasketballNews, but he’s one of the more interesting names to
follow as we close in on the official start of the new league