The Cleveland Cavaliers have already made a number of moves this offseason, but the team’s biggest potential move has yet to be made.
That move is the re-signing of young guard Collin Sexton. Sexton is currently a restricted free agent, and while the Cavs haven’t yet extended an offer to Sexton, the team is reportedly still “optimistic” that it can get a deal done.
To make matters more interesting, Sexton currently is attracting very little interest from opposing teams, according to a report.
“Sources say the Cavs are still hopeful and optimistic about a Sexton deal,” reported Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “Both sides want a deal — at the right price. There’s not only been positive recent dialogue but potential Sexton suitors continue to dwindle, with few cap-space teams capable of giving him the lucrative offer he covets and one the Cavs wouldn’t want to match. In many ways, Sexton’s situation has played out exactly how the Cavs anticipated, validating their belief about restricted free agency being advantageous and the market being in their favor, especially with Sexton coming off an 11-game season and significant meniscus tear.
“‘He has no market,’ an opposing executive told cleveland.com.
“Now it’s about Sexton and Cleveland trying to close that financial gap. Sources maintain Sexton wants ‘starting guard money with an annual salary that starts with a 2, not a 1.’ The Cavs are more comfortable with a yearly deal in the low-to-mid teens. Those negotiations will continue, and there’s a real chance Sexton plays this season on the $7.2 million qualifying offer, allowing him to rebuild his value and become an unrestricted free agent following the season. Still, there’s time to sort through that.”
Sexton playing the upcoming NBA season on the $7.2 million qualifying offer would be a high-risk, high-reward scenario for the young guard. Essentially, it would mean that Sexton is betting on himself to rebuild his value after missing the vast majority of last season with a knee injury.
However, if the Cavs feel confident about Sexton’s ability to not only return to form, but also continue to improve, getting him locked into a long-term deal this summer when his value is low could be a major benefit for the franchise.
Whatever happens, it seems quite likely that no multiyear deal will come in the near future. Sexton seems willing to wait to try to get a deal that he deems worthwhile, and the Cavs are clearly being careful not to overspend.
That could make for a very interesting offseason for both sides going forward.