Collin Sexton must have prominent leadership role for Cavs going forward

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. (left) and Cleveland guard Collin Sexton celebrate in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. (left) and Cleveland guard Collin Sexton celebrate in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

As arguably the Cleveland Cavaliers’ best player, Collin Sexton must have a prominent leadership role going forward.

It’s evident that the Cleveland Cavaliers have found a heck of a piece in young guard Collin Sexton. While Sexton does have his weaknesses, and needs to keep developing in the team defensive and playmaking sense, most notably, he’s proven to be uber-consistent as a scorer.

Sexton has paced the Cavaliers in scoring virtually all season, with 20.8 points per game, and I really am not sure what his ceiling is in that realm at this juncture.

Sexton has again hit three-point looks at a high percentage, as he did in his rookie year, with his clip there being at 38.0 percent, per Basketball Reference. Plus, thanks in large part due to him getting stronger coming into his second year, Sexton has gotten better as a finisher inside, and him learning to change speeds in the pick-and-roll game has made him more unpredictable.

Whether or not the Cavs play more games in the 2019-20 campaign, Sexton’s arrow is pointing way up heading into his third season.

As far as a few reported updates related to a likely season resumption for the NBA this season, it appears the league is very much considering going straight to a 16-team playoff, potentially having teams reach a 72-game regular season threshold and maybe looking at a World Cup-style format with group stages, per a report from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor on Tuesday.

In terms of a few other quick updates/a reported suggestion to finish this season later this summer, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium touched on how the league is leaving no medical stone unturned, regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic. Plus, Marc Stein of the New York Times stated what he believes could very well be how 2019-20 plays out. These came on Wednesday.

It is definitely a legitimate possibility that the Cleveland Cavaliers 2019-20 campaign is done, but either way, it was an impressive second season for Sexton.

Along with that, even while Darius Garland missing the Cavs’ last five games leading into the COVID-19-induced hiatus due to a left groin strain played into it, Sexton’s production saw an uptick post-All-Star break. In that span, he averaged 25.5 points, and also had 4.2 assists per outing, as opposed to averaging 3.0 on the season.

Moreover, while Sexton again needs to develop more in the team sense still on both ends, his tireless work ethic has paid off for him on the floor in games in a huge way, and that sets the right example for fellow youngsters.

Going forward, Sexton needs to have a prominent leadership role for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Previously, in large part related to Sexton’s work ethic, I figured he’d set the right example for young players such as Garland, Kevin Porter Jr. and others, and that seems of course holds true.

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Sexton worked himself into being a consistent catch-and-shoot perimeter shooter, which was perceived as a major weakness/question mark of his coming into the NBA out of Alabama, and that isn’t said to be the case now. He’s again, also shown growth in other areas.

Sexton’s on-ball perimeter defense is one of them, despite players that are often unavailable to hold up around him in Garland, Cedi Osman and Kevin Love not helping, and Sexton has shown better passing willingness as the season has progressed.

So, factoring in that, along with him working himself into being a viable perimeter shooter, those I’m sure have been reference points for young pieces to look to, and Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and others on the coaching staff have pointed to that regarding Sexton, I’d imagine.

That being said, looking at next season and beyond, I’d think the Cleveland Cavaliers would prefer to see Sexton be more of a vocal leader, too. He’s arguably the team’s best player, and heading into his third season, it’s time that Sexton is more of a leader in that way, too, even with that not seeming to be his style.

Furthermore, even though I’d love for the Cavs to re-sign him via team-friendly deal, it’s not a certainty that Matthew Dellavedova, who has helped Sexton himself and other young players from a mentorship-like role standpoint, will be around next season.

So with possibility, especially, it’d be good for the Wine and Gold long-term if the sooner Sexton takes on a more prominent leadership role, the better. Be more vocal on and off the floor, Young Bull! This Cavs team needs to see that from one of, if not their best player, moving forward.

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That’d also help out Kevin Love and feasibly, Larry Nance Jr., too, and even more so with the expiring Tristan Thompson seemingly having a high possibility of playing elsewhere next season.