Day one of NBA free agency came fast, loud, and expensive.
While the Cavaliers were quiet, the rest of the league raged on.
And Collin Sexton‘s name was not once mentioned.
Amidst the hustle and bustle, it appears none of the league’s other 29 teams extended an offer sheet to the restricted free agent.
So where does that leave Sexton and the Cavs after day one?
Shrinking Wallets, Suitors
So far, the Pistons, Pacers, Wizards, Hornets, and Spurs have reportedly had some level of interest in Sexton.
But the Pistons and Pacers’ interest has apparently cooled off after the draft.
Free agent guard Ricky Rubio is nearing a deal on a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2022
And the Spurs just offloaded Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks, which might have cooled their interest in Sexton.
Murray and Sexton would have been an intriguing fit in San Antonio.
Murray is a mid-range threat with length and defensive prowess, while Sexton is more of the pure shooter San Antonio needed in its backcourt.
That leaves the Wizards and Hornets.
The Wizards ended one of the offseason’s biggest points of speculation when Bradley Beal returned on a max contract.
Any deal involving Sexton and the Wiz might have to be a sign-and-trade, so Washington avoids paying more in the luxury tax than it already does.
The Hornets could be an intriguing fit for Sexton; LaMelo Ball is a passer extraordinaire, but (like Beal) has serious issues defensively.
Further, any deal involving Sexton would send Charlotte hurtling into luxury tax territory, a place they’ve been wary of in the past.
Earlier in the summer, it was reported that Sexton sought a deal in the $18-22 million range.
The Cavs, on the other hand, were looking to extend a contract in the $15-18 million range, at the time.
Flash forward to the present.
To think all it took was Collin Sexton going nuclear once to dismantle the Nets.
It’s been a downward slope since then.
— Evan Dammarell (@AmNotEvan) June 30, 2022
It seems increasingly unlikely that Sexton gets a deal in the range he was looking for.
But is there a chance even the Cavs’ range was too high a price?
Could we be entering *whispers* midlevel exception territory?
Is there a shot that Sexton returns on a one-year “prove it” deal following a season where he was limited to 11 games due to a knee injury?
But now, as days tick past with little movement, a return to Cleveland looks increasingly likely.
And that wouldn’t be such a bad thing for Cleveland and Sexton.
Cleveland gets to evaluate Sexton’s fit, and Sexton gets to prove his worth ahead of unrestricted free agency next season.