After all the rumors, the Cleveland Cavaliers stayed and made their selection with the eighth pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Cleveland selected Alabama point guard Collin Sexton as their first lottery selection since 2014 when they drafted Andrew Wiggins with the first overall selection.
Sexton has been looked at by Cleveland for some time during this process. Owner Dan Gilbert and general manager Koby Altman went to Alabama to watch him play live and had him in for a pre-draft workout the day after the NBA Finals in which Gilbert called him a “very interesting” prospect.
Sexton was the 6th ranked prospect out of high school in the Class of 2017 according to ESPN after averaging 23 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists while leading his high school team to be state runner ups in Georgia.
Former NBA point guard and head coach Avery Johnson recruited him to Alabama and he made an impact from the start for the Crimson Tide.
His breakout performance came against Minnesota last November when he scored 40 points while Alabama played 3 on 5 for most of the second half of the game.
In his lone season in Alabama, Sexton averaged 19.2 points on 44% shooting (34% from 3), 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. He was named an honorable mention All-American and the SEC Freshman of the Year.
In the SEC tournament, he scored 27 points including a buzzer beater to beat Texas A&M, 31 points against the top seeded Auburn Tigers and 21 points in a semifinal loss to Kentucky. Sexton was named to the SEC All-Tournament team after averaging 26.3 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
Here’s his scouting report from Draft Express via ESPN
-Solid tools for a point guard prospect at 6’2, with a 6′ 6.5 wingspan, especially when coupled with his explosiveness
.-Quick twitch athlete with excellent burst. Dynamic in transition. Shifts gears with force. Doesn’t need a ball screen to get to the rim. Explosive leaper in space, especially off two feet.
-Game is predicated on his ability to get into the teeth of the defense – 39.4 points per 40 minutes (25 lifetime DX database games). Most comfortable attacking to his left. Plays off of hang dribbles. Can finish with either hand.
-Improving shooter, although still inconsistent. Went through competitive shooting workouts after every session. Hard worker. Career 33% from three. Best in mid-range spots. Can create space off the bounce.
-Tough kid who plays with a chip on his shoulder. Doesn’t shy away from contact at all. Crazed look in his eyes during the heat of the battle. Positive emotion after big plays. Keeps coming at you. Killer mentality. Attacks his own misses
.-Competes defensively. Can really sit down and slide. Active hands. Not afraid to defend with physicality.
-Although more of a score-first point guard, he showcased his vision throughout Hoop Summit practices and games. Can deliver the ball from different angles. Passes over the top in pick and roll with his left hand. Good in drive and dish situations. Still developing as a pure point guard but certainly has vision.
-Has the mental makeup of a player who will maximize his potential
-Good not great physical profile for an NBA lead guard. Average height and frame when compared to some of the NBA’s elite lead guards.
-Very streaky shooter. Somewhat mechanical release. Hand a bit too on top of the ball. Shoots it off the outside of his hand at times. Can improve his range and comfortability from deep
.-Turns down rhythm spot ups. More comfortable off the bounce.-Gets too sped up at times. Wild driving into traffic. Very turnover prone at times. Will hoist up contested jumpers early in the clock. Score-first guard. Flash over substance passer. Still has room to polish his point guard skills.
-Explosive, but can add more savvy as a finisher. Goes for the homerun, flashy finish at times. Could benefit from a more consistent floater. Slightly more comfortable loading up off of two feet than one.
-One-position defender due to his tools-Lets his emotions get the best of him at times when things aren’t going his way. Can do a better job of staying even keel and controlling the pace of the game.
– Source: http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Collin-Sexton-91232/ ©DraftExpress
Cleveland needed a point guard with George Hill and Jordan Clarkson as their current point guards and both not seeming like a long-term solution.
If Sexton remains in Cleveland, the Cavs are getting a good athlete who is working to become a better player. His shooting is improving but you don’t average nearly 20 points per game in the SEC on accident. He’s also a solid defender which was something the Cavaliers severely needed as they were a poor defensive team last season.
Also, it’s been reported that Lebron James likes Collin Sexton as a player. I also say that with caution because a few years ago there was a player coming out in the draft named Shabazz Napier that Lebron liked. Miami traded up in the 2014 NBA Draft to get him only for Lebron to leave two weeks later to return to the Cavaliers.
Hopefully in a few weeks, Lebron James will be re-signing with the Cavaliers and forming a duo with the newest addition of the Cavaliers in Collin Sexton.