Half of the Cavaliers’ “backcourt of the future” was asked to join the USA Select team in Las Vegas, the team of young stars that works out with the Team USA Olympic squad.
That was Darius Garland.
Collin Sexton was nowhere on that list, which speaks to his reputation around the league. Sexton trade rumors are far from new, but now comes another report that not only is he available, but the Cavaliers may need to temper expectations on what they can get in return for Sexton. From Jason Llyod of The Athletic:
A deal that might make more sense for the Cavs is bundling [Kevin] Love with Collin Sexton, who I’ve been told is “very available” this summer. I wrote not long ago that I thought the Cavs were going to write the check to pay Sexton a max contract this summer, but based on what I’ve been told the last few months from sources around the league, I no longer believe that’s true…
Teams around the league are well aware of Sexton’s contract situation, which will hurt his value in trade talks. One source believed the Cavs should’ve traded Sexton last summer, knowing this was coming and didn’t believe the Cavs will get a pick in the top half of the draft for him because of the contract.
Sexton averaged 24.3 points and 4.4 assists a game, shooting 37.1% from 3 last season. However, he dominates the ball and pounds it into the ground, like a poor version of Houston-era James Harden, which has left his teammates frustrated. With Garland, Isaac Okoro, and the No. 3 pick in this guard-heavy draft, the Cavaliers are ready to move on.
The challenge is finding a trade partner, and that comes down to money and fit. But mostly money. Sexton is eligible for an extension this offseason — he and his agent are reportedly seeking max or near-max money — although it’s much more likely the Cavaliers (or any team that trades for him) waits a year and lets the market set his value next offseason. Sexton is a 20+point a game scorer and will earn a healthy paycheck whatever frustrations teams and teammates may have. Other teams know they are going to have to pay Sexton in a year if they trade for him, which means they would only get one year on a below-market rookie contract, then he will get expensive.
Cleveland doesn’t want to be the team to pay that expense. They have to re-sign Jarrett Allen this offseason — likely in the five-year, $100 million range — and they will eventually have to pay Garland as well (plus don’t forget Love is on the books for two more years at $60.2 million total). There are some pretty big checks to write for a team that went 18-54 last season and still has a lot of rebuilding to do.
Expect the Sexton trade buzz to continue, but a deal around the NBA Draft in a couple of weeks feels like a longshot.