The Cavs’ goal is to re-sign Sexton and have him back in the fold after he was sidelined for all but 11 games last season.
But per Fischer, Sexton is seeking a deal that will pay him more than $20 million annually, while the Cavs’ offer was closer to three years at $51 million “during early extension talks.”
Cleveland tendered a qualifying offer to Sexton on Tuesday, making him a restricted fee agent. While he can sign with any team, the Cavs will have the opportunity to match. The Wizards, Pistons and Knicks are among those that have been linked to Sexton, though he seems to be a Plan B in all of those places. With the Cavs, he’s Plan A.
Sources told Hoops Wire that the Mavericks could also make a serious run at Sexton should they lose Jalen Brunson to the Knicks.
“But while Sexton is believed to covet upwards of $20 million on the open market, Cleveland presented a deal closer to Jordan Clarkson‘s three-year, $51 million back during early extension conversations,” Fischer wrote.
Sexton led the Cavs in scoring in 2020-21 at 24.3 points, then again last season before the injury at 16.0 points. In his absence, fellow guard Darius Garland became an All-Star. Garland and Sexton are both represented by agent Rich Paul, and it is believed that Garland really wants Sexton back in Cleveland.
The Cavs do have a little bit of leverage, as they acquired Caris LeVert at the trade deadline, and figure he will be even better with a full training camp under his belt. Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman and lottery pick Ochai Agbaji also play Sexton’s position — though sources have told Hoops Wire the Cavs are looking to trade Osman.
Either way, that was just the Cavs’ first offer to Sexton. More talks and offers are certainly looming, with the start of free agency right around the corner.