This offseason is a pivotal one for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The front office faces key personnel decisions that will likely dictate this team’s trajectory for years to come.
There’s Caris LeVert’s possible extension, as well as Darius Garland, who is eligible for a rookie extension this offseason.
But the most glaring of these decisions revolves around a player who suited up only 11 times last season after a brutal injury: Collin Sexton.
Sexton is headed for restricted free agency this offseason after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension in the offseason.
Sexton, for his part, wants to be back in the red and gold:
“I want to be here in Cleveland. I love the organization, love my teammates and whatever happens, I know that Cleveland was really good to me.
So far, President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman has emphasized Sexton’s importance to the team:
“He’s enormously important to us. He’s been enormously important to us. To lose him — you could see throughout the year how we missed him. We owe Collin a great debt of gratitude for what he’s done. He deserves the chance to play with this group as a whole and play winning, meaningful basketball.”
Maybe Sexton deserves to play with this Cavs squad, but the question is will he get it?
Let’s start with the obvious.
Sexton is an offensive weapon.
Collin Sexton catching bodies is therapeutic. pic.twitter.com/LkUPNeZtWs
— Cavs Daily (@CavsDaily) April 28, 2022
Through his first full seasons in the league, the Alabama product has steadily improved his scoring.
His rookie season he achieved a solid 16.7 points per contest, but by the 2020 season, he’d blossomed to 24.3 points a night.
On several nights this season, the Cavs could have desperately used 24 points.
In fact, the case can be made that Sexton’s offense is precisely what this team lacked.
The Cavs were strong defensively, but sometimes lacked a much-needed bucket.
And, whatever questions exist about Sexton’s defense might now be masked by the collective strength of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
But the team also needs a facilitator and playmaker, someone who can gel with Garland on a nightly basis.
That player could very well be Sexton; the only way for the team to truly know whether Sexton can fit with the Mobley-Garland-Allen foundation is to trot out all four and watch.
What’s the Ceiling?
What could be the destiny of the Sexton-Garland backcourt?
Is it that of Dame Lilliard-CJ McCollum, two excellent players whose collective ceiling might have been lower than their individual ones?
Is it Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan? Or Lowry and Fred VanVleet?
It’s a formula that can work, especially given the stabilizing presence of Mobley and Allen.
But it is also worth mentioning that undersized guards are readily available right now.
They might not pack the scoring punch that Sexton brings, but splitting Sexton’s future salary over a few players might even things out.
And unless Altman has his eye on moving up for another top draft pick, the Cavs will probably have to settle with a higher-end bench player in this year’s lottery.
Why not re-up Sexton and see how he fits with this team over the course of a year?
If Evan Mobley found a way to play with Allen, then he and the rest of the squad could figure it out with Sexton.
Whatever vision that Altman and the front office hold is likely going to guide whatever decision the team makes.
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