In the NBA, it’s imperative that a team’s stars be able to take on bigger roles, and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kevin Love has been a bright spot on the team since he arrived in 2014. Throughout his career, though, the fourth-year forward has struggled with his high-usage playing style, and has the fifth-highest on/off-court-rating differential among players that have logged at least 200 minutes since the start of 2016-17. Consequently, the Cavs have been forced to make adjustments to the way Love plays—and the latest one is something of a risky one.
When the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2018 NBA Finals, they kept their core intact, but they did trade away one of their most talented players in Kevin Love to the Minnesota Timberwolves. That move has brought some question about whether the Cavs are planning to buy out the final three years and $62.7 million on Love’s contract in order to save money, or if they still want to move him this offseason.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping that the duo of Collin Sexton and Kevin Love would help the team stay afloat in the post-LeBron James era.
That’s it. Sexton has become an incredibly dangerous scorer, but the Cavaliers were 60-159 in his first three seasons. As the team prepares for a possible Love exchange, they must also make a risky decision about Sexton’s future.
Cleveland Cavaliers play with fate by adding young guard Collin Sexton (R) in Kevin Love trade | Emilee Chinn/Getty Images
It’s entirely possible that Sexton and Love will remain teammates when the 2021-22 season begins in the fall. They’re just not going to play the Cavaliers.
According to The Athletic, the Cavaliers are willing to include Sexton in any trade for Love. The 22-year-old point guard can sign a five-year, $168 million contract this season, which would affect his value in any trade talks, according to The Athletic.
One source believes the Cavs should have traded Sexton last summer, knowing it would happen, and doesn’t think the Cavs will get a pick in the first half of the draft for him because of his contract.
The teams can’t officially agree on a deal until the 2021 NBA Finals. If Sexton doesn’t sign, he’ll get $6.3 million next season and could become a free agent in the summer of 2022.
Love has two seasons left on a four-year, $120 million contract he signed in 2019.
Sexton is in an enviable position for any young player, even one who could sign a significant contract in the coming weeks. He’s had three head coaches since entering the NBA – four if you count Larry Drew, who served as interim coach in 2018-19.
Just like the first time James left, the Cavaliers are one of the worst teams in the NBA. This franchise has not had a winning record with a team without LeBron James since the 1997-98 season. Sexton, by the way, was born in January 1999.
Last season, Sexton averaged 24.3 points and 4.4 assists per game as a guard for the Cavaliers. While the Cavaliers are building a young core of Darius Garland, Isaac Okaro and Jarrett Allen, do they really want to part with Sexton this early? Love is in a very different situation given his age (he turns 33 on September 7) and his lack of longevity in recent years.
This is not a situation where a team that needs to win now is taking away talented young players to make room for proven All-Stars. The Cavaliers have youth and the third pick in the 2021 NBA Draft on their side. But a Sexton trade is too risky if his current contract situation significantly reduces his value.
No one should jump in front of the follow car if the Cavaliers can get a big package in return. If not, they’d be better off with Sexton for another year.
The Miami Heat and New York Knicks are indeed monitoring Collin Sexton’s situation in Cleveland, sources said.
– Evan Dammarell (@AmNotEvan) 1 July 2021
Gary Sheffield Jr, author of Outkick and son of former MLB star Gary Sheffield, has suggested trading Andrew Wiggins for Love with the Warriors. He’s definitely on the right track.
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