Berman confirmed and added some details to an earlier report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania of the Knicks being “aggressive” in their pursuit of Sexton. Per Berman, Knicks forward Obi Toppin is likely to be one player the “Cavs would covet” as part of a Sexton trade.
Several other teams have emerged as suitors, per Hoops Wire sources, and that list includes the Pelicans, Pacers, Lakers, Heat and Thunder.
With Sexton eligible for a rookie scale extension, the Cavs seem to be looking to pair young point guard Darius Garland with a traditional shooting guard. “The chemistry of the Garland-Sexton duo has been serviceable but has not led Cleveland to the playoffs the past two seasons,” Berman wrote.
Sexton is coming off a very nice season, averaging a career-best 24.3 points to lead Cleveland in scoring. He also shot 48 percent from the field and 37 percent on 3-pointers in 60 games.
He is represented by CAA, the same agency formerly run by Knicks president Leon Rose, as Berman relayed.
The Knicks, operating under a different regime at the time, wanted to take Sexton with the No. 9 pick in 2018, Berman wrote. But the Cavs took Sexton at No. 8 and the Knicks instead went with little-used forward Kevin Knox.
New York may also be willing top part with one or more of its picks in a trade, per Berman. It owns the Nos. 19 and 21 of the first round.
“The Knicks have a surplus of future first-round picks — including the Nos. 19 and 21 selections in this year’s draft — at their disposal and remain in the market for a long-term answer at point guard, though it’s unclear if Sexton is capable of being that answer,” wrote Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors.
But per Berman, Ball “doesn’t have the offensive firepower or speed of Sexton and is viewed as more of a playmaker. Sexton is also younger at 22.”
Interestingly, Knicks salary-cap expert Brock Aller held the position of director of basketball operations with the Cavs from 2017-2020. Before that, he spent a decade as assistant to Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.
So Aller once worked with current Cavs general manager Koby Altman, and currently serves under Rose. So the connection is there, and the teams have regularly been in contact about trades since Aller arrived in New York.