Report: Pacers, Pistons have interest in Cavaliers’ Collin Sexton

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While Collins Sexton was out for most of the season with a torn meniscus that required surgery, the Cavaliers took a big step forward thanks to young stars Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland.

Now Sexton is a restricted free agent, and while the Cavaliers can match any offer to retain the scoring guard, will they? Where does Sexton fit in the Cavaliers’ future? Sexton says he wants to stay in Cleveland, but the team’s actions show they have limits in what they are willing to pay him — Sexton was “very available” in trade talks last offseason, then before this past season the sides could not agree to a contract extension.

What teams might make an offer so big the Cavaliers would not match? The Pistons and Pacers, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com told readers in a Q&A (hat tip Bleacher Report). The Spurs are also a possibility.

Fedor also says Sexton wants starting guard money — at least $18 million a year and preferably more than $20 million a season — where the Cavaliers are thinking more like $15 million a season. Not a huge gap, but a gap. The question is, will another team value Sexton enough to give him the payday he seeks?

Sexton will get buckets. He averaged 24.3 points per game two seasons ago but got those shots in a ball-dominant way that frustrated teammates at times. Was this a case of “someone has to score on a bad team” inflating his numbers, or can a more mature Sexton fit in as more of a playmaker or second option?

In Detroit, could he playoff the ball next to Cade Cunningham? Does he fit next to Tyrese Haliburton on the Pacers? Not everyone is sure, some around the league see his ultimate role as a sixth man in the Jordan Clarkson/Lou Williams mold. 

Sexton will get paid by someone this offseason — there’s always value in someone who can score — but maybe not as much as he hopes. He’s likely going to be somebody’s fallback choice as a free agent guard, and it may take a little time to play out once free agency starts, but it’s going to be interesting to see what the market is for Sexton. And if the bidding gets too rich for Cleveland.