7 players the Cleveland Cavaliers held onto for way too long

Antawn Jamison, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Antawn Jamison, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images /

No. 4: Collin Sexton

Now we come to a more complicated case, that of one Collin Sexton. The Cleveland Cavaliers used the draft pick acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade to draft Sexton eighth overall just a week before LeBron James packed up and heading to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sexton, a relentless point guard out of Alabama, had a very up-and-down career with the Cavaliers. He built himself into a prolific volume scorer, including averaging a whopping 24.3 points per game in 2020-21. The problem with his fit in Cleveland was two-fold: he was too small to play shooting guard but too poor of a playmaker to play point guard.

With Darius Garland outpacing him and boasting those true point guard chops, it seemed fait accompli that the Cavs would move on from Sexton. To their credit, they didn’t err so much that they signed him to a lucrative contract extension, but they also held onto him all the way to restricted free agency, eventually using him as salary ballast in the Donovan Mitchell trade.

There was a point the offseason before that the Cavs could have traded Sexton for real value. Coming off that high-scoring year, Sexton could have brought back a real wing to add to the Cavs’ core, but instead, his value was reduced to a salary number. The Cavaliers should have seen the writing on the wall and moved Sexton a year earlier.