Most teams and players seek to limit the number of distractions heading into a new season.
Cavaliers and restricted free agent Collin Sexton aren’t necessarily one of them.
Neither side appears willing to budge from its stance, creating a staring contest between the two sides.
Despite having absolutely zero outside interest in the form of an offer, Sexton’s team is still hunting for a $20 million-plus deal.
And the Cavs are all too content to hold off for now, having extended offers to Sexton.
The first was the $7.2 million qualifying offer sent ahead of free agency.
And the second was a recently reported $40 million deal over three years.
Neither one is particularly appealing to the former Alabama guard.
And he might just wait until he gets the deal he wants.
Wait and See
It might be a while before we see Sexton take the court again in an NBA game.
Not just for Cleveland, though.
For any team.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Sexton is in no rush to sign a deal disagreeable to him:
“Collin Sexton is in the midst of the most difficult free agency status — restricted free agency — but the fourth-year guard and his representation, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, have shown so far that they won’t settle in negotiations. Discussions could go into training camp, and potentially into the season when the landscape of the league’s rosters shift.”
It’s not a surprising move.
Sitting out is really the only leverage the Sexton and his camp have at their disposal.
Collin Sexton single handedly beating the Nets has to be one of the most forgotten moments in NBA history pic.twitter.com/KpbFQLoWQy
— ☔️ (@luvshaedon) July 18, 2022
That’s because the only teams with pure cap space left are the Spurs and Pacers.
Neither of those teams is likely to pursue Sexton or give him anything close to what he wants salary-wise.
So that leaves us right where we are now: waiting to see.
Holdouts are a familiar move by players represented by Klutch Sports.
Last season, Ben Simmons, another Klutch client, infamously held out voluntarily until the February trade deadline when he was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden.
But that came after an entire summer, fall, and winter away from the Philadelphia Sixers, Simmons’ former team.
And Sixers GM Daryl Morey shrewdly looked at the situation and Simmons’ total lack of leverage to wait for a deal that worked best for Philadelphia.
The Cavaliers are in a similar position now.
There is absolutely no pressure for the Cavs to alter their contract negotiations, considering there’s no outside interest.
At this point, Sexton needs to return to the court, considering he missed nearly all of last season with an injury.
I'm not the biggest Collin Sexton fan but 3 years, $40-million is insulting.
I get the ACL tear but 20+ point scorers don't grow on trees:
Y1: 17-3-3 on 44-40-84 (82 games)
Y2: 21-3-3 on 47-38-85 (65)
Y3: 24-3-4 on 48-37-82 (60)
Y4: 16-3-2 on 45-24-74 (11)
Bet on yourself 💪 pic.twitter.com/D7rbWGNIBB
— The Front Office (@NBASkoolOfThort) July 24, 2022
Missing more time means fewer opportunities to show that he’s recovered fully and can truly be a player worthy of a $20 million contract.
Because as it stands, there are still real questions about his fit with Darius Garland and skill as a secondary playmaker.
His scoring was never in question and the Cavs undoubtedly need scoring.
But a $20 million flamethrower that plays no defense is an expensive contract.