The Cleveland Cavaliers have extended a qualifying offer to guard Collin Sexton, the team announced Tuesday.
Sexton, who appeared in 11 games (all starts) with the Cavaliers last season before missing the final 71 contests due to a left knee meniscus tear, is now a restricted free agent, which means the Cavs can match any offer made to him.
The 23-year-old Sexton finished the 2021-22 campaign with averages of 16.0 points, a career-high 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 0.91 steals in 28.7 minutes.
The market for the 6-1 guard should be interesting. The eighth overall pick in the 2018 draft has proven that he can score the basketball at a high level as he owns career averages of 20.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists.
This is a hunch, but based on how much he’s been around the team after the injury, it would appear that he would return to Cleveland.
We shall see.
NBA free agency begins Thursday, June 30 at 6 PM ET.
Also, the team announced that they had extended a two-way contract qualifying offer to guard R.J. Nembhard,
Nembhard, 23, who went undrafted out of Texas Christian University in 2021, originally signed a Two-Way contract with Cleveland on October 16 and appeared in 14 games for the Cavaliers this past season. He was converted to a standard NBA contract on March 31 and waived on April 7 before signing a second two-way contract with the Cavaliers on April 10.
Nembhard also played in 15 games (14 starts) for the Cleveland Charge, the Cavaliers exclusively owned and operated NBA G League team, averaging 24.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in 38.4 minutes per contest.
On Tuesday, Cleveland Cavaliers President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman addressed the media at Cleveland Clinic Courts. The Cavs’ season ended at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Friday night as they fell to the Hawks in the Play-In Tournament.
“I’m still a little heartsick, to be honest with you,” Altman said about not making the playoffs. “It’s hard to process the season ending the way it did.”
J.B. Bickerstaff helped Cleveland improve by 22 wins from a year ago and finished the season 44-38, but despite the success, they fell short of the playoffs.
However, according to Atman, the Cavs have caught the attention of teams around the league.
“They captivated the city and put the league on notice, forced the league to put us on a national TV game because they had to, and more of that will come.”
Altman felt this season was a success, but Cleveland does have some questions, and one of the biggest questions is what will happen with Collin Sexton, who missed 71 games with a torn meniscus and can become a restricted free agent at season’s end if the Cavs extend a qualifying offer of $7.2 million.
The 23-year-old Sexton will probably be back in Cleveland next season based on what Altman said today.
“He, in a lot of ways, was the start of not only the rebuild, but the culture that we have in place now,” Altman said. “He’s enormously important to us. He’s been enormously important to us. To lose him, you can see throughout the year why we missed him, how we missed him, so we owe Collin a great deal of gratitude for the work he’s put in and continues to put in, (he) an important part of this team.”
Caris LeVert came over from the Pacers in a trade back in February. Altman believes both LeVert and Sexton, who have a similar skillset and play the same position, can thrive together in Cleveland.
“Yes, there’s a place for that level of talent, especially with the character that they bring and the fact that both really love it here,” Altman said.
It’s one thing to be a surprise team, but it’s another thing to win when the expectations are high, so the challenge for Altman and the players is to be even better next season.
“We’re not going to surprise teams next year,” Altman said. “I think we were two games out of being in sixth place. So like, it’s that close. We don’t want to lose grasp of what got us here, which is the hard work in the summer. We haven’t accomplished anything yet, so how do we keep that hunger, that humbleness, and attack this offseason?”
From top to bottom, the Eastern Conference will be tough next season, and Cleveland could be better next season and still be fighting to make the playoffs. They have a young, talented core.Obviously, they have three guys they can build around in All-Stars, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley.
In addition, they will have a lottery pick, so the future is very bright. However, sometimes that next step is the hardest step, and the Cavs are hoping to take that next step next season.
Most of the 2021-22 NBA season for Collin Sexton was spent rehabbing his torn left meniscus, which he suffered in November.
Sexton, who missed 71 games this season, spent most of his time in Atlanta rehabbing his knee. At this point, Sexton, who addressed the media on Saturday, says he does not have a timeline on when he will be healthy, but he expects to be ready by training camp.
“I’ll be ready for training camp for sure,” Sexton said.
The fourth-year guard can become a restricted free agent at season’s end if the Cavs extend a qualifying offer of $7.2 million.
According to Sexton, he would love to return to Cleveland.
“I want to be here in Cleveland,” Sexton said. “I love the organization; I love my teammates… I know I want to continue to be a part of this winning culture and be a part of this culture. I feel like me just being able to be the start of it helped us get to where we are yesterday and where we are right now and in the present. I love Cleveland; I want to be here.”
The 23-year-old Sexton, who stayed connected with the team virtually before returning to Cleveland, says that not playing has helped him see the game differently, which will help him when he returns to the court.
“When I do get back on the court, I’ll be able to see the game a lot better than I did before,” he said. “I’m using this time to my advantage.”
Sexton cheered his team on from the sideline, but according to him, the most challenging part was not being on the court with his teammates.
“I feel like that’s the toughest part, knowing that I can’t go to war with my team and go to war with my guys,” he said. “The only thing I can do is be the best cheerleader out there. but I couldn’t step in-between those lines and help any way possible, so whenever I seen something, I would be another coach on the bench, but it’s nothing like being out there on the court.”
At this point, it appears that Cleveland wants to bring him back. The former eighth overall pick spent a lot of time around the team. He can score at a high level, as we’ve seen last season, where he averaged a career-high 24.3 points on 48% shooting from the floor.
So much can happen from now until the summer. The two sides could not agree on a contract extension before the season, and it should be interesting to see if they will come to an agreement now. Sexton is now being represented by Klutch Sports.
The Cavs can match whatever contract a team offers Sexton, so Cleveland controls the situation.
In my opinion, the best role for Sexton is sixth man, especially with Caris LeVert on the roster. Sexton could be instant offense off the bench, while the 6-6 LeVert makes Cleveland’s big lineup even bigger, but again, the Cavs control the situation.
Watch below as Sexton talks return and more:
Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton is out for the season with a torn left meniscus, the team announced on Friday night.
The fourth-year guard sustained a season-ending left knee injury earlier this month against the Knicks. According to the Cavs, Sexton underwent successful surgery in Atlanta on Wednesday to repair the meniscus tear.
Before the injury, Sexton, in 11 games, was averaging 16.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per contest.
Sexton, 22, hoped to get an extension this offseason, but the two sides could not agree. He will be a restricted free agent at season’s end. Hopefully, he can fully recover and put himself in a position to get a new contract with Cleveland or elsewhere.
Don’t look now, but the Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be for real. On Sunday night at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks(6-4), the Cavaliers got a fantastic performance from Ricky Rubio, who had a double-double with a career-high 37 points to go along with 10 assists, as Cleveland defeated New York 126-109.
The Cavs(7-4) have now won four straight, including three consecutive wins on the road.
Here is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of Cleveland’s big win in New York City.
The Great for the Cavaliers:
-Ricky Rubio was excellent last night. Rubio scored 26 of his career-high 37 points in the second half and dished out 10 assists off the bench. Rubio was 13/19 from the field, including career-high eight threes on 8/9 from downtown. Rubio, who started the third quarter for an injured Collin Sexton, was 4/4 from downtown in the third quarter and scored 12 points, and he added 14 more points in the fourth.
According to StatMuse, Rubio is the first player in NBA history with 30-plus points, 10-plus assists, eight-plus threes in a game off the bench.
-Rookie Evan Mobley was also excellent last night. In his debut at MSG, Mobley had a career-high 26 PTS (11-15 FG, 2-4 3FG), nine rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block. According to the Cavs, he is the first rookie to record 26-plus points, nine-plus rebounds, five-plus assists, and 73% from the field in a single game since Blake Griffin.
-Jarrett Allen is earning all his money and then some. He scored 18 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds. Allen was also named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday for the first time in his career. During the Cavs’ winning streak, Allen is averaging 20.5 points on .633 shooting from the field, an NBA-best 16.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks in 37.0 minutes per contest. He was the only player in the NBA to average at least 20.0 points and 15.0 rebounds last week and had the highest field goal percentage among any NBA player who averaged 20 points or more.
-Darius Garland added 15 points(4/5 3PT) and dished out five assists.
-Third Quarter: Cleveland trailed 57-56 at halftime. However, they outscored New York 33 to 18 in the third quarter. The Cavaliers shot 57% from the field, including (6/7)85% from downtown. They held the Knicks to 32% shooting, including(1/9) 11% from three-point range. The Cavs took an 89-75 lead into the fourth.
Not So Great for the Cavaliers:
-Collin Sexton left in the second quarter with a knee injury, and on Monday, it was revealed that he had a meniscus tear in his left knee. At this point, he will undergo an additional evaluation, after which time his status will be updated.
-Cleveland had 17 turnovers on Sunday night. That number is too high, but they can worry about that another night.
The Cavaliers have beaten some good teams this season on the road, including wins over the Knicks, Nuggets, Raptors, and Clippers, which is impressive. Now, they have an opportunity to rack up some more wins as eight of their next nine games are at home.
Hopefully, going forward, they can get Kevin Love(Health and Safety Protocols), Lauri Markkanen(Health and Safety Protocols), and Isaac Okoro(hamstring) back soon.
“We know where we can go,” Bickerstaff said. “There’s a depth to this team that we know we can get to. That’s all about the scrap. That’s how we turn it up.”
Cleveland returns home Wednesday night against the Wizards.
Best of the Rest:
On Sunday night, the Knicks had six players in double figures led by Julius Randle, who scored 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists; Derrick Rose added 17 points and five assists.
Listen below as Mobley, Allen, and Rubio react to Cleveland’s win over the Knicks:
For forty-seven minutes and fifty-five seconds, the Cleveland Cavaliers trailed the Toronto Raptors. However, after Darius Garland was fouled driving to the basket with 04.8 seconds left, he made two free throws to give the Cavs a 102-101 lead.
The Raptors(6-4) had one more chance, but OG Anunoby missed a turnaround shot, Scottie Barnes missed a tip-in, and Cleveland held on to win 102-101 at Scotiabank Arena.
Cleveland(6-4) has now won three straight and six out of their last eight, and they snapped Toronto’s five-game winning streak.
Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Toronto.
The Great for the Cavaliers:
-Cleveland had five players in double-figures led by Darius Garland. The third-year guard got it done in the second half. He scored 17 of his team-high 21 points, including 12 in the fourth. He also added a team-high eight assists, and of course, he hit the game-winning free throws.
-Jarrett Allen continues to play well. Allen had a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, to go along with two steals, and a block. Allen even made bank-shot three late in fourth with the shot clock winding down that tied the game at 94. During Cleveland’s three-game win streak, he is averaging 21.3 points (.676 FG%), 16.0 rebounds, 1.33 steals, and 1.67 blocks per game.
-Evan Mobley was stellar on Friday night as he went up against Toronto’s rookie sensation Scottie Barnes. Mobley had 18 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
After 10 games, Mobley has been outstanding.
He has registered 138 points, 79 rebounds, 23 assists, 10 steals, and 14 blocks. According to The Athletic, only three other players in NBA history have recorded such minimums in their first ten career games: Lamar Odom, Mychal Thompson, Bill Walton.
-Cedi Osman has been great off Cleveland’s bench, and he was excellent against Toronto. He scored 17 points, including five three-pointers. Osman is shooting 59%(13/22) from downtown during Cleveland’s three-game winning streak.
Not So Great for the Cavaliers:
-Collin Sexton struggled on Friday night. He finished 4/17 from the field with nine points.
–Turnovers: While Cleveland continues to win, they have to do a better job protecting the ball. The Cavs had 19 turnovers against Toronto.
Cleveland did not play their best basketball on Friday night, but a good team finds a way to win games when they are not at their best, so maybe the Cavs are turning into a good team. In addition, good teams win on the road, and after ten games, Cleveland is 4-3 on the road. What makes this win even more impressive is they are missing three key players in Lauri Markkanen(Health and Safety Protocols), Kevin Love(Health and Safety Protocols), and Isaac Okoro(hamstring).
“We’re getting more and more confident every game,” Mobley said. “The chemistry is building every game.”
Cleveland travels to New York to battle the Knicks on Sunday night.
Best of the Rest:
-Anunoby led Toronto with 23 points; Fred VanVleet had 18 points, six assists, and six rebounds; Barnes had 14 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, and Gary Trent Jr. chipped in with 17.
-Cleveland’s Ricky Rubio had 11 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
-Cleveland leads the NBA in contested shots(570) and have two players in the top five in that category.
NBA LEADERS – TOTAL CONTESTED SHOTS (as of Saturday 11/6/21)
1. EVAN MOBLEY 159
2. JARRETT ALLEN 118
3. G.Antetokounmpo 115
4. M.Bamba 110
5. D.Sabonis 109