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New York Knicks ‘most aggressive’ Collin Sexton trade suitor: How a deal might go down

The New York Knicks are rumored to be interested in trading for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, according to a report by The Athletic‘s Shams Charania.

In his report, Charania wrote that New York is “the most aggressive trade suitor” for Sexton, citing sources with knowledge of the Knicks’ thinking.

Here’s a look at what New York would probably need to give up in order to acquire the promising guard.

Best Collin Sexton trade offer New York Knicks can make

  • Cavaliers get: Nos. 19 and 21 overall picks in 2021 NBA Draft, 2023 first-round pick and Immanuel Quickley
  • Knicks get: Collin Sexton

Losing a young star like Sexton would be tough for the Cavs to take, unless they get a truly massive haul in return.

Already armed with the No. 3 overall pick, landing two more first-rounders in this year’s draft would give the Cavs the means to really upgrade their roster, or flip some combination of those assets for a legitimate All-Star.

Since New York already has Dallas’ first-round picks in 2021 and 2023, parting with those couple surplus selections shouldn’t be too much to take if it means getting someone like Sexton in return.

But any player in the draft is an unknown commodity. The Cavs are going to want a somewhat proven player in the package. Since the Knicks have so many pending free agents, they don’t have many pieces to work with. Thus, second-team all-rookie selection Immanuel Quickley joins Darius Garland in Cleveland’s backcourt.

This way, New York can still give the Cavs a solid package, but doesn’t have to give up its two presumptive incumbent cornerstones in reigning Most Improved Player Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.

It’s a pretty steep cost for the Knickerbockers to incur, but then again, they wildly exceeded expectations this past season despite their perceived lack of talent and no real instant impact from lottery pick Obi Toppin.

Why Collin Sexton is a perfect fit for New York Knicks

Why Collin Sexton is a perfect fit for New York Knicks
Jan 20, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (2) dribbles in the third quarter against the New York Knicks at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
  • Collin Sexton stats (2020-21, Cleveland Cavaliers): 24.3 ppg, 3.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.0 steals, shooting splits of 47.5/37.1/81.5

New York head coach Tom Thibodeau loves high-effort, intense players with serious work ethics. For whatever perceived faults Sexton has, you can’t deny he works hard and has a high motor.

Although his defense has been inconsistent at times on the Cavs, Sexton is an absolutely tenacious on-ball defender when he wants to be. His outstanding lateral quickness and 6-foot-6 wingspan more than make up for his 6-foot-1 height.

The fact that Sexton took on such a burden on offense for a talent-starved Cleveland squad meant his defense suffered somewhat as a result of that. Plus, it’s not like the Cavs had much to play for as the season wore on and they wound up in the high lottery of the draft.

Thibodeau seems like the exact coach to match Sexton’s competitive intensity and push him. Sexton has to be begging for a bigger market, because his skills are real, evident in his high shooting proficiency and ability to thrive as the lead guard or off the ball next to Garland in Cleveland.

There’s no question New York is an elite defensive team under Thibodeau’s watch, and Sexton would be a willing contributor in that area. Where he’d really help the Knicks is giving them a legitimate perimeter scoring threat they sorely lacked and got exposed for in the NBA playoffs, as they bowed out in five games to the Trae Young-led Atlanta Hawks.

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