Granted, this move was considered a formality, as Sexton and the Cavs were expected to go this route all along. But now it’s official — giving the Cavs the ability to match should Sexton receive an offer from a rival team.
That is indeed a possibility, as the Wizards, Pistons and Knicks are among those who have been mentioned as potential Sexton suitors. But another possibility is Sexton and the Cavs agreeing to a deal as soon as the end of this week.
Most around the league contacted by Hoops Wire believe Sexton will be back in Cleveland next season, likely on a three-year deal with an option in the final year. Still, free agency is often tricky, and while there are always odds, there are almost zero sure-things.
Sexton, 23, is 6-foot-1 and appeared in just 11 games before being lost for the year after suffering a torn MCL in his right knee. At the time of the injury, he had been averaging a team-high 16.0 points.
The year before that, he averaged 24.3 points — his production only dipping after he took a step back on shot attempts as the Cavs found more scoring.
The No. 8 overall pick of the 2018 draft, Sexton has been in Cleveland all four of his NBA seasons.
Since his injury, point guard Darius Garland and center Jarrett Allen became All-Stars, and the Cavs traded for Caris LeVert and drafted Ochai Agbaji. LeVert and Agbaji both play Sexton’s position, as do Isaac Okoro and Cedi Osman on occasion.
So the Cavs will have some decisions to make on their glut of wings. But by extending a qualifying offer, that first obvious decision is in the books.
For more on the Cavs and Sexton, check out my recent column right here.