In the end, it was Kyrie Irving for Collin Sexton.
If that’s the rudimentary analytical breakdown one wants to use in what was the final sum of the Boston Celtics blockbuster deal with the four-time Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers that involved the aforementioned Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder—both of whom would be dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz respectfully—Ante Zizic and the highly-coveted Brooklyn Nets pick that would turn into Sexton.
While both Cleveland—and the rest of the planet that isn’t watching FIFA World Cup 2018—awaits where the King will go, his present kingdom selected a possible apprentice known as The Young Bull who may one day inherit his throne.
Compared to a younger version of current Milwaukee Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe, the 19-year-old 6’3 190-pound Sexton is lightning quick and explosive in transition, with a knack for defense along with an ability to create his own shot. which is something that Cleveland sorely lacked in getting steamrolled by the now back-to-back NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
While averaging 19.2 points and 3.6 assists in his only season down in Tuscaloosa, Sexton ranked 1st in the SEC in Transition scoring (5.1 ppg), second in the conference in both pick and roll scoring (5.5 ppg) and isolation scoring (2.5 ppg), per NBA.com.
Despite shooting 44-for-131 from three-point range (33.6 percent), Cavs officials came away very impressed with his character, touchiness, quickness and winner-like mentality, according to ESPN Cavs insider, Dave McMenamin.
Bottom line is that he is a younger, much-needed upgrade over the likes of George Hill and Jordan Clarkson, and depending on LBJ, could make an immediate impact and be a legit candidate for Rookie Of the Year honors. The lack of a true scoring point guard showed it’s ugly head time and time again, which caused LBJ to exert more energy than necessary, and by the time the Finals vs. Golden State rolled around, you could see how drained and spent he was.
Sexton—if he stays—would be able to take some pressure off of James, and depending on what pieces Cleveland adds in the off-season could make this a very successful start to the post-LeBron era.
It may not be the sexy pick like Trae Young would have been, had he not been selected by Dallas—and traded to Atlanta—or a Michael Porter Jr. who slide all the way down to the Denver Nuggets at No.14 due to concerns over his back, but Cleveland landed the best player on the board in a position that they desperately needed to address.
Sexton is the right pick for a new and younger generation of Cavs ready to move forward with—or without their King.