Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff says there isn’t anyone in the NBA who is more serious about the game and improving his craft than point guard Collin Sexton.
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) May 25, 2020
Collin Sexton is one of the key players the Cavs are building around in the second-post LeBron James era. Sexton struggled when his NBA career started, but he has made noticeable strides already. That hard work Bickerstaff is talking about is clearly paying off for the second-year guard.
In 65 games for the Cavs in 2019-20 before the season was suspended due to COVID-19, Sexton was averaging 20.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists. He was also shooting 47.2 percent from the field, 38.0 percent from beyond the arc and 84.6 percent from the free-throw line.
The Cavs had the worst record in the Eastern Conference standings prior to Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert’s positive COVID-19 test. Cleveland went through a lot in 2019-20, with All-Star power forward Kevin Love having a verbal outburst toward Cavs general manager Koby Altman and head coach John Beilein lasting only 54 games and having an embarrassing moment where he called his players “thugs.”
Bickerstaff went 5-6 in 11 games with the Cavs. He was so much better than Beilein that it took only a few games for Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert to give Bickerstaff a contract extension.
Cleveland traded for All-Star center Andre Drummond at the trade deadline. The Cavs are banking on Sexton, Darius Garland, Larry Nance Jr., Kevin Porter Jr. and Cedi Osman to lead the club back to the playoffs. Altman will likely try to trade Love whenever the 2020 offseason period begins, and it doesn’t make much sense for the Cavs to re-sign Tristan Thompson to a hefty contract.