Cavs’ Darius Garland would ‘love’ Collin Sexton back with the squad

Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers were just the hosts for NBA All-Star Weekend, and the Cavaliers/the city of Cleveland were tremendous hosts. It was nice to see how the All-Star festivities turned out, particularly with this milestone season for the NBA, in what’s been the 75th season for the league.

Just as the Cavaliers had the last time they hosted the All-Star Game, in what was the league’s 50th season, there was a terrific halftime tribute to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, and the events during All-Star Weekend were great to see. Well, that’s aside from the Dunk Contest, which has been trending downhill in recent seasons.

Along with the Cleveland-centric aspect, it was good to see the Cavaliers themselves have two players rep the team and city in the 2022 All-Star Game itself. Darius Garland was initially named an Eastern Conference reserve, and Jarrett Allen was an injury replacement for James Harden; Allen was more than deserving of an All-Star nod, though.

Garland, Allen and Evan Mobley were the victors in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge on Saturday prior to Garland and Allen winning the game on Sunday with Team LeBron, and generally, it was cool to see Garland, and to some degree, Allen get their share of the national spotlight. That’s especially in Garland’s case, with how he’s emerged as one of the emerging young star guards this season.

Garland has had 20.3 points and 8.0 assists per game this season, and is one of only four players to average those scoring and playmaking splits this year thus far, and by the looks of it, Sunday could be the first of many All-Star appearances for Garland.

That said, even with the Cavs turning a corner this season, I do still feel for Collin Sexton, who is likely to miss the rest of the season still because of a meniscus tear back in November. Sexton has been with the Cavaliers since the early stages of this second-post-LeBron James departure rebuild, and Sexton is one of Cleveland’s best offensive players.

Last season, even partly because of injuries to some others throughout the year, Sexton did still have 24.3 points per game, to go with 4.4 assists. And even with some change to his role this season, he was showing continued growth as a passer, no matter what the splits did show.

In that realm, while he is set to be a restricted free agent this upcoming offseason, and it’s not certain if he’ll be back, it’d be meaningful for him to be back, and Garland expressed how that’d be a boost for the team if Collin is.

Here was more on that front from Garland in an interview from Saturday, via Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, who essentially asked if Garland would want Sexton back, even with Caris LeVert also now in the fold.

"“I would love to bring Collin back. I mean, that’s a brother to me. I would love to be in the same backcourt with him and just be in attack mode as always. I had a couple years with Bull that were pretty good, so hopefully we bring him back next year and see what happens.”"

Garland clearly would want Sexton back with the Cavs, and he’s on the mark there, given what Sexton brings.

When healthy, Sexton is one of Cleveland’s best offensive players, and while the Cavs would have to figure out what lineups they’d be going with, them having him, Garland LeVert would be huge for the team.

We’d have to see how they’d work Isaac Okoro into things as well, but either way, having three versatile shot creators and drivers could make Cleveland really dynamic. Closing lineups would be dictated by game flow from there, for what it’s worth.

As Garland somewhat touched on too with Fisher, Sexton’s presence as an attack-minded player can help give the squad energy in stretches, and his scoring can still help open up looks for Lauri Markkanen, Garland, Kevin Love and others.

Anyway, while we’ll have to see what shakes out for a potential new deal, a couple of recent reports about the Cavs wanting to keep Sexton long term were encouraging to me. A LeVert extension would seem to be in the cards though, so it’s not a certainty on the Sexton front.

But Garland’s praise of Collin did jump out to me over the weekend, and hopefully, the team can bring him back.

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Obviously Garland and I’m sure others are are hoping that plays out, too. Sexton’s a very talented young player himself, and injuries, fortunately, haven’t been much of an issue for him prior to this season, and he is reportedly progressing in his recovery.