Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton will have no shortage of suitors on the trade market.
Per Hoops Wire sources, the Heat, Knicks, Pelicans, Pacers, Thunder and Lakers are among the teams evaluating a trade for Sexton.
Some of the teams in that group would be willing to take back the contract of Cavs power forward Kevin Love to help make a Sexton trade work, sources said. Others might reach out to third parties to help facilitate a deal. All apparently remain in the exploratory stage and have yet to put together anything resembling a real offer.
“He would make an excellent sixth man or spark plug on a winning team, or maybe a starter in the right situation” one team executive told Hoops Wire.
Along with the teams listed, multiple others are said to be weighing a deal for the Cavs’ leading scorer, who has become “very available” in trade talks, per Jason Lloyd of the Athletic. Along with that, Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo reported the Cavs began exploring Sexton trades last month.
Sexton, 24, is coming off another fantastic season, averaging 24.3 points and displaying an increased ability to put the ball in basket each season. He has also been extremely durable, missing just 12 games in three years. (All came in 2020-21.)
But he is due for a rookie-scale extension, and reports suggest he will be seeking a maximum contract. The Cavs seemingly don’t want to make that type of long-term financial commitment to a player who isn’t viewed as a No. 1 option on a contender. Instead, Cleveland may attempt to find a cheaper alternative with its No. 3 draft pick or in a Sexton trade.
Both the Heat and Knicks have had Sexton high on their list of potential acquisitions this summer, and both have the type of talented young players (Tyler Herro in Miami, RJ Barrett in New York), that could help make a deal doable.
Meanwhile, the Pacers would love to find a way to add Sexton to a backcourt that already includes Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert, and are said to be looking to part ways with their No. 13 draft pick.
The Pelicans have the natural connection of head of basketball operations David Griffin, the ex-Cavs general manager and former boss of current Cavs GM Koby Altman. The Pelicans may be looking to move on from small forward Brandon Ingram.
And the Thunder are loaded with draft picks and other young assets, and are said to be looking to use the Nos. 16 and 18 picks to help facilitate a trade. They also own the No. 6 overall pick, and there has been talk Thunder lead executive Sam Presti has no desire to bring three rookies on guaranteed deals to camp.
On the other hand, the Lakers are an older team that’s a little short in the assets department. But possible sign-and-trade free agents such as Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker (restricted) and Montrezl Harrell (player option) are among those that could be enticing to as part of a package to opposing teams.
That said, one source identified the Lakers as a team that “are exploring all avenues” in looking at a trade for Sexton, along with multiple other younger veteran players.
Another dialed-in source said the Heat are one team that would take back Love if it meant acquiring Sexton.