Assessing Cleveland Cavaliers Collin Sexton

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On a day when former franchise-everything LeBron James was in the house supporting his new team, the Cleveland Cavaliers continued their transition to the future at the Las Vegas Summer League. The Cavs’ summer league team defeated the Toronto Raptors 82-68 to move into the tournament semifinals on Monday night, and No. 9 overall pick Collin Sexton had another strong game with 18 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds. But will his Vegas display translate to the regular season against NBA competition?

Sexton has spent the summer league as primarily a volume scorer from the lead guard spot, averaging 17.8 points on 43.3 percent from the floor through six games. However, Sexton is doing most of his damage inside the arc, as he’s shooting 46.3 percent (37-of-80) on 2-point shots but only 20 percent (2-of-10) from downtown. The lack of a consistent 3-pointer could be a problem at the next level, as he’ll need that shot to be a consistently effective scorer at his size.

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Cavs guard Collin Sexton pushes the tempo and finishes through traffic for an and-1 layup.

Sexton likes to attack the rim off the dribble from the 3-point line, sometimes utilizing screens but often creating on his own to get into the lane. He has a quick enough first step that he often has able to create a bit of space, but isn’t very large so is not adept at using his body to seal off the defender. Instead, Sexton often relies on quickness to get to the rim jumper. On Sunday, there were six dribble-drives in the first half that culminated in either trying to finish at the rim or turning the ball over, the most memorable of which coming when he accelerated but missed a one-handed dunk over an interior defender.

While these drives in Vegas generally led to either made layups or drawn fouls (Sexton has averaged 6.7 free throw attempts), it’s unclear if he’ll have the size and explosiveness to finish with as much success at the rim at the next level. But Sexton also demonstrated the ability to either pull up off the dribble or to find teammates with kick passes off the drive. Sexton took at least four jump shots off the dribble on Sunday, which resulted in three made midrange jumpers. This is a shot that should be a weapon for him in the NBA.

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Collin Sexton hits a tough stepback jumper for the Cavs’ first points in Sunday’s game against the Raptors.

The aggressive drive and kick should also be effective at the next level, especially when he’s surrounded by more talented shooters. While Sexton had six assists on Sunday, there were at least six other assist opportunities where the teammate either missed the shot or turned the ball over.

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