NBA Rumor: Collin Sexton Trade?

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Pacers interested in Collin Sexton?

If the Pacers ultimately decide to rebuild and trade veterans such as Caris LeVert, what he does is something the Cavs don’t have at present as a tall guard who can score consistently. Indiana, sources said, likes the Cavs’ injured guard Collin Sexton as a “terrific scorer,” though the Pacers have not yet brought him up in the discussions they’ve had with Cleveland’s executives. There are two developments worth monitoring here from Cleveland’s perspective. One, perhaps a market will develop for the Cavs to be able to move Sexton, who is only 22, is a 20.0 ppg scorer over his career and led the team in scoring his past two seasons. He is out for the season with a torn meniscus.

The Pacers, historically, do not tear down their roster and rebuild. They haven’t made a draft pick in the top 10 since 1989. Getting involved in the Harden deal — Indiana moved Victor Oladipo to Houston and received LeVert as part of the trade — was an anomaly for that franchise. But rival executives believe the Pacers might engage in substantial deals before the deadline. While I am certain the Pacers “like” Sexton, I don’t know if their affinity for him would lead to a trade. Sexton is entering his restricted free agency this summer, after not getting a lucrative contract extension from the Cavs. The Pacers would have the ability to match any offer Sexton received on the open market, but with his potential earning value hindered by missing most of this season, Indiana could be in a position to sign him to a short, team-friendly deal. Much like the Cavs would be if they decided to hold on to him past the trade deadline.

One question outside of a likely Mobley pick is what else they might have in store for themselves. Rumors of Collin Sexton trades are swirling. Exploring better-balanced books in the future is happening. And even kicking around a potential Ben Simmons trade for Cleveland has been discussed, as it has with many teams. League sources said brief conversations between Cleveland and Philadelphia were explored, but an asking price of every young player the Cavs value plus multiple first-round picks in the future wasn’t something they’d consider. For now, roll with Mobley and see where else value may exist.

Would a Collin Sexton trade change anything here for the Cleveland Cavaliers? We’ve got some trade rumors ahead of Sexton’s contract extension negotiations. Until Kevin Love’s deal is off the books (or on someone else’s books), committing big money to Sexton, especially after the way he played last year, might not be the way they want to pack their payroll. If they can grab extra picks in the process, league sources say that’s something the Cavs are interested in doing. Maybe that means Sexton to the Knicks for their picks at No. 19 and No. 21 with some kind of framework happening there?

I asked one executive from an opposing team if the Cavs could get the Sixers’ Ben Simmons for a package of Love and Sexton. While the money matches, the response was “no chance; Philly can do better” despite Simmons’ deflated value. Teams around the league are well aware of Sexton’s contract situation, which will hurt his value in trade talks. One source believed the Cavs should’ve traded Sexton last summer, knowing this was coming and didn’t believe the Cavs will get a pick in the top half of the draft for him because of the contract. The Cavs may not find a match and still bring Sexton back for next season, but it won’t be for a lack of trying.

Sources close to Collin Sexton believe he's part of Cavs' long-term plans

Landing the third pick in a highly regarded draft class has raised expectations, altered the trajectory of this potential turnaround and created options. With such a valuable trade chip, the Cavs’ trade targets are different these days. They can go star hunting, dangling either their first rounder or some of the pieces assembled over the last few years. Or they can gladly keep No. 3 and get the franchise cornerstone they currently lack through the draft. Considering a trade is one thing. Finalizing is another.

Recent rumblings point to Sexton’s name being involved in trade discussions — even though sources close to Sexton have the impression that the polarizing 22-year-old shooting guard is part of the long-term plans. The chatter shouldn’t come as a surprise. Sexton is extension-eligible this summer and his agent Austin Brown, the same guy who got Donovan Mitchell the rookie-scale max from Utah, will be looking for a big payday. Sexton’s earned it. Despite being selected eighth in 2018, he’s emerged as one of the top players in the class, averaging career-bests in points (24.3), assists (4.4) and field goal percentage (47.5%) this past season. He’s improved every year and his unrelenting work ethic points to a guy who will likely keep ascending. Sexton has done everything they’ve asked, if not more.
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