After reaching the halfway mark of the season, the Cavs currently hold the worst record in the NBA with 8 wins and 35 losses. They have lost 16 of the last 17 games, losing the previous 12 games straight. Although the Cavs seem to be headed towards one of the worst regular seasons ever and a very high draft pick next year, there has been one bright spot on this team; the Cavs’ first round draft pick, Collin Sexton, has over-performed his projections after being selected 8th overall.
During the months of May through July of 2018, the Cavs’ fortunes seemed to spoil. LeBron dragged a terrible Cavs team through the playoffs, the team was swept in the playoffs and the LeBron left for Los Angeles. The threat of LeBron leaving loomed the summer before, so when the Cavs traded Kyrie Irving, they made sure to receive the insurance in the form of the Brooklyn Nets’ 1st round pick, which had been the 1st overall pick in the previous year’s draft.
Although hopes were high when the Cavs received the Nets’ pick from the Boston Celtics, seemingly a lock for a top-three pick, many fans were rightfully disappointed when the pick fell to No. 8 in the lottery, losing any chance of drafting big names like Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley or Luka Doncic. Although rumors circulated that the Cavs had several chances to trade up, they eventually settled for Alabama PG Collin Sexton.
While many were disappointed with this pick, Sexton quickly made his mark in the summer league and transferred his skills to NBA with impressive numbers, given that he was picked 8th overall. In terms of points per game, he ranks fourth behind Trey Young, DeAndre Ayton and Luka Doncic with 14.6 points per game. He has recorded a true shooting percentage of nearly 50%. He ranks second in FT Percentage among rookies with at least 30 attempts, which compliments his tendency to attack the rim very well. Even as a clear score-first point guard, he also has shown good potential as a passer, recording three assists per game, good for fifth among rookies. Finally, Sexton’s determination and grit have helped him develop into one of the better rookies despite his shorter height of 6’1”.
Collin Sexton isn’t going to be the next Kyrie Irving, but he has shown great potential to become a strong scorer next to a first option such as Zion Williamson or RJ Barrett.