Lakers Interested in Acquiring Former 8th Overall Draft Pick: Report

Lakers' Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham

Getty Lakers' Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham

The Los Angeles Lakers are interesting in acquiring Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton, according to Sam Amico of HoopsWire.

Sexton becomes a restricted free agent this summer once the Cavaliers offer him his qualifying offer worth $7,228,449. As a restricted free agent, Sexton can sign an offer sheet with another team and then the Cavaliers would have 48 hours to match the deal or let the guard walk.

“Anyway, there are so many things to consider here,” Amico wrote. “(Darius) Garland and Sexton share an agent. Garland became the face of the Cavs. The Cavs traded for Caris LeVert, who plays Sexton’s position. And Sexton is drawing plenty of interest — with a few league sources telling me even LeBron James‘ Lakers are interested. (That’s not happening, but explaining why is another full day of Dribbles.)”

Amico doesn’t believe the Lakers have a chance to sign Sexton since the eighth overall pick from the 2018 draft is “probably looking for $18 million or more” annually and Los Angeles doesn’t have the cap space for that.

Sexton Played in Only 11 Games in 2021-22

Sexton, 23, played in only 11 games in 2021-22. He suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee in November and underwent season-ending surgery. The Alabama product averaged 16.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 45.0% from the field, 24.4% from beyond the arc and 74.4% from the free-throw line.

Amico, who covers the Cavaliers as a beat writer, thinks Sexton will be back in Cleveland despite the scoring guard having the same agent as Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. James, Davis and Sexton are represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.

“So what do I predict? That the Cavs and Sexton will be together again,” Amico wrote. “Why? Just a gut feeling. It is my belief that the Cavs, Sexton, Garland and everyone else associated with the franchise thinks it’s for the best. When that’s the case, you find a way to make the money work. Mostly, both sides seem to think it’s way too early to move on. And when that’s the case, you stay where you are.”

Sexton has career averages of 20.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 218 regular-season games with the Cavaliers. The only way for the Lakers to acquire him would be to trade Russell Westbrook and it’s doubtful Cleveland would be interested in the one-time MVP since Darius Garland is an up-and-coming star.

It Looks like Westbrook Will Be Back with Lakers

All signs point toward Westbrook being back with the Lakers next season. He was at new head coach Darvin Ham’s introductory press conference and Ham said Westbrook has a “ton left in the tank.”

“Don’t get it messed up. Russell Westbrook is one of the best players our league has ever seen and there’s still a ton left in the tank,” Ham said. “I don’t know why people tend to try to write him off. Russ and I had some really, really great one-on-one convos, man, and the biggest word I think that came out of that, those discussions, was sacrifice. I’m going to expect him to be the same tenacious, high-energy player that he’s been all his entire career. A lot of that now may have him without the ball in his hand. Most of it now may have it on the defensive end. But again, we have to sacrifice. There’s no achieving anything without all parties sharing the load, sacrificing, instead of one-on-one.”

Westbrook has a player option worth $47,063,478 for next season and he’s widely expected to pick it up.

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