The Cavaliers clinched the third overall pick in the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, giving them the chance to pick a player who could fit in alongside Collin Sexton – or perhaps replace him.
Cleveland has “started exploring business options” involving Sexton, according to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated. The 22-year-old has just completed a career year in which he averaged 24.3 points and 4.4 assists per game, but the Cavaliers’ potential interest in a deal has more to do with their financial position than Sexton’s performance.
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Sexton will likely push for a maximum contract as he is eligible for an extension this summer. Starting center Jarrett Allen, which was acquired in January as part of the blockbuster James Harden trade, is also eligible for the extension, and Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto announced last month that the Cavs were going to give Allen “$ 100 million or more” on his next contract.
If GM Koby Altman pays both Sexton and Allen, Cleveland won’t have much roster flexibility going forward. The Cavs finished 22-50 last season, so it’s not like they’ll keep a winning team together.
Altman could ultimately decide the Cavaliers would be in the best position for future success around a young core of Allen, Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro and this year’s draft pick, even if that means losing their top scorer. Assuming Cleveland doesn’t trade, he would be able to take on a prospect like Jalen Suggs or Jalen Green, filling the void left in a trade with Sexton.
And on top of everything else on Altman’s plate, the Cavs could still buy Kevin Love, who appears to be embroiled in trade rumors since joining the team in 2014. To put it simply, he is. is a pivotal offseason for the franchise.