Everything on the Collin Sexton front was quiet.
Until all of a sudden, it very much wasn’t.
Recently, the Lakers, Heat, and Jazz have all reportedly explored moves for the Cavaliers guard.
Oh, and while we’re on it, the Cavs are still confident Sexton will return next season.
Any move away from Cleveland would almost surely require a sign and trade.
But do any make sense from the Cavs’ perspective?
Spoiler alert: no.
Let’s see why.
Door Number One: Lakerland
Is it more shocking that the Lakers are interested in Sexton, or that Sexton’s name hasn’t been mentioned more often with the purple and gold?
Let’s begin by pouring water over whatever flame exists for this move: it ain’t happening.
The Lakers are in dire financial straits.
With mega-contracts for Russell Westbrook ($47 million), LeBron James ($44 million), and Anthony Davis ($34 million), the Lakers simply don’t have the financial bandwidth to give Sexton what he wants.
And what is that Sexton wants, exactly?
Most career PPG by a player with zero all star selections:
20.3 — Anthony Edwards
20.1 — John Williamson
20.0 — Collin Sexton
19.2 — CJ McCollum
19.1 — De’Aaron Fox pic.twitter.com/q2JaLBnWUH
— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 15, 2022
Apparently a new four-year contract worth north of $80 million.
That’s right — despite nearly two weeks of free agency, Sexton is still holding out for his original asking price.
But let’s say money is no object (and for the Lakers, it often hasn’t been).
Does Sexton fit in with what the Lakers need, that being young, two-way talent?
Sexton is a great scorer, but a total liability on defense who would do nothing to fix the Lakers’ 21st-rated defense last season.
If anything, Isaac Okoro would be a better fit with this Lakers bunch than Sexton.
And in terms of assets, the Lakers have nothing that the Cavs should want, assuming James and Davis aren’t going anywhere.
Door Number Two: Heat Culture
Why, exactly, are the Heat interested in Sexton?
Miami has a souped-up version of Sexton already on the roster in Tyler Herro.
Herro is a flamethrower who also excels at creating his own shot, similar to Sexton.
And is Miami really in the market to pay Sexton, an inferior player, over four times what Herro made last season?
Further, at $20+ million, the Heat are likely starting Sexton.
That means pairing the 6’1 two guard with the aging 6’0 Kyle Lowry.
That isn’t a recipe for success on defense.
While the Miami Heat can fall back on Bam Adebayo’s All-League defense, their team rating as the league’s No. 4 defense last season would likely crater.
The Miami Heat have some of the best and brightest in their building.
A move for Sexton would be a clear deviation from what they’re trying to accomplish.
It would also detract from a deal for Kevin Durant, perhaps an even bigger reason this deal isn’t happening.
Door Number Three: Jazz Band
Not only do the Jazz have some interest in Sexton, but they’ve also apparently thrown Mike Conley’s name into trade discussions.
Once upon a time, the Cavs might have been interested in Conley’s services.
Last season, Conley averaged 13.7 points and 5.3 assists for the Jazz.
Those numbers aren’t bad, but his production dipped considerably in the playoffs.
Before getting bounced in the first round, Conley averaged just 9.2 points and 4.8 assists per game, both career lows.
Conley is quietly an ancient NBA player; he was selected in the 2007 Draft and has 15 seasons of experience under his belt.
It’s a lot of wear and tear, with little sign of a rejuvenation incoming.
Adding Ochai Agbaji to this group AND keeping Collin Sexton takes this team into contending status IMO
— Mack Perry (@DevaronPerry) July 9, 2022
At best, Conley could be the Cavs’ backup point guard.
But suddenly, the team is flush with backups, including Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto, who both signed in free agency.
Perhaps Conley is a better stopgap option while Rubio recovers from his torn ACL.
But he’s not offering the same level of scoring and athleticism at this stage of his career that Sexton offers.
If it’s Conley for Sexton straight up, the Cavs should say no.
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