It looks like the Cleveland Cavaliers played their cards right by giving Collin Sexton the qualifying offer and making him a restricted free agent.
The Cavs certainly don’t want to overpay Sexton after an injury-riddled season, and so they let the market dictate his value by extending to him the $8.6 million offer and letting him find another deal. After all, they can always match what he gets in free agency.
Unfortunately for Sexton, things haven’t played well in his favor. As Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com noted, there isn’t much interest in Sexton and the number of teams who can offer him more money are decreasing.
Per Fedor: Sources say the Cavs are still hopeful and optimistic about a Collin Sexton deal. Both sides want a deal — at the right price. There’s not only been positive recent dialogue but potential Sexton suitors continue to dwindle, with few cap-space teams capable of giving him the lucrative offer he covets and one the Cavs wouldn’t want to match.
In many ways, Sexton’s situation has played out exactly how the Cavs anticipated, validating their belief about restricted free agency being advantageous and the market being in their favor, especially with Sexton coming off an 11-game season and significant meniscus tear. ‘He has no market,’ an opposing executive told cleveland.com.
Collin Sexton’s market is drying up, and it certainly didn’t help that he played in just 11 games in 2021-22 after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee.
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In his last full healthy season in 2020-21, though, he did average 24.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.0 steal. Given his numbers, it’s not surprising why he’s seeking for more money in his next contract.
If he and the Cavs couldn’t reach a deal, though, Sexton might end up betting on himself and accepting the qualifying offer to enter unrestricted free agency in 2023.