Moving on from a great like LeBron James is never easy for any franchise, but the Cleveland Cavaliers have actually done an excellent job in building their roster since James left Cleveland in the 2018 NBA offseason for L.A.
The Cavs have a strong-looking young core of Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Lauri Markkanen. Still, they could be running into a financial problem.
With Kevin Love set to make $60.2M over the next two seasons and both he and his agent not willing to budge on a potential buyout agreement, the Cavaliers currently sit about $14M over the salary cap for the 2021-22 season and are just about $10M under the tax line.
The Cavaliers are in a good spot right now cap-wise, given that they are not really a contending team yet, but they are not going to have much cap space or flexibility entering the next offseason.
Ricky Rubio’s $17.8M contract will be expiring, which helps a little bit. Still, Collin Sexton will be a restricted free agent, meaning that the Cavaliers will have to open up their checkbooks and pay Sexton big money if they want to keep him long-term.
Through his first three seasons in the league, Collin Sexton has averaged 20.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and has shot 38.5% from three-point land.
He is coming off a 2020-21 season in which he averaged career-highs in points, assists, and field goal percentage, so if he has another stellar 2021-22 season, Sexton could realistically see close to a max contract of five years and $173M.
Going over the tax line is something the Cleveland Cavaliers do not want to do right now as a franchise, but keeping their young guard on such a massive deal would likely result in them doing so, that is unless they can move Kevin Love.
Assuming Love is there to stay for the next two seasons, could we see Cleveland look to move Collin Sexton in a trade while his value is at its highest?
It would be sad to see them part with a guy who has been their young leader over the years, but at the same time, the Cavs cannot keep everyone, so let’s take a look at three trade scenarios for them to consider involving Sexton.