Why Were Cavaliers Willing To Trade Collin Sexton?

SALT LAKE CITY – After the mud settled from the blockbuster commerce that despatched Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz to the Cleveland Cavaliers, I discovered myself asking one main query. Why have been the Cavs prepared to commerce Collin Sexton?

At first, this would possibly appear to be a simple reply. Mitchell is a three-time All-Star, one of many premiere postseason performers within the NBA, and is beneath group management for the foreseeable future.

But on second look, there needs to be extra to the story. Not solely have been the Cavaliers prepared to commerce Sexton, they appeared joyful to throw him in with ahead Lauri Markkanen, lottery decide Ochai Agbaji, and three future unprotected first-round picks.

So what is the cope with Sexton? The nearer I regarded, the extra questions I had.

The most evident drawback surrounding Sexton is the current meniscus tear that sidelined him for almost all of the 2021-22 season. But on the total scope of NBA accidents, meniscus tears aren’t thought-about among the many most critical.

They’re even much less of a difficulty with 23-year-olds whose video games aren’t solely depending on acrobatic finishes above the rim.

Then, a fast look at Sexton’s numbers solely makes the query extra complicated. In simply his third season with the Cavaliers, the guard averaged an eye-opening 24.3 factors per sport on very respectable capturing percentages.

When wanting again at Sexton’s 2018 draft class, solely All-Stars Luka Doncic and Trae Young can beat the guard’s 20-point-per-game profession scoring common.

In reality, Donovan Mitchell, who is thought for his scoring acumen did not break the 24 level per sport mark till he was 23, one yr Sexton’s senior throughout his finest scoring season.

And, if there’s one main knock on Sexton that is apparent from yesterday it is that he has the physique of some extent guard, standing solely 6-foot-1, and the sport of a capturing guard.

Here’s the factor, that is additionally Donovan Mitchell’s greatest fault.

So what offers? Why was Sexton, who’s youthful, with the same construct, the same ability set, related numbers, and a a lot smaller contract, considered one of three gamers the Cavaliers threw in together with important draft capital to land Mitchell?

To reply this query, I requested Chris Fedor, the Cavaliers beat reporter from the Plain Dealer in Cleveland in hopes of attending to the underside of this Sexton thriller.

“I used to be speaking with any individual within the group lately they usually have been joking that they’ve spent extra time of their profession discussing Collin Sexton than some other participant that they’ve ever been with,” Fedor mentioned. “And I really feel the identical manner.”

Sexton was the eighth general decide by Cleveland the yr after LeBron James left the Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers, and was handed the unattainable activity of filling in for the best participant in franchise historical past.

Although the rookie confirmed promise as quickly as he stepped on the ground, Fedor acknowledged that there have at all times been differing opinions in regards to the guard’s true potential.

“This is a sport about versatility, this can be a sport about positionless basketball, and he can play one place, capturing guard — a scorer actually,” Fedor mentioned. “He’s not some extent guard, however he is in some extent guard’s physique.”

But once more, these questions sound much like those Mitchell has confronted all through his complete profession in Utah.

To clarify the distinction, Fedor referenced one other Jazzman with Cavalier ties.

“I believe it is simply actually tough to place an sincere worth on the issues that Colin brings to the desk. He’s participant, he is an effective scorer, however how good can he be and what’s his ideally suited position in right now’s NBA?” Fedor requested. “It’s most likely a sixth man coming off the bench that may be that explosive rating, much like a man that you simply guys know nicely in Jordan Clarkson.”

That’s a robust delineation from Fedor and one which Jazz followers needs to be accustomed to. Clarkson is a lights-out scorer and was given an countless allowance to shoot the ball, however the variations between him and Mitchell have been apparent to followers who watched the 2 every evening.

Clarkson’s scoring punch was a devastating blow as a secondary choice off the bench, however with out Mitchell, it wasn’t sufficient to be a major weapon.

Ultimately, with the inflow of younger expertise Cleveland introduced in, Fedor mentioned there was merely no room left for Sexton on the roster.

“As time went on, there have been guys that the Cavs acquired in Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, and Darius Garland that simply turned extra vital to the Cavs’ success stylistically than what Collin dropped at the desk.”

So, as Jazz followers put together to look at Sexton assume the heavy scoring burden left by their three-time All-Star, give your self room to understand all of the issues he brings to the desk, even when he is not Donovan Mitchell.

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