The Knicks are in the hunt for Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton, and his former coach at Alabama, Avery Johnson, believes the 22-year-old speedster would mild up Broadway.
The Cavaliers have made Sexton “very accessible’’ in commerce talks. They’re involved about giving him a most rookie contract extension due to a possible awkward pairing with younger level guard Darius Garland.
Johnson, the previous Nets coach and CBS Sports activities’ high college-basketball analyst, would suggest the Knicks make the commerce. He spoke to a number of Knicks officers earlier than the 2018 draft, when Cleveland chosen Sexton eighth-overall.
“Possibly a change of surroundings will likely be higher for him,’’ Johnson informed The Submit in a cellphone interview. “I’d be thrilled if he has a chance to play for the Knicks. I like the path of that group — teaching employees, entrance workplace, making the playoffs final 12 months with actually good, younger items. If that have been to occur, it will be welcome — I can’t converse for him — however as his former coach, I’d actually be excited for that chance.’’
Not everybody seeks the brilliant lights, however Johnson thinks Sexton is ideal for the largest stage.
“For positive, he’s dynamic and Broadway will love this child,’’ Johnson stated. “He’s a magnet. He’s an entertainer. Broadway, Spike Lee, Knicks followers, all would embrace Collin. He’s very marketable.’’
The Knicks are desperately searching for a place to begin guard. Sexton has performed extra capturing guard because the Cavaliers drafted Garland in 2019.
However Johnson, a former Spurs level guard, thinks Sexton can run the present on the “1.” Although Sexton averaged a career-high 24.3 factors and shot 37.1 p.c from 3-point vary this previous season, certainly one of his largest drawbacks is having been an integral a part of three straight horrible Cavaliers’ squads. Plus, some scouts don’t contemplate him a playmaker.
“You don’t actually have the traditional level guard these days,’’ Johnson stated. “They rating the ball. Whether or not it’s level guard, lead guard, no matter you need to name it, he has the reward and talent to run a group. I’ve had a entrance row seats watching him develop and together with his management expertise, he’s very vocal, animated. I feel his skill-set will translate on the point-guard place.’’
The query the Knicks should ask earlier than making a commerce is that if Sexton is well worth the five-year, $168 million rookie extension he will likely be eligible for up till late October. The Knicks may wait till 2022 when he will likely be a restricted free agent.
One NBA personnel director stated some intangibles don’t favor Sexton.
“He’s going to need the max as a result of he suppose he’s the perfect level guard within the league,’’ one NBA expertise man stated. “He’s a dominant character and the sensation will not be all of the gamers don’t like him.’’
Whether or not there are points within the Cavaliers’ locker room is unclear. However there was a complete lot of dropping in Northeast Ohio.
Cleveland, the truth is, reportedly would really like a stable veteran in a Sexton package deal — which might put the Knicks at an obstacle versus the Pacers, Warmth, Pelicans and Lakers.
As an alternative, the Knicks have a trove of futures, together with two first spherical picks (19, 21) within the July 29 draft. Additionally they have two second-round picks (32, 58). They usually have two of their final three lottery choices expendable, Kevin Knox (taken one spot after Sexton in 2018) and Obi Toppin, whom Cleveland favored within the 2020 draft.
It needs to be famous Toppin, buried behind Julius Randle, and Sexton have the identical Artistic Artists Company rep in Austin Brown.
Sexton has had 4 completely different head coaches and, in response to The (Cleveland) Plain-Vendor, 52 teammates.
Requested to guage his three seasons, Johnson stated: “He’s gotten higher. He’s laborious employee. No person goes to outwork him. He’s realized to play on the ball, off the ball, which he’s even higher. He continues to be very explosive. He’s gotten higher unbiased of what the stats present. He’s gotten higher at decision-making, transferring the ball to his teammates. Sadly, his groups haven’t been superb and that’s mirrored of their file. Loads of instances when a group is struggling, he can’t maximize his skills, particularly within the playoffs. There’s areas he wants to enhance and he’s continually addressing these areas on each ends of the ground.’’
Protection, which is Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau’s obsession, is one space.
“He was actually good on the ball. He wants enhance off the ball when he’s in a assist place,’’ Johnson stated. “That’s an space we needed him to remain locked in as a assist defender and lengthy rebounder.
“That is all speculative but when that have been to occur, Tom Thibodeau would love to educate him. I’ve seen him guard the perfect guards within the nation. He’s by no means backed down from a problem and he’s going to embrace Thibs’ model. We coached him actually laborious and he responded. That sort of teaching and accountability, he’ll embrace it.’’