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Report: Cavs Passed Up Massive Trade Offer on Draft Night
- Updated: July 12, 2018
The performance of Cleveland Cavaliers top draft pick Collin Sexton in the Las Vegas Summer League has thus far served as an endorsement of the team’s selection of the eighth overall pick in the 2018 draft. However, one report indicates that the Cavaliers had the opportunity to move up to the third overall selection in a proposed deal with the Atlanta Hawks.
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com indicates the deal never materialized because the Cavs had apparently already made up their minds to select Sexton:
“A source said the Cavs were offered on draft night the chance to trade up to No. 3 with the Hawks in a deal that would’ve sent Kent Bazemore to Cleveland. Instead, Atlanta swapped spots with No. 5 Dallas, and the Mavericks ended up with Luka Doncic while the Hawks landed Trae Young.
“Cleveland wanted Sexton and held firm at No. 8. Again, it’s very, very, very early, but the Cavs have every reason to be pleased with their pick. No one drafted ahead of Sexton is averaging more points per game in Vegas than him.”
The 6-foot-5 Bazemore turned 29 on July 1 and averaged 12.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals last season. He’s currently halfway through a four-year, $70 million contract he signed in July 2016, which is scheduled to pay him just over $18 million for 2018-19. He has a player option after next season to opt out of the final year of his contract.
Sexton has averaged 18.8 points in four games of Summer League action and is hitting 47.4 percent (28-of-59) of his shots from the field. His performance has caught the eye of Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue.
“Collin’s been very good,” Lue said. “I like the way he attacks the basket, he’s good in the pick-and-roll. He’s got a good pull-up jump shot, and he’s just making the right play.
“There are some things he still needs to work on and get better at, but I am very, very pleased with the way Collin’s been playing.”
Sexton’s effort has been one of the few positive developments in an offseason that’s seen the Cavaliers lose the foundation of their team in LeBron James. That’s led to the departure of some of the team’s other free agents and will make the rookie’s production during the regular season an important determinant in how well the team adjusts to their new roster in the upcoming campaign.