Video: Cleveland Cavaliers guard goes to work on defense, clamps down his opponent in a pickup game

Charlotte Hornets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Charlotte Hornets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton seems to be making drastic improvements to his game during the offseason. The former lottery pick was at his lethal best on the defensive end during a recent pro-am tournament game.

Sexton clamped down on his opponent, getting a steal:

Collin Sexton’s defense. πŸ”’(via @thehoopdiamonds)

Sexton is currently a restricted free agent. The 6-foot-1 guard played only 11 games last season before suffering a torn meniscus that ruled him out for the rest of the year. Sexton averaged a career-high 24.3 points and 4.4 assists per game, shooting on a 47/37/81 split during the 2020-21 season.

However, his ball-dominant playing style and his struggles on the defense led to a lot of criticism. Sexton showed signs of improving several areas of his game during his shortened 2021-22 season. He averaged five fewer shots per game and adjusted to playing off the ball.

Collin Sexton yet to reach an agreement with Cleveland Cavaliers over a new contract

Collin Sexton remains among the free-agency pool, despite the 2022 NBA free agency period starting on June 30. Sexton, 23, has tremendous upside and has generated interest around the league. The Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers were reportedly considered suitors for Sexton.

There hasn't been much movement in the market of late. So, the interest in Sexton has cooled some. Meanwhile, the player and the Cleveland Cavaliers have engaged in contract discussions. However, they have been far from agreeing to a deal. The Cavs are reportedly offering him a roughly $40 million contract worth three years, which Sexton's camp deems too low.

Collin Sexton, Cavs Remain Far Apart In Contract Talks - Hoops Wire…

Sexton is seeking a starting-caliber player contract. But the Cavaliers may not want to cross the luxury tax threshold, so it will be interesting to see how they negotiate with Sexton.

Cleveland should consider sign-and-trade opportunities as well. If players like Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell aren't moved, teams might look to pursue a player like Sexton. Letting a talent like him walk for nothing wouldn't be ideal.

Sexton could also opt to accept the qualifying offer if he doesn't agree to a new contract. The qualifying offer will guarantee him $7.2 million for next season. He could play that out and become a restricted free agent next season.

Sexton, the No. 8 pick in the 2018 draft, has started 208 of 218 games, and he showed steady improvement in each of his first three seasons.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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