In today’s NBA, what happens on draft night could be totally different two weeks or two months from now.
As it stands right now, the Cavaliers drafted a point guard with the eighth overall pick in the draft last night, grabbing Alabama’s Collin Sexton, a pick that received mixed reviews.
We believe the reason was the expectation that GM Koby Altman was going to swing a deal to bring in a veteran star player in an effort to keep LeBron James with the team, but James is said to like Sexton too.
Of course, there is still time for Altman to swing a deal before the end of the month when the free agency period begins in earnest.
In our opinion, Sexton is a very good pick.
There is no question that he needs to work on his shot. He shot just 44.7% from the floor and just 33.6% from behind the arc. However, he demonstrated a tremendous ability to get to the basket.
He did shoot 78% from the line which shows he can shoot a bit, and remember, he’s just 19 years old, and although a player can’t improve his lateral quickness, they can work on their shooting, and get better through spending time in the gym.
One thing that was evident watching the Cavs in the playoffs, was they needed players who can create offense by attacking the basket. Too often, the only guy doing that was James.
Let’s face it, after the Kyrie Irving deal last summer, the Cavs needed a penetrating guard who can finish around the basket, although that could be a problem without a reliable jump shot to keep defenders honest.
Sexton will need to improve his playmaking ability to be successful in the NBA, because he was more of a combo guard in college, but again, he’s just a year out of high school, and we have seen a lot of scorers in college become playmakers in the pros.
His reputation is that he is a hard worker and plays well in big games. We love that. Players can improve by working hard, and when players don’t pan out in the NBA, many times it is because they don’t put the time in during the off-season.
And as a bonus, Sexton is considered a solid defender, something that outside of George Hill has been missing from the games of Cavs’ point guards for awhile.
Another reason for disappointment with the choice of Sexton is that the wine and gold passed on Michael Porter Jr., considered one of the most talented players available.
However, Porter’s back problems (also at age 19!) were simply too much of a red flag. Everyone seems to look at his upside, but what if he’s this decade’s Greg Oden, a player who simply can’t either get on the floor or stay on it.
As for the big picture, keeping the pick and taking Sexton doesn’t mean James is leaving Cleveland, nor does it mean he is staying.
We said it before the Cavs have another week to make moves in an attempt to make James see this is a good place for him to try to win another title.
It could be the most important week this franchise has had off the court in a long time.