There are a lot of questions to answer this offseason in Cleveland — including “does anyone want to take Kevin Love off our hands?” — but near the top of the list is this:
How much do they like the Darius Garland and Collin Sexton backcourt? Or, more accurately, how much are they willing to pay to keep that backcourt together? Sexton is extension eligible this offseason. That conversation will happen on some level, although the more likely outcome is the Cavaliers let Sexton go to restricted free agency in 2022. This leads to the big question:
Would they consider a Sexton trade?
Maybe, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Big man Jarrett Allen has got to be paid as a restricted free agent this offseason (likely in the five-year, $100 million range and up), then Sexton comes next summer. It may not be financially wise to keep both considering the Cavaliers could go with a Garland and Isaac Okoro backcourt.
An NBA executive suggested the Cavs could consider [trading Sexton] because it’s a salary cap crusher to pay Allen and Sexton both long-term contracts over $100 million. This guy likes Sexton as a player, but not on a maximum contract. As I wrote last weekend, Sexton may want something like the five-year, $163 million deal Sacramento gave guard De’Aaron Fox in 2020.
Sexton averaged 24.3 points and 4.4 assists a game, and shot 37.1% from 3. He improved and is an above-average NBA guard who knows how to score but dominates the ball and isn’t a favorite of teammates for that reason. He also struggles on the defensive end. Around the league, Sexton is seen as a good scorer but not the franchise cornerstone kind of player Fox is for Sacramento.
With Garland taking a big leap forward with his game this season and the promise of Okoro, the Cavaliers may be willing to move on from Sexton. However, how much they could get in return for a trade — when that team knows it needs to pay Sexton in a year as a restricted free agent — is up for debate.
Cavaliers GM Koby Altman may well kick the tires on some Sexton trades this summer, at least testing the market, but putting a deal together may be difficult.
This feels more like a situation that gets kicked down the road a season until Sexton is a restricted free agent and the market sets his value.