The Cavaliers Have a Risky Solution to Their Kevin Love Problem, and His Name Is Collin Sexton

The Cleveland Cavaliers hoped a duo of Collin Sexton and Kevin Love would keep the team afloat in the post-LeBron James era. 

So much for that. Although Sexton has grown into an incredibly dangerous scorer, the Cavaliers went 60-159 in his first three seasons. As the team prepares to finally trade Love, they’re also willing to make a risky decision on Sexton’s future.

The Cavaliers could trade Collin Sexton and Kevin Love this summer

Cleveland Cavaliers teammates Kevin Love (L) and Collin Sexton.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are playing with fate if they include young guard Collin Sexton (R) in a trade involving Kevin Love | Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

It is entirely possible that Sexton and Love are still teammates when the 2021-22 season tips off this fall. They just won’t be playing on the Cavaliers.

According to The Athletic, the Cavaliers are willing to include Sexton in any trade built around Love. The 22-year-old point guard is eligible to sign a five-year, $168 million rookie extension this offseason, which The Athletic reported “will hurt his value” in any trade talks.

“One source believed the Cavs should’ve traded Sexton last summer, knowing this was coming, and didn’t believe the Cavs will get a pick in the top half of the draft for him because of the contract.”

Collin Sexton

Teams cannot officially agree on trades until the 2021 NBA Finals end. If Sexton does not sign an extension, he will make $6.3 million next season before potentially becoming a restricted free agent in the summer of 2022.

Love has two seasons remaining on a four-year, $120 million contract he signed in 2019.

Is it too risky for the Cavaliers to trade Sexton?

Sexton is in an unenviable situation for any young player, even one who could sign a life-changing contract in the coming weeks. He’s had three head coaches — four counting Larry Drew, the interim in 2018-19 — since entering the NBA.

Just as they were when James left the first time, the Cavaliers are among the NBA’s worst teams. This franchise hasn’t had a winning record on a team not featuring LeBron James since the 1997-98 season. Sexton, by the way, was born in January 1999.

As the Cavaliers’ shooting guard last season, Sexton averaged 24.3 points and 4.4 assists per game. Although the Cavaliers are building a young core consisting of Darius Garland, Isaac Okaro, and Jarrett Allen, do they really want to part ways with Sexton this early? Love is in a much different boat given his age (he turns 33 on September 7) and lack of durability in recent years.

This is not a situation where a win-now team is trading talented young players to make room for proven All-Star talents. The Cavaliers have youth and third overall selection in the 2021 NBA draft on their side. But trading Sexton is too risky if his current contract situation is going to significantly harm his value.

No one should jump in front of the train if the Cavaliers can get a massive package in return. If that’s not the case, though, maybe they’re best sticking with Sexton for another year.

Which teams make the most sense for Sexton and Love?

Gary Sheffield Jr., a writer for Outkick and the son of former MLB All-Star Gary Sheffield, proposed the Warriors trade Andrew Wiggins for Love. He’s certainly on the right track.

The Warriors are entering a win-now mode in what could be the beginning of Stephen Curry’s final years with the franchise. The two-time MVP turned 33 in March and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2022. If the Warriors feel a duo of Love and Sexton is too much to pass up, then sending Wiggins to the team that drafted him first overall in 2014 makes sense.

Elsewhere in California, don’t rule out the Lakers. Sexton could step in and become the franchise’s long-term point guard if Dennis Schroder leaves in free agency. Love could also reunite with James, his former Cavaliers teammate.

The Miami Heat are searching for another player to pick up the load alongside Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. Sexton’s reported attitude issues might not mesh well with the team’s self-named “Heat Culture” and commitment to the organization above all else. Love, however, fits that mold perfectly.

Who knows? Maybe the Brooklyn Nets will offload Kyrie Irving and his conspiracy theories to take Sexton and Love. Nets fans can dream, right?

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