It has been a very solid first three NBA seasons for Collin Sexton. For some reason, those outside of Cleveland are still not his biggest fan. They want him traded and out of the city. As a fellow Cavs fan, it is definitely infuriating, and I am pleased with the progress he has made.
The team is going to pay him next summer, if not before, and he will be worth every last penny. Averaging nearly 25 points per game last season, Sexton showed he can dominate. And it begs the question: can he take the next step? All-Star status?
Scorers Who Never Got There
There are a few names worthy of comparing Sexton to through his first few seasons in the NBA. For better or worse, all of these guys never made it to the NBA All-Star game. Kevin Martin was a walking bucket during his days with the Sacramento Kings and the Houston Rockets. The voting committee never even looked his way.
Monta Ellis had some elite campaigns for the Golden State Warriors and even put up some solid numbers as a Milwaukee Bucks guard. But, he never got the recognition. And despite scoring at career-high clips over the past few seasons, CJ McCollum has still not been able to partake in the midseason classic as a player.
The similarities exist between Sexton and Ellis/Martin. While they were scoring effectively, their teams weren’t winning much. It does sometimes matter. But the Cleveland Cavaliers might be poised to be a .500 team for the first part of the season. Might it be enough to elevate him?
CJ McCollum has played for a winner in the Portland Trail Blazers plenty of times, but the dominance of Damian Lillard overshadows all of his contributions on that level.
Sexton’s time might be coming. Soon.
Reasons for Sexton’s All-Star Campaign
For starters, he can fill it up every night, as I mentioned above. All the man does is put the ball in the basket. And while averaging a career-high in points, he did the same in the assist column. For all the talk of his “lack of passing,” he sure made sure to distribute it effectively.
The pinnacle happened in late January, one month into the season. Collin poured in 20 points in a row during a crazy stretch against the Brooklyn Nets. If you’ve ever played NBA Jam or NBA Showtime, you’ve seen a guy on fire. Sexton was so hot that the fire department was not able to cool him off.
He made sure that on the night James Harden debuted as a Net, people would be speaking highly of the Cavs. To see mainstream media showing them love was a great feeling as a fan.
He’s continuing to improve, so this could happen as soon as next year.
Reasons Sexton Could Miss the Cut
Simply put, the Cavs have been losers when they don’t have LeBron James, going back 20+ years. 1997-98 was their last playoff trip sans The King. They had the #1 overall pick in 2003, 2011, 2013, and in 2014.
There is a chance that despite the addition of Ricky Rubio and selection of Evan Mobley, that losses pile up early and often. This is a very young team, and the wins might be invisible. As a result, the attention on the team may be minimal.
Zach LaVine got in for the first time last year, despite the Chicago Bulls having a losing record. That is pretty much an exception to this rule.
There is a chance Sexton’s numbers dip a bit, but even so, scoring 23+ ppg is impressive. The voting committee will not be easy to please. And by committee, I mean NBA head coaches.
The Verdict Is…
Collin Sexton will probably just barely miss out on the All-Star Game next year. But, he will force some tough decisions. With the game being in Cleveland, it would be fun to see him. But we have to be realistic about this.
The Cavs may lose a lot next year. And so, Sexton’s production could be mostly empty stats.
These are just predictions, of course. If Collin got the recognition, I would be thrilled. But I don’t see it occurring.