2018 NBA Draft

Cleveland Cavaliers excited for future with No. 8 pick Collin Sexton at point guard

NBA.com Staff

With free agency looming for LeBron James, the future for the Cleveland Cavaliers remains a bit of mystery. No one is certain what LeBron will do and therefore the Cavaliers are in a holding pattern in regards to their future plans, save for one future building block. When they selected Alabama point guard Collin Sexton with the eighth pick in Thursday’s draft, they committed to the growth and development of the player who could serve as the franchise’s point guard of the future.

Making that commitment without knowing what LeBron will do in free agency is a departure from the way the Cavaliers have operated the last four years. Sexton represents Cleveland’s (and more specifically rookie GM Koby Altman’s) first opportunity to show off their player development component since Kyrie Irving served as the face of the franchise on his own, before LeBron came home from Miami four years ago. Joe Vardon of the Plain Dealer has more:

Sexton was drafted to replace Irving as Cleveland’s point guard, though they share few similarities other than a basic strength of putting the ball in the hole.

Rather, the addition of Sexton is the latest step of the Cavs toward a different era not seen since the days when Irving was drafted first overall in 2011, up until LeBron James returned in 2014.

As general manager Koby Altman said Friday, for the first time in a long time, the Cavs are “going to be in the player development business.”

The question now is, what does Cleveland’s apparent re-commitment to player development mean for James, who is considering whether to leave the franchise and declared he wants to remain in championship mode?

“First and foremost we want to compete at the highest level,” Altman explained. “Winning championships is still our goal and will always be our goal. But through that process we wanted to focus on long-term success, sustainability. Going through this year we were able to get younger and talented and athletic and have some real momentum going into the future. We knew this pick was going to be a big part of that plan. And now it’s not a pick any more, it is Collin Sexton.

“We’re going to invest a lot of time into him and he’s a part of this culture now of winning, of hard work, attitude, the stuff we talk about,” Altman continued. “His talent level is extremely high and so we’re excited about him and our momentum as a franchise.

“He’s going to play meaningful games from day one.”

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