Cavs: We could see Collin Sexton used more this way in Year 4

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton greets teammates in pregame introductions. (Photo by Lauren Bacho/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton greets teammates in pregame introductions. (Photo by Lauren Bacho/Getty Images) /

Collin Sexton showed more progression as a significant contributor for the Cleveland Cavaliers in his third campaign with them in 2020-21. Sexton again Cleveland in scoring with 24.3 points per game, and despite the squad’s inconsistencies/barrage of injuries, he did so pretty efficiently with a true shooting rate of 57.3 percent.

Sexton, who did not a game in his first two seasons, himself did miss some time because of injuries, that being 13 games in Year 3 also, but it was understandable either way, particularly with the season’s condensed schedule.

Nonetheless, Sexton was a bright spot, along with Darius Garland and to a degree with players such as Dean Wade and Jarrett Allen, and Isaac Okoro as the season wore on,  for the Cavaliers.

Collin showed plenty of on-ball abilities, demonstrated more change-of-pace off-the-bounce, and despite a rough March, still hit 37.1 percent of his three-point attempts per outing. Granted, with him and Garland, objectively, one would like to see them shoot more from deep game-to-game from here, with how they both can knock those down.

And in that realm, it is a plus that Cleveland is reportedly looking for both to take eight threes per game next season/seemingly looking onward. We’ll have to see if that ends up playing out, though, and with Sexton’s driving/paint scoring abilities, I’m not sure.

Regardless, it is nice to know that the Cavaliers are stressing that sort of thing for them, and at least with Collin, I would imagine that we could see more some of him utilized off movement in the shooting sense. There have been flashes from him in that way, and he’s had some success.

Somewhat along those lines though, I would think that with him set to be in his fourth season with Cleveland in 2021-22, I could foresee Sexton used at least a bit more as a cutter game-to-game. That’d make him even tougher to account for.

We could see Sexton utilized more as a cutter next season by the Cavs.

I’m not suggesting that we’ll see Sexton used as a cutter going toward the basket a bunch of the time for his shots, albeit with hopefully more consistent supplemental playmaking/Garland’s further growth, it would seem to be more in the cards.

In Year 4, based on the flashes he’s shown and better feel for timing up when his primary defenders lose track of him briefly when reacting to drivers/ball-swings, I’d imagine Sexton could get some more easy ones via baseline and/or diagonal cuts.

There were more of those instances it appeared as the season wore on, and at times playing off of rumored/reported free agent T.J. McConnell and/or Alex Caruso as reserve playmakers could be fruitful in that way for Sexton as well. So that’s something to look out for in some spurts/stretches with Garland getting a breather, realistically.

Along with that, if Kevin Love and/or Larry Nance Jr. can prove to be mostly healthy heading into next season, their passing abilities could pay off for Sexton in the pick-and-roll/spot-up looks sure, but their vision could hit Collin coming off some occasional down screens leading to interior cutting looks, too.

That could result in some simple push shot looks in the paint with his momentum going toward the rim, of course. Or here and there, Sexton could hit some dump offs to counter those as well and/or occasionally, based on what was shown later on last season, he could hit some kickouts off of those initial cuts.

And lastly, in addition to perhaps some more looks in set offense playing a bit more off-ball, Sexton I’d expect to show more polish as a cutter in transition, as it seemed he demonstrated as last season wore on.

His feel improved in those unsettled situations leading to some easier looks by getting better at timing up how he filled lanes, and he did balance that some more by showing more willingness to shoot catch-and-shoot transition threes. In turn, that sort of thing aided him as an interior cutting threat to boot.

In any case, while again I’m not saying the frequency will increase considerably, we could see more of Sexton used as a cutter next season. That’s even more so with Cleveland hopefully adding playmaking, via a McConnell, Patty Mills or Caruso free agent add, or them maybe adding Scottie Barnes or Josh Giddey as rotational playmakers in the draft, too.

Moreover, Sexton, even with the frequency only having been 5.0 percent last season, did hit 65.0 percent of his cutting shot attempts, which was encouraging.

He placed in the 41st percentile in those situations overall, per Synergy Sports, which wasn’t outstanding on the surface. But also factoring in that 11.0 percent of the time in those situations there were free throw attempts drawn, on the subject, he clearly did show progress in that realm, in fairness.

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So to drive it home, we should expect to see some more of Collin as a cutting presence in Year 4.