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Cleveland Cavaliers and Collin Sexton contract talks at impasse, Spurs and Pistons interested

Jason Burgos
cleveland cavaliers, collin sexton
Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers and restricted free agent Collin Sexton look to be far apart on the terms of a new deal, and there are a few teams that are believed to be interested in the 23-year-old guard.

Sexton was a key contributor for the Cavaliers and their return to the NBA Playoffs in 2022 — after three straight seasons on the outside looking in. The eighth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft was the third on the team in scoring (16.0 PPG) and formed a strong and potential rich backcourt duo with first-time All-Star, and 2019 first-round pick Darius Garland.

This summer, Sexton is a restricted free agent and will be looking for the first big-time contract of his career. It seems the number he believes he deserves and what the Cleveland Cavaliers want to pay him are very different. On Tuesday, Cleveland.com Cavs reporter Chris Fedor revealed that Sexton and the team are quite a few million apart annually on a new long-term deal.

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“The sense I get is the Cavs are more comfortable in the $15-18 million range while Sexton’s camp is eyeing something around $18-22 million … Sources say Cleveland’s front office doesn’t believe there is a team willing to give Sexton a contract north of $20 million annually,” writes Fedor.

Cleveland Cavaliers may have Collin Sexton competition in Spurs, Pistons, and Pacers

cleveland cavaliers, collin sexton
Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

While the Cleveland Cavaliers front office may be correct in their assessment that no other team will be willing to offer Collin Sexton $20 million per year, that is far from a guarantee. The market value for strong bench players in today’s NBA is often in the low to middle teams. A starting-level player who is still very young getting $19 or $20 million is not out of the realm of possibility.

  • Collin Sexton stats (2021-2022): 16.0 PPG, 3.3 REB, 2.1 AST, 0.9 STL

And it looks like there are quite a few teams that could be in play for Sexton. Fedor outlined at least two teams that could be serious threats.

“Sources maintain that Detroit and Indiana are viewed as the biggest threats. At least one member of the front office wonders if the Pistons will make Sexton a priority, especially if Dallas retains prized free agent Jalen Brunson,” Fedor wrote. “Both the Pistons and Pacers have taller backcourt mates that would minimize some of the size concerns while also keeping Sexton from needing to be the primary creator. The Spurs, who sources say have some Sexton fans in their front office, fit those same parameters — if they’re looking for a new Dejounte Murray running mate.”

The biggest knocks on Sexton in free agency will be his size for a shoot guard and his defensive deficiencies. Plus, he is recovering from recent knee surgery. However, teams like the Pistons and Pacers could overlook that and see major upside in the Alabama alum.