A third thing that has been reported is that Sexton would like to receive the type of contract that is similar to other starting guards in the NBA.
Makes sense, as Sexton led the Cavs in scoring in 2020-21 (24.1 ppg) and again last season when healthy (16.0 ppg).
Yes, Sexton played just 11 games before being lost for the year to a knee injury. Yes, his scoring average dropped by eight points. But that was by design, and the Cavs liked how he sacrificed some shots for the good of the team.
So his scoring average decreasing was a good thing.
If and when Sexton returns, he will be joining a lineup that now features two All-Stars — center Jarrett Allen and backcourt-mate Darius Garland. In Sexton’s absence, Garland became the face of a rising team.
The Cavs also traded for Caris LeVert when Sexton was sidelined. LeVert plays Sexton’s position. Maybe LeVert will start and Sexton will come off the bench. It’s way too soon to say. But that possibility exists.
And after seeing the leap by Garland from his second year to his third, the Cavs haven’t given up on Isaac Okoro, who has had two fairly uneven seasons as an NBA wing.
But before any of that, the Cavs and Sexton will have to deal with free agency.
“The Cavaliers want to retain Collin Sexton,” NBA insider Michael Scotto said on the HoopsHype podcast. “He’s going to demand starting guard money, I’m told.
“There are some teams who will be in the market for a point guard this summer, including the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards, who would have to acquire Sexton in a sign-and-trade if they want to get him. Last season, no restricted free agent signed an offer sheet, and players such as Cavaliers forward Lauri Markkanen switched teams via sign-and-trade.”
So, what is “starting guard” money? It generally depends on the guard. Sexton has been the team’s top scorer when healthy. But the Cavs fared OK for a large stretch without him. That’s not so say he’s not needed — clearly, the team is better with Sexton.
But there are a lot of factors here, a lot of points to be made by both sides. There will be time enough for all of it, with the idea that Sexton will indeed be back with the Cavs.
That seems to be the goal, and that is something on which both sides tend to agree.