Collin Sexton

Cavaliers Notes: Smith, Hood, Sexton, Lue

Tensions from the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals boiled over to the Cavaliers’ game against Boston on Saturday, with J.R. Smith in the middle of the preseason altercation between the teams.

Smith got tangled up with Celtics center Aron Baynes while going for a rebound in the first quarter, leading to Smith pushing the 6-foot-10 Baynes. Baynes’ teammate, Marcus Smart, quickly sprinted towards Smith and attempted to take a shot at him. The two have history, and mayhem ensued.

“For a guy who wants to be so tough in this situation, he leads the league in flops,” Smith said after the game, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “You can’t flop as much as you do and then be tough. How does that even work? And then you start slinging your teammates. Like, you didn’t come to play basketball today. Your coach told you you gotta play and you was frustrated, and then you try to take it out on somebody else.

“At the end of the day, I’m not going to sit here and lose money over trying to fight Marcus Smart. I’m not going to lose money over my tattoo, so why would I lose it over him.”

Smart was ejected from the game, Smith received a technical foul, and each could face additional penalties from the league office.  The two teams don’t meet again until November 30 at TD Garden.

There’s more out of Cleveland:

  • Rodney Hood is determined to prove himself this season with the Cavs, Vardon writes. Hood is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
  • Collin Sexton impressed in his debut at Quicken Loans Arena, writes Chris Fedor of Sexton finished with 13 points in 19 minutes of work, shooting 4-of-6 from the floor.
  • The Cavaliers are focused on scoring by committee this season, Basketball Insiders’ Spencer Davies relays. “When we’re playing that way—playing fast, moving the basketball, moving bodies—I think everyone can be effective in that situation,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “So we’ve got to score by committee where we need five, six guys in double figures.”

Central Rumors: Redick, Irving, Brown, Cavs

Sixers guard J.J. Redick nearly signed with the Pacers in free agency, he revealed during a podcast with ESPN’s Zach Lowe. Redick’s comment was tweeted by Scott Agness of The Athletic. Redick stayed with Philadelphia after the Sixers improved their one-year offer to $12.25MM but that was still less than the Pacers were willing to pay. “I wouldn’t have started but I felt like I fit what they needed,” Redick said. “I just envisioned playing two-man (game) with (Domantas) Sabonis.”

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks’ desire to sign Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving could have a negative impact on the Bulls’ free agency plans next summer, according to an NBC Sports Chicago post. The Knicks have reportedly made Irving their No. 1 target in free agency and it’s been previously rumored that Irving and Jimmy Butler might join forces. If the Bulls wanted to bring back Butler after trading him away last summer, Irving’s potential interest in the Knicks could sidetrack that plan, the report adds.
  • One of the officers involved in the Sterling Brown arrest last January has been fired, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story passed along by NBC Sports. The Bucks swingman filed a civil lawsuit against the Milwaukee police department after he was arrested and tasered for a parking violation. The officer was fired for violating social media policy and not for his conduct the night of Brown’s arrest, the city’s police chief told the Journal Sentinel.
  • The Cavaliers could be more interesting and successful without LeBron James than many people expect, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer opines. The development of first-round pick Collin SextonAnte Zizic and Cedi Osman will be intriguing to watch and GM Koby Altman will likely make more moves during the season to reshape the team’s future, Pluto continues. Trading J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson, who have seemed disinterested during the regular season during the James era, would move the process along, Pluto adds.

Cavaliers Notes: Workouts, Osman, Sexton, Thompson

Kevin Love‘s duties in taking over for LeBron James as team leader include organizing the Cavaliers’ annual pre-camp workouts, writes Joe Vardon of Love, whose leadership role was cemented when he agreed to a four-year, $120MM extension this summer, is hosting the voluntary sessions this week at the University of Miami.

Most of the players who are under contract are expected to attend. Coach Tyronn Lue is in Miami as well, but won’t participate if the players-only tradition continues. Tristan Thompson, Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic are all out of the country to play in World Cup qualifiers.

James, who signed with the Lakers in July, organized the workouts in each of the past four seasons. They are usually held in vacation spots, with coaches and front office personnel accompanying the team but letting the players run things.

There’s more today out of Cleveland:

  • Osman can look forward to a much larger role in his second season with the Cavaliers, Vardon notes in a player profile. Osman may inherit James’ role as starting small forward, although Rodney Hood is also a candidate. The 23-year-old saw action in 61 games as a rookie, averaging 3.9 points per night. Osman played several years in Europe before coming to the NBA and appeared much more polished in this year’s Summer League, according to Vardon.
  • Collin Sexton will need to improve his shot, especially from long distance, to become a Rookie of the Year candidate, Vardon states in another profile. Sexton tied with Suns center Deandre Ayton as the favorite for the award in a poll among players drafted this year. However, his success could depend on improving his accuracy from 3-point range, where he hit just .336 last year as a college freshman, and just .242 in SEC games.
  • Thompson, who owns a championship ring and has made four straight trips to the NBA Finals, hopes to create that same atmosphere of success on the Canadian national team. He has been playing for his home country for nearly a decade and believes there’s an opportunity for Canada to become a major player in international competitions. “Right now we have a wave of really good players in the NBA,” Thompson said, “but who knows? Maybe 15 years from now we have a drought, so while guys are here and at a high level, let’s take advantage of it.”

Fellow Rookies Pick Ayton, Sexton As RoY Favorites

For the 10th time in 12 years, John Schuhmann of got the opportunity to ask the NBA’s incoming crop of rookies a series of questions related to their fellow draftees.

Historically, the NBA rookies haven’t been particularly clairvoyant when it comes to their predictions — they haven’t accurately identified a Rookie of the Year winner since Kevin Durant in 2007/08. Still, it’s an interesting exercise, and one that occasionally results in a dead-on prediction, like when last year’s rookie class named Donovan Mitchell the steal of the 2017 draft.

Here are a few of the most interesting responses from this year’s rookies about the 2018/19 class:

  • Deandre Ayton (Suns) and Collin Sexton (Cavaliers) are viewed as the co-favorites for the Rookie of the Year award this season, with each player earning 18% of the vote. No other rookie had more than a 9% share of the vote.
  • Opinions were a little more divided on which player would have the best long-term NBA career, with Wendell Carter Jr. (Bulls) narrowly earning that title by receiving 13% of the vote. Interestingly, reigning EuroLeague MVP Luka Doncic (Mavericks) wasn’t picked by a single player for this question.
  • No. 48 overall pick Keita Bates-Diop (Timberwolves) was named the steal of the 2018 NBA draft by his fellow rookies, edging out 14th overall pick Michael Porter Jr. (Nuggets) and 18th overall pick Lonnie Walker (Spurs).
  • Trae Young (Hawks) is widely considered the best shooter and play-maker in this year’s class. Jevon Carter (Grizzlies) earned the most votes for best rookie defender, while Zhaire Smith (Sixers) is viewed as the most athletic rookie.
  • Be sure to check out Schuhmann’s full piece for the rest of the rookie survey results.

Cavaliers Notes: Schedule, James, Sexton, Dekker

As expected when LeBron James announced he was leaving for Los Angeles, the Cavaliers have fallen out of the mix for the NBA’s spotlight games. In the partial schedule announced earlier today, Cleveland isn’t included in any of the nationally televised games for the opening week, Christmas Day or Martin Luther King Day, notes Chris Fedor of It’s quite a change for the Cavs, who hosted last season’s opener and whose matchup with the Warriors had become a yuletide tradition.

Cleveland will have at least once marquee game on November 21 when James returns with the Lakers for his only appearance in the city this season, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

There’s more Cavaliers news to pass along:

  • First-round pick Collin Sexton tells Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops that he’s excited about the opportunity awaiting him in Cleveland. The eighth selection in this year’s draft, Sexton will be counted on to eventually become the primary creator in the Cavaliers’ offense. “My role will just be able to come in and learn and have an impact on the team,” he said. “No matter what it is, being a distributor, being a scorer. Just going out there playing my game and being the best me I can be.”
  • The Cavs get a B grade from ESPN’s Kevin Pelton for their acquisition of Sam Dekker. Cleveland needed to find someone who could fill both forward spots after losing James and Jeff Green to free agency, and Dekker, who was picked up from the Clippers at minimal cost, has shown an ability to handle both roles. Pelton states that Dekker is better than anyone the team could have signed in free agency.
  • Standing pat until the season starts may be the Cavaliers’ best strategy at this point, according to Evan Dammarell of Forbes. He says the Cavs wouldn’t have benefited from a rumored Kyle Korver for Jerryd Bayless swap with the Sixers and doubts that the Rockets, who have reportedly expressed interest in J.R. Smith have much to offer that Cleveland would want.

And-Ones: ROY Predictions, Offseason Rankings, NBAGL

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic has the best chance to win the Rookie of the Year award, according to an ESPN panel. Doncic will fill up the stat sheet and might wind up with the ball more often than second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr., according to Mike Schmitz. Top overall pick Deandre Ayton ranks second on the poll, with Schmitz noting that the Suns big man likely to get more playing time than any other rookie. Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton and Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. round out the top five.

We have more from around the league:

  • Retaining Paul George in free agency and dumping Carmelo Anthony‘s contract while receiving projected sixth man Dennis Schroder in return earned the Thunder the top spot on’s David Aldridge’s offseason rankings. The rankings are based upon what teams have done during the offseason. The Lakers ranked No. 2 by virtue of signing LeBron James and handing out one-year contracts to other players, thus allowing them to be a force again in next year’s free agent market. The Nuggets gained the No. 3 spot by locking up Nikola Jokic and making trades that cleared roster spots and eased their luxury-tax situation.
  • Forwards DJ Hogg (Texas A&M) and Malik Pope (San Diego State) and swingman BJ Johnson (LaSalle) are among the top 10 prospects at the G League Invitational, according to Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. The invitational takes place Sunday in Chicago and over a dozen of last year’s prospects received training camp invites afterward.
  • The Warriors’ over-under odds for wins next season is 62.5, according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. The Celtics ranked second overall with a 57.5 over-under win total with the Rockets third at 54.5. The Hawks have the lowest projected win total at 23.5. The odds for each NBA team were passed along by ESPN’s Ben Fawkes.

Central Rumors: Frye, Parker, Sexton, Garnett

Channing Frye‘s impact on the locker room had a lot to do with the Cavaliers’ decision to bring back the veteran forward, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. GM Koby Altman wanted a respected veteran voice to guide the team through tough times with the departure of LeBron James, Pluto continues. Frye is very popular with his teammates and shares a close bond with the team’s remaining star, Kevin Love. Frye was traded to the Lakers last February by Cleveland solely to make the deal work financially and not because the front office had any issues with him, Pluto adds. Frye agreed to a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal.

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • The team option on Jabari Parker‘s two-year contract gives the Bulls flexibility during free agency next summer, Kevin Anderson of NBC Sports Chicago notes. With a projected rise in the salary cap, the Bulls could free up enough cap space to sign a top-level free agent even if they decide to keep Parker. That could be accomplished by allowing Bobby Portis and Cameron Payne to become unrestricted free agents if they are not signed to extensions. If they decide to let Parker go next summer, they could have between $35MM-$53MM in cap space during free agency, Anderson adds.
  • Cavaliers lottery pick Collin Sexton was a volume scorer during summer-league competition but reinforced the notion that his long-range game needs work, as Andre Snellings of ESPN details. Sexton did most of his damage inside the arc and needs to develop a consistent 3-point shot, Snellings continues. The University of Alabama product also displayed his ability to create for his teammates but he still can become a better passer, Snellings adds.
  • The Pistons made arrangements to have Kevin Garnett work with two of their bigs, center Andre Drummond and power forward Henry Ellenson, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.
  • GM Gar Forman’s promise two years ago to make the Bulls younger and more athletic is coming to fruition, Michael Walton of NBC Sports Chicago writes. By drafting Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. in the lottery, trading for Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn and signing Jabari Parker as a free agent, the average age of the projected lineup is 22, Walton points out. The team can now play at a quicker pace and cover more space defensively, Walton adds.

Cavaliers Notes: White, Doncic, Parker, Love

Okaro White has a chance to win a roster spot with the Cavaliers, but first he has to overcome the effects of a broken left foot he suffered in November, writes Joe Vardon of White’s foot has fully healed, but he is still struggling with the psychological aspects of the injury and admits he’s “babying” it.

“I just gotta get through,” said White, who is part of the Cavaliers’ entry in the Las Vegas Summer League. “I’m old enough, I’m not young anymore, so I gotta get over it [mentally] and try to find a way to showcase my ability.”

White started four games for the Heat before the injury, but it wound up ending his season. He was shipped to the Hawks at the trade deadline, then signed with the Cavs in March, but never took the court for either team. The 25-year-old forward has a non-guaranteed $1,544,951 contract for 2018/19.

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • The Cavaliers passed on an opportunity to trade up on draft night and snag Luka Doncic, Vardon reports in a separate story. A source tells Vardon that Cleveland had an offer from Atlanta that included the No. 3 pick and Kent Bazemore, who will make more than $18MM next season with a $19.27MM option for 2019/20. However, the Cavs wanted Collin Sexton and were confident they could get him at No. 8.
  • With LeBron James gone, the Cavaliers should take a gamble on Jabari Parker, according to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report. The second player taken in the 2014 draft, Parker could become a dynamic scorer and rebounder if he can fully bounce back from his second ACL surgery. Swartz suggests Cleveland should use its $8.6MM mid-level exception to offer Parker a two-year contract. That would give him $13.3MM more in guaranteed money than if he accepts his $4.3MM qualifying offer with the Bucks, and it would put him back on the open market in 2020 when he’ll only be 25. Swartz recommends a few other moves for the Cavs, including re-signing Rodney Hood, working out an extension with Larry Nance Jr., trying to trade veterans such as J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson and taking on unwanted contracts to stockpile draft picks.
  • Chris Fedor of suggests several trades involving Kevin Love, listing the Trail Blazers, Heat, Lakers, Suns and Jazz as possible destinations.

Cavaliers Sign Collin Sexton To Rookie Contract

The Cavaliers have officially signed their first-round pick, former Alabama guard Collin Sexton, to his rookie contract, the team announced today in a press release. Joe Vardon of first reported that the deal was done.

Sexton, the eighth overall pick, landed in Cleveland by way of last year’s Kyrie Irving blockbuster, which sent the Nets’ 2018 first-round selection from Boston to Cleveland. The Cavs’ new point guard will also wear Irving’s old No. 2 on his jersey.

The third point guard selected in the 2018 draft after Luka Doncic and Trae Young, Sexton enjoyed a productive freshman year at Alabama, averaging 19.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 3.6 APG in 33 games. He declared for the draft and went pro after just one college season.

As our breakdown of rookie salaries shows, Sexton will be in line for a first-year salary exceeding $4MM, with an overall value of $20MM on his four-year rookie contract. The first two years of the deal will be guaranteed, with team options for years three and four.

Cavaliers Rumors: LeBron, Sexton, K. Walker

The Cavaliers don’t yet know what LeBron James plans to do with his 2018/19 player option or his potential free agency, but GM Koby Altman said on Thursday night that the team has established a “good dialogue” with James’ camp, per Dave McMenamin of

“I think LeBron has more than earned the right to approach his contracts the way he does. He’s done that before, so this is nothing new for us,” Altman said. “We want to respect his space during this process, and I continue to have really good dialogue with his management team as he goes through that process. That’s probably all I can say at this point regarding him, but we don’t take him for granted. We love him, this city loves him. He means the world to us and this franchise.”

While James has yet to tip his hand on his preferred destination for the 2018/19 season, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst suggested during an appearance on the network that the family aspect of LeBron’s decision probably favors the Cavs and Lakers, as opposed to team like the Rockets. Windhorst isn’t sure that James’ family would feel comfortable going to Houston (video link via Lakers Outsiders).

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • A previous report indicated that LeBron’s camp is high on Alabama point guard Collin Sexton, who was drafted eighth overall by the Cavs in last night’s draft. Although the Cavs hope that the idea of playing with Sexton could appeal to James, they were comfortable picking Sexton either way, sources tell Ken Berger of Bleacher Report. According to Joe Vardon of, the Cavs fully intend to keep Sexton rather than trading him.
  • Two league sources tell Berger that the Cavaliers continue to explore the possibility of a Kemba Walker trade with the Hornets. It’s hard to imagine such a deal being completed without the inclusion of Sexton.
  • Executives who spoke to Berger were extremely skeptical that the Cavaliers’ addition of Sexton would move the needle at all for LeBron. However, according to Berger, opinions among executives are split on the Cavs’ chances of retaining the future Hall-of-Famer. One Eastern Conference exec says it would take “ownership of the team” for James to stay in Cleveland, while a Western executive put the odds at 50-50.
  • GM Koby Altman, who said that team owner Dan Gilbert will “spare no expense” as the Cavs push for another title, spoke about the team’s next steps, per Vardon: “We have to invest in player development, we have to get better with our youth and then we have to explore opportunities to add and try to improve our talent level as well. That’s my job and we are certainly trying to attack that as we speak for sure.”