The Cavs should play Collin Sexton and Dante Exum together more often

Cleveland Cavaliers guards Dante Exum (left) and Collin Sexton celebrate during a game versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guards Dante Exum (left) and Collin Sexton celebrate during a game versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton handles the ball. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers will have plenty of options for backcourt pairings in their upcoming season.

In terms of the backcourt, Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr., and Dante Exum will all likely see decent minutes during the 2020-21 NBA season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. There still is seemingly a chance that the Cavaliers could draft another guard during the 2020 NBA Draft, too.

The Cavs have a lot of issues, but backcourt depth is not one of them.

This of course gives head coach J.B. Bickerstaff plenty of lineup options to experiment with. The Cavs started games with Garland playing the point guard position and Sexton filling the shooting guard spot on most occasions in 2019-20. Throughout the game we saw lots of instances that featured Garland and Porter Jr. pairings or Sexton and Porter Jr. pairings as well.

But one player who could see an increase in play time during his second season with the Cavaliers is Dante Exum. In December, the Cavaliers traded Jordan Clarkson to the Utah Jazz for a pair of future second-round draft picks as well as Exum. The 25-year-old had a solid first season with his new team but definitely has room to grow in his role with the Cavaliers.

Dante Exum is a versatile guard. He has the ball handling skills needed to play minutes at the point guard position and his height of 6-foot-5 gives him the size needed to guard shooting guards as well. His combo guard nature gives Bickerstaff added flexibility when considering how to insert Exum into the Cavs rotation.

Exum could probably play next to any guard on the Cavs roster. But one of the more intriguing backcourt pairings the Cavaliers could feature during the 2020-21 NBA season would be one that features Exum playing next to Collin Sexton.

We’ll break down how that Sexton-Exum pairing could work well in stretches often for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Collin Sexton was the Cavaliers best pure scorer throughout the 2019-20 season. He led the team in scoring, averaging 20.8 points per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 38.0 percent from behind the three-point arc. His scoring ability was unimpeachable.

But there were questions that arose when considering how he fit next to the other guards on the Cavaliers roster. He started games on most occasions next to Darius Garland, but the young duo were simply too undersized to hold their own defensively.

Sexton and Porter Jr. provided the Cavaliers with a strong backcourt in terms of pure scoring, but both players could lean too much on isolation scoring and there remained questions about playmaking.

Sexton is one of Cleveland’s best offensive weapons, but his fit with Garland or Porter Jr. was iffy at times. But when you consider the size and skill set of Exum, it seems as though if developed properly next season (granted, he is set to be expiring after next season), his fit next to Sexton could be smoother than others.

The first reason that relates to why that could be the case relates to the defensive end.