Selected with the eight overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Collin Sexton was one of the many lottery picks chosen by the Cleveland Cavaliers in recent years. Prior to being drafted, Sexton was a five star recruit and generally considered to be the second best point guard of the 2017 class.
Playing just one season at the University of Alabama, he was the highest draft selection from Alabama since Antonio McDyess in 1995 [who was selected 2nd overall].
Sexton was immediately impactful on the offensive end during his rookie campaign. He is the only rookie in NBA history to average at least 16 points per game on over 40% accuracy from beyond the 3 -point arc [with at least 2,000 minutes played and fewer than 3 turnovers per game].
On the floor, Sexton relies on his impressive speed and elite ball-handling skills. His herky-jerky style with the ball allows him to keep defenders off balance and get to the rim without necessarily having the quickest first step.
Though he does have a reliable jump shot, Sexton prefers to finish around the rim, employing a range of runners, lay-ups, and teardrops to finish around larger defenders.
Sexton’s score first mentality means he is not exactly renowned for his passing. The diminutive point guard does possess above average court vision though. He is more than capable of finding his teammates when needed or completing difficult passes.
Indeed, Sexton’s ability to get to the rim is impressive, but the fact that it seems to be his preference will limit his potential. Attempting under four 3 point field goal attempts per game as a point guard may have been acceptable 15 years ago, but in today’s NBA there are centers that shoot more 3s than that.
And while his percentage from downtown is pretty good after two seasons, his ability to maintain that efficiency at a higher rate remains a question mark.
This being said, there are some promising signs that Sexton can be great. He is an excellent decision maker under pressure. Rather than over-dribbling and forcing the action, Sexton is decisive with the ball, seemingly deciding his plan of attack the second he gets the ball.
His scoring instincts and rapid decision-making skills means that Sexton can both run the point and play off-ball.
Being buried in the small-market of Cleveland on a team that is not good enough to contend may ultimately prove beneficial to Sexton’s long-term development. As a starting point guard for a franchise like the Los Angeles Lakers, the expectations would unquestionably be hefty.
The soon to be 22 year old clearly has a lot of room to grow and his career can take a number of different directions. He likely will never be the best player on a championship team, but it is entirely within the realm of possibility that he can grow into the role of second option on a championship squad.
Regardless of his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sexton clearly has a bright future in the NBA.
Clint is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, and contributed to various sports publications prior to his work with Upside Hoops.