Collin Sexton will be a restricted free agent this summer, but the Cavaliers hope that’s about as far as it goes.
But yes, first they will have to navigate Sexton’s free agency in July. Since he’s restricted, they can match any offer he receives from another team.
Several reports, including one from Evan Dammerall of Right Down Euclid, suggest that the Cavs want to make it easy for Sexton not to be tempted by rival teams. Hoops Wire sources have confirmed those reports.
Without question, many will be interested. The list of those hoping to pursue Sexton includes the Knicks and Wizards, and potentially even the Nuggets out West, sources said. Despite a season-ending knee injury, Sexton will actually be on just about everyone’s radar, and perhaps be the second-most coveted guard, behind only the Mavericks’ Jalen Brunson.
As noted by Brad Sullivan of Cavaliers Nation, if Brunson returns to the Mavs (as expected), teams that missed out on him may try to lure Sexton.
Along with that, several teams have already begun putting together sign-and-trade scenarios involving Sexton, sources said. That doesn’t mean much at the moment, as every team is discussing offseason options with the draft and free agency on the horizon. It’s just that time of year.
But it does show that the Cavs will be hearing from others about Sexton, and likely soon. And Sexton will be hearing from the Cavs, as they hope to get him officially back in the fold before things get too crazy.
That said, there will still be questions. If Sexton does return to the Cavs, what will be his role? Will he start ahead of Caris LeVert and Isaac Okoro — or come off the bench in an instant-offense role, similar to that of Heat guard Tyler Herro, the Sixth Man of the Year?
And would a Sexton return mean the Cavs are moving on from LeVert, or Okoro, or perhaps both? Or what if the Cavs were indeed to explore a sign-and-trade? What would Sexton bring in return?
Right now, those are hypotheticals. What the Cavs do know is they liked how Sexton took a step back on field-goal attempts and became a strong fit with everyone else in the 11 games he was able to play before the injury. They also liked how he showed strong support for his teammates from the bench. It was very clear he was all about the bigger picture.
Basically, Sexton has behaved like he wants to stay in Cleveland. And it appears Cleveland will do whatever it can to make sure he does.