Cleveland Cavaliers: On whether Collin Sexton has superstar potential

Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

The Voice of the Fan takes a look at Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Collin Sexton, who is about one-third of the way through his first NBA season.

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Collin Sexton‘s back must hurt, because he’s been loaded with expectations ever since he was made the eighth pick in the draft.

When you’re the crown jewel in the trade that cleared the path for Kyrie Irving to depart town, it’s natural for the fan base to look to you for production, especially after LeBron James left again via free agency.

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The thing you have to realize about Sexton is that he only has one year of college ball under belt, so he’s got some growing  to do.

You’ve also got to understand he doesn’t look like a superstar talent. He’s not LBJ. He’s not Kyrie. Most people got spoiled by how LeBron stepped out of St. Vincent-St. Mary and took over the court rather quickly.

The same is true of Irving. He played just 18 games at Duke. It became clear pretty quickly though, that he was on a path to stardom early on in his pro career.

Sexton played 33 games as a freshman at Alabama last season. He’s already played in 36 games as pro.

He’s without veteran leadership (Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, who are injured) and his coach was hired barely three weeks into the season.

Welcome to the NBA, kid.

Sexton needs time to mature and get his feet under him. He appears to try hard, but he’s got to learn the NBA game and hopefully he’ll progress and turn into someone who can help lead this franchise from the woods.

With Love out, Jordan Clarkson remains the Cavs only true scoring threat, so Sexton’s asked to score…a lot. The kid can get to the basket, but asking him to lead the team in scoring? Remember, he was the eighth pick, not a slam-dunk consensus to be the first-overall player taken.

Sexton is averaging 14.7 points per game while shooting 42 percent from the field. He’s shooting right around 36 percent from 3-point range.

Things to improve upon will be his defense and play making abilities.

He was taken in the draft with a reputation as tough defender, but at times, NBA guards just carve him up. No one’s a finished product as a rookie, though, and he can get better in this department.

As for making plays, he’s not a natural passing guard, and that is worrisome, although he’s not exactly overwhelmed with players to dish the rock too. Entering Dec. 29, Sexton was averaging just 2.6 assists per game.

Keep in mind that predicting actual lottery numbers can be harder than forecasting talent the NBA Draft.

No. 1 pick DeAndre Ayton is solid, averaging 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per night, but Phoenix is just as bad as the Cavs. No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley was averaging 12.7 points and just over six rebounds for the Kings before going down with a bone bruise.

Trae Young has had moments for the Hawks, but he’s inconsistent as well. He’s shooting 26 percent from 3-point range. People thought he could be another Steph Curry. Yikes.

Wendell Carter is averaging 10.5 points for the Bulls. Nothing special. Mo Bamba, a player picked just ahead of Sexton by the Magic is averaging 6.5 points and 1.3 blocks per night in about 16 minutes per game.

Third overall pick Luka Doncic may be the only true superstar to come out of this crop. That’s what the early returns, forecast, anyways.

Sexton may not become a superstar. Perhaps he will. If he doesn’t though, he can still be a very, very good player and playoff teams need those players, too.

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Mix some of those guys with a potential franchise changer like Zion Williamson, and then maybe you’re on to something.