Free agency is set to begin at precisely 6:00 pm ET on Thursday.
And the Cavaliers will be one of many teams monitoring the window’s opening closely.
That’s because after sending Collin Sexton a qualifying offer on Tuesday, the guard is heading for restricted free agency.
By extending a qualifying offer to Sexton, the Cavaliers essentially maximized their options.
As it stands, Cleveland can match any offer sheet extended to Sexton by another team.
If they do not, Cleveland can also look to sign-and-trade Sexton, essentially keeping their former lottery pick from leaving for nothing.
A Look Around
Unfortunately for Sexton, things haven’t quite broken his way since the draft.
Earlier in the offseason, the Pacers and Pistons were both reported to have interest in the former Alabama guard.
That means Sexton might be left without a date for prom.
And so the Cavs’ gamble might work; they bet Sexton wouldn’t get a huge offer in free agency, or at least an offer that the team wasn’t comfortable matching.
But if Sexton does depart in free agency, here are two ideas that might get the job done:
1. Wiz Re-Routes Monte Morris
If Sexton finds a potential suitor in Washington, the Cavs should show serious interest in Morris.
The Wizards are still looking for a backcourt partner to pair with Bradley Beal (assuming he re-signs with Washington).
While Beal (6’4) doesn’t offer significantly more size in the backcourt than Sexton (6’1), the pairing could be substantial offensively.
Washington is finalizing a trade to acquire Denver's Will Barton and Monte Morris for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2022
On that note: while it would be a dream for Cleveland to land Kuzma or Hachimura, both are young enough to fit in Washington’s long-term plans.
The Cavs, for their part, could get the point guard depth they’re looking for in Monte Morris, who averaged 4.4 assists last season and shot 48.4% from the field and 39.5% from three last season.
Perhaps the Wizards throw in someone like Corey Kispert to make the contracts match.
The Cavs could do worse than adding a second-year wing who was a three-point flamethrower in college.
2. Spurs Get Young
What exactly are the Spurs doing?
So are the Spurs headed for a rebuild?
Probably, despite the fact that head coach Gregg Popovich is in 73 and not getting any younger.
Once upon a time, Sexton looked like a potential excellent fit next to the jumbo-sized Murray.
But could the Spurs have any further interest?
Collin Sexton in his last season:
LeBron and Kyrie are the only other Cavs with those stats or better in a season. pic.twitter.com/9JJ0GybbkS
— StatMuse (@statmuse) June 29, 2022
If San Antonio is trying to get young for its rebuild, it could do worse than Sexton, who is only 23.
Plus, in San Antonio, Sexton would instantly become the no. 1 backcourt option.
That leaves the Spurs to determine whether he’s a franchise cornerstone or parlay him into future draft assets.
Cleveland shouldn’t expect a king’s ransom for Sexton, but Doug McDermott (42.2% from three last season) could get the ball rolling.
McDermott is rapidly aging out of whatever the Spurs’ plans are.
But the Cavs could use his veteran experience and leadership.
That, and his three-point shooting.