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SALT LAKE CITY — Collin Sexton earned the nickname “Young Bull” his junior yr of highschool in Atlanta for his powerful, hard-nosed model of basketball.
Now with a brand new group, Sexton appears to be like to carry that very same hard-work perspective to a Utah Jazz group in determined want of recent management.
Sexton is used to adapting and blazing trails in sudden circumstances; he famously dropped 40 factors in faculty when his Alabama group was down to three gamers and virtually managed to come again and win an eventual 89-84 loss to Minnesota.
He was drafted eighth general by a Cleveland Cavaliers group coming off of four-straight finals appearances, solely to have LeBron James decide out of his contract eight days later and be a part of the Los Angeles Lakers, which left Sexton as one of many group’s leaders on the ripe age of 19.
The Young Bull now comes to Utah after the group just lately traded away Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell after six-straight playoff appearances. For a Utah group experiencing a serious overhaul, in a league filled with fixed motion, Sexton’s standing with the Jazz appears about as certain a factor as you will discover.
The Jazz signed Sexton to a four-year, $72 million deal after his arrival as a part of the Mitchell commerce, making him and 2022 draft picks Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji the one gamers on the Jazz payroll by means of the 2025-26 season.
“Collin is a confirmed participant,” Jazz common supervisor Justin Zanik stated. “You’re gonna love him as a man and a tough employee. At his age and his already present manufacturing, the chance for him to be with us in this stage is admittedly good. And hopefully, you realize, a few years to come.
“It wasn’t a lot of a query; he was someone that we wished. If we had been going to make a deal (with Cleveland), he wanted to be in that deal.”
Sexton met with the media for the primary time on Tuesday and stated he is “not likely certain” how the commerce and signing got here to be; however after changing into a restricted free agent with the Cavaliers, he knew he wanted to “keep affected person and every part would work out.”
“That was just about my mindset the entire summer season,” Sexton stated. “I simply wished to simply proceed to work on the issues that I wanted to enhance on, and I’d let the remaining deal with itself. Let’s simply get again to 100%. Focus on that.”
Sexton stated he is now 100% wholesome after tearing his meniscus in November. Before his harm, Sexton confirmed the ceiling he is able to reaching in the NBA with a 42-point outing in a victory over the Brooklyn Nets led by Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Jan. 2021
“At the top of the day, I simply need to come in every day and provides it 110% and be the perfect Collin I will be,” Sexton stated. “(I’m) out to show that I can play, but in addition out to show to my teammates that I’m with it; and regardless, ups and downs, we’re gonna get by means of it and we’re gonna end the season robust.”
It seems the 23-year-old participant is already taking a liking to life in Utah after only a week on the Wasatch Front, too. On Saturday, he attended the Utah-Southern Utah soccer sport and has spent early mornings and late nights with new teammates and coaches on the Jazz follow facility. Sexton stated he enjoys the outside and appears ahead to the pure points of interest Utah gives.
“I’ll say the mountains are one thing I’ve by no means actually paid consideration to, so it is sort of cool to see the nice views and simply watch the dawn and sundown as effectively,” Sexton stated. “Definitely good vibes. Everybody in the group, all people in the constructing has actual good power.
“Each and daily that we have been right here has been enjoyable. It’s undoubtedly enjoyable, however we have been placing in work for certain.”
Hard work appears to be the undercurrent of the complete Jazz group proper now. Zanik instructed reporters on Monday that the rebuilding course of in Utah will take lots of effort, and that new head coach Will Hardy has a “tradition” of arduous work. Now they’ve the Young Bull ready to pull the wagon into a brand new period.