Collin Sexton believing Cavs make playoffs next season is really lofty

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton talks with Cleveland big man Andre Drummond in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton talks with Cleveland big man Andre Drummond in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

In the conclusion of a recent interview, Collin Sexton stated he believes the Cleveland Cavaliers will make the playoffs next season, which is really lofty.

The key takeaway from a report on Friday from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst seemingly hit on how the NBA is “angling” to cancel the 2019-20 NBA season, which is currently on hiatus until further notice for the Cleveland Cavaliers and other teams due to concerns regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic.

It’s uncertain whether or not the current season will resume at some point, though, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver emphasized on Monday that nothing will be decided in April and that there’s “just too much unknown” at the moment, h/t Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix.

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes reported on Monday that the NBA and NBPA are working together in relation to assessing the “viability of multiple blood-testing devices for the coronavirus that could provide accurate results within a matter of minutes, a process that would hopefully enable the league to track the virus in what is considered a critical first step toward resuming play in the near future.”

In regards to the 2020 NBA Draft (whenever that ultimately is), Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the guidelines for virtual meetings, which will be limited with prospects, but those will be still important for teams, such as the Cavs.

In terms of potential financial fallout of a cancelled season, or reported alternative scenarios to perhaps play out down the road for the league/its postseason, you can view those here.

Meanwhile, I’d imagine NBA players and teams in general, as we all are during this ever-difficult time, are restless, and I know us NBA fans are missing the game terribly.

Plus, Collin Sexton, who had been killing it post-All-Star break for the Cleveland Cavaliers, with 25.5 points and 4.2 assists per game, according to, has to be missing it more than anybody. Sexton is a tireless worker that has clearly spent countless hours in the gym working on his game, and his improved shot and touch since he’s been in the league, especially this season, proves that.

Anyway, in a recent interview with Forbes‘ Morten Jensen (who noted it was before the league’s suspension) in which Sexton hit on his experience shifting more to the 2 this season, along with his overall growth, going up against tough guards virtually every game and other stuff, the last bit of the interview was a bit of a shocker to me.

Here’s what jumped out, as transcribed by Jensen.

"“Sexton likes the make-up of the Cavs and when asked about the future, specifically when the Cavs are going to get back into the playoffs, he grows bold.‘Next season.’“Asked if he’s serious, his voice grows steady.”‘Yes. Next season.'”"

Granted, Sexton also stressed to Jensen how Kevin Love and Andre Drummond‘s rebounding prowess helps out him and others get leakouts and more transition opportunities, plus how Drummond’s shot-blocking presence essentially helps deter opponent drives to the rim, and Sexton also said how the Cavaliers “have a full team of hard workers” and that should “turn this rebuild into winning.”

Those are fair points from Sexton, and I’d expect Drummond to opt into his $28.8 million player option for next season, which again, would be an elite rebounding presence.

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Nonetheless, the Drummond fit with Love and others is still a bit clunky, as Drummond is a non-shooter, and neither Drummond nor Love are capable of switching out on to perimeter players to any realistic extent on-ball.

Plus, the expiring Tristan Thompson, likely Cleveland’s best overall defender, is reportedly likely to be playing elsewhere next season, and I’d imagine given them rebuilding, the Cavs will be seeking out potential trades for Kevin Love, and also Drummond, who would be a nice expiring trade piece if he opts in.

The Cavaliers will still have the presence of Larry Nance Jr., who is on track for a career-high with 10.1 points per game, and has put up 7.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steals per outing, and Cleveland will likely have a top five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, considering right now they have the league’s second-worst record at 19-46.

However, the Cavs will still need the likes of Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. to feasibly take significant strides in their development in order to make a push for the playoffs.

Of course, I trust Sexton to keep on an upward trajectory. I also believe, with hopefully Dylan Windler healthier next season, who is likely to miss all of his rookie year due to a stress reaction in his left leg, and still with Garland hopefully improving on his 47.8 percent effective field goal shooting clip, that the Cavs’ shooting should be in good shape moving forward.

light. Related Story. How Dylan Windler can bolster the Cavs' bench production next season

That being said, even with Cleveland feasibly drafting a player with a high defensive ceiling and great defensive feel and switchability in Auburn wing Isaac Okoro or USC big Onyeka Okongwu, will the Cavs have a drastically better defense? I don’t see that being the case just next year.

Can Cleveland have better than a second-last ranked defense in terms of defensive rating?

I would certainly hope so, but Garland will need to be considerably more competent on-ball defensively, and the likes of I’d think Osman, Porter (even with him flashing big potential there) and Sexton will need to have a significant team defensive impact.

Those are big asks still, and Matthew Dellavedova is on an expiring deal and could potentially be playing elsewhere next season, and while he’s fairly limited on-ball defensively now, he is still a rock solid team defender that helps others there as a rotator and does a good job running the offense, so the Cavs should try to re-sign him. It’s uncertain if they will at this point, though.

So overall, I could see the Cavs winning 29-32 games (and even that might be on the high end), and them going 5-6 under the direction of J.B. Bickerstaff at head coach post-All-Star was encouraging, but let’s not kid ourselves. Sexton believing the Cavaliers are making the playoffs next season is really, really lofty.

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Was Collin totally honest there? I’m not sure, but either way, I’m not buying it. A positive spin, though, is I’ll always be a massive fan of Sexton’s competitive fire, which never wavers.