What would a successful 2022-23 look like for Collin Sexton with Cavs?

Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

As of today Cleveland Cavaliers restricted free agent guard Collin Sexton still remains unsigned. Sexton is a Rich Paul client (the CEO of Klutch Sports), and as Cavs fans know, Paul is willing to take these discussions close to training camp and sometimes into training camp. We saw that with Tristan Thompson back in 2015, before they ultimately were able to reach a new deal.

Sexton hasn’t had much of a market, as potential suitors prior to the 2022 NBA Draft ended up taking guards, and there’s been some acquired via trade. Sexton had a rough time to be a restricted free agent/free agent in general.

And as we get closer and closer to training camp it appears as the days go by that Sexton doesn’t have a new deal the more likely it is that he ends up on the qualifying offer for next year, which has been a reported possibility since earlier in the offseason.

All indications, especially going into training camp, is that the starting 2 guard spot is Caris LeVert’s to lose at this point. The most likely starting lineup is Darius Garland-LeVert-Lauri Markkanen-Evan Mobley-Jarrett Allen.

Assuming Sexton is back he’ll likely have a different role then he did his first three-plus years in Cleveland, or at least the first three. Sexton the previous 2 years shared the backcourt with Darius Garland. The Cavs reportedly considered starting Isaac Okoro over Sexton ahead of last season, before they ultimately decided to stick with Sexton.

Unfortunately for Collin only 11 games in he tore his meniscus and was lost for the season. One of the biggest knocks and questions Sexton critics have had is that he’s been a good stats, bad team kind of player that question if he can contribute to winning.

I think some of it is unfair to Sexton, as he’s a really good player and it’s just unfortunate that he got hurt just as Garland had a breakout season that saw him turn into an All-Star, and with Mobley was so impactful as a rookie, the Cavaliers went from a rebuilding team and to becoming a playoff contender.

So, with that caveat, what would a successful 2022-23 season look like for Sexton if he’s back with the Cavs?

Again Sexton will most likely be adjusting to a new role off the bench this season. I think Sexton would really thrive in a sixth man role being the most important player coming off the bench and even being in closing lineups for the Cavs. I certainly don’t think Sexton is going to put up 24.3 points per game, which he averaged his last fully healthy season on the Cavs, on this iteration of the team, though.

A lot of things have changed since then. Obviously Garland had a breakout season and cemented himself as a star, and I don’t think Garland is done yet and you could see him take another step as early as next year. The Cavs also drafted Mobley and offensively after averaging 15.0 points and 2.5 assists, he’ll seemingly take on a much larger responsibility on that end in his second year.

You’ll see plenty of offense run through Garland/Mobley next year. Considering those things you’ll never see Collin average 24.3 points per game and it’s unlikely he’ll average 20 again for the Cavaliers, if he’s around long-term eventually.

I think, realistically, what a successful season for Sexton would look like would be first having an important role as a sixth man and in that role helping Cleveland reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2017-18 season and for the first time without LeBron James since 1997-98.

Statistically Sexton getting 27-28 minutes per game averaging between 15.5-16 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal and shooting 36 percent from 3, while shooting 46 percent from the field all while helping the Cavs to get back into the playoffs would be significant.

If a scenario like this or something similar plays out Collin would prove that he’s able to play a crucial role on a winning playoff team, and it would reset his market.

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He wouldn’t be coming off an injury and him having a sizeable role on a playoff team would help him appeal more to a team or teams on the open market and would help him get that notable with the Cavaliers next offseason, or from another team he’s been looking for.