With the trade of forward Jerami Grant to the Trail Blazers for a 2025 first-round pick (and second-rounders), the Pistons created $43 million in cap space. That type of wiggle room will allow them to make a significant offer to free agents, or take back large salaries via trade.
It is believed Sexton and his representatives are seeking a deal that will pay him upwards of $20 million annually. The Cavs are said to be targeting the $15-$18 million annual range.
Most reports suggest the Cavs and Sexton will find common ground, and that he will end up returning to Cleveland. But a rival team with gobs of cap space such as the Pistons could swoop in with a large offer, forcing the Cavs to make a hard decision on whether to match.
Another possibility would be a sign-and-trade if the Cavs viewed a rival offer as too high, much like what happened last season when the Bulls landed Lonzo Ball from the Pelicans.
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. Detroit likely views him as a fit next to former No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham, who at 6-6 offers nice size in the backcourt, which would allow Sexton to play the off-guard position. In Cleveland, Sexton is paired with 6-1 All-Star point guard Darius Garland.
Basically, it seems the idea behind trading Grant was to give the Pistons the flexibility to land another standout player such as Sexton. They also have an interest in Hornets free agent forward Miles Bridges, Sankofa reported.