As of now, the Boston Celtics look to be content entering next season with Marcus Smart penciled in as their starting point guard. However, recent rumblings on the trade market could potentially have Brad Stevens reaching for his eraser.
While All-Stars Damian Lillard and Ben Simmons will continue to be floated as longshot acquisitions, a handful of intriguing young ball-handlers could be emerging as far more realistic targets.
Recently, San Antonio Spurs starter Dejounte Murray did little to denounce trade speculation after The Athletic’s Zach Harper reported he could be “gettable” via trade. Now it looks as if a fellow up-and-coming point guard could also be up for grabs this summer.
The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!
Celtics Rank Among Favorites to Land Collin Sexton
Sources have informed The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd that Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton is “very available” and FanDuel’s Devon Platana believes the Celtics are among the three teams “most likely” to pull the trigger on a deal for the former eighth-overall selection. Here’s Platana’s case for Boston pursuing Sexton:
Like the Lakers, the Boston Celtics didn’t live up to expectations this season. After finishing the campaign with a 36-36 record, the Celtics were bounced out of the playoffs by the Brooklyn Nets in five games. Now, they’re trying to figure out how to get back to the top of the Eastern Conference. Trading for Sexton would certainly help. A big part of Boston’s failures towards the end of the year is that its backcourt was lacking the moment that Jaylen Brown sustained a season-ending wrist injury. Having Sexton on the team would help in case that ever happened again while giving the Celtics a ‘Big 3’ of their own. Boston has 13 players who are 25 or younger in their organization, which gives the Cavaliers a wide variety when it comes to younger guys who can help them with their rebuild.
Fittingly enough, Lloyd did mention that bundling Sexton with former five-time All-Star Kevin Love could make sense from a Cavaliers perspective. Hoops Wire’s Sam Amico recently listed the Celtics alongside the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat as teams “believed” to have an interest in acquiring Love.
Sexton’s Production & Contract Debate
Sexton is coming off a superb statistical season where the Alabama product averaged career highs in points (24.3), field-goal percentage (47.5%) and assists (4.4). The latter was good enough not only to outpace all Cavaliers players but also rank seventh among all NBA point guards.
That type of production, matched with the fact that Sexton is still just 22 years old, and you would think he’d be an ideal candidate for the Cavs to build around for the long term. However, thanks to sources around the league, Lloyd doesn’t believe Cleveland will be willing to cut the check on the five-year, $168 million extension Sexton will be eligible to sign this offseason.
With the team apparently not viewing their starting point guard as a sure-fire max player at the moment, it looks as if they will at the very least entertain cutting ties with Sexton. For as productive as the Georgia native has been, he’s failed to move the ticker much for a franchise that hasn’t sniffed the postseason since the 2017-18 NBA campaign.