Lakers Are the Perfect Fit for Former Top-10 Draft Pick

Collin Sexton Trade

Getty Collin Sexton makes sense as a trade target for the Lakers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers look to be open for business, and the Los Angeles Lakers could be a fit for one of the team’s top guards. Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo reported the Cavs are open to trading point guard Collin Sexton.

“According to league sources, the Cavaliers have begun to explore trade options involving leading scorer Collin Sexton,” Woo detailed. “Sexton, 22, is extension-eligible this summer, averaged 24.3 points per game last season, and appears likely to seek a maximum contract. …There’s belief around the league that Cleveland prefers to move on from Sexton, rather than sign him to a deal that would greatly inhibit their flexibility moving forward. The Cavs hold the No. 3 pick in the draft, and could end up selecting another guard, which could further expedite the process of a trade.”

Sexton led the Cavaliers in scoring at 24.3 points per game while also adding 4.4 assists and 3.1 rebounds. The Cavs point guard has also been a more consistent three-point shooter than many expected coming out of Alabama. Sexton is a career 38.5% three-point shooter and shot 37.1% from long range last season.

If the Lakers are looking for alternative options to Dennis Schroder, Sexton offers a viable third scorer next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis while also adding much-needed three-point shooting. With Schroder looking for a lucrative long-term deal in free agency, the Lakers would be wise to explore other paths in case his asking price becomes too high.

The Lakers’ Trade Package Would Likely Start with Kuzma & the No. 22 Pick

The question is whether the Lakers have a trade package that would be appealing for the Cavs. Sexton will be in the final season of his four-year, $20.1 million contract. A potential Lakers deal likely starts with Kyle Kuzma and the No. 22 pick but this may not be enough to move the needle for the Cavaliers.

Sexton’s $6.3 million salary means more players would have to be involved for cap purposes since Kuzma makes double the guard’s deal. Not everyone is buying the idea that the Cavs will move Sexton. Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Chris Fedor reported Sexton believes he is part of the Cavaliers’ long-term plans.

“Recent rumblings point to Sexton’s name being involved in trade discussions — even though sources close to Sexton have the impression that the polarizing 22-year-old shooting guard is part of the long-term plans,” Fedor noted. “The chatter shouldn’t come as a surprise. Sexton is extension-eligible this summer and his agent Austin Brown, the same guy who got Donovan Mitchell the rookie-scale max from Utah, will be looking for a big payday.”

Garland Is Represented by Klutch Sports

There is also a scenario where Cleveland retains Sexton and trades Darius Garland. The Cavs guard is part of the Klutch Sports stable and is represented by Rich Paul. We know the Lakers have strong ties to Klutch thanks to James.

Garland is not quite the same scorer as Sexton but is a better distributor. The guard averaged 17.4 points, 6.1 assists and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 39.5% from long range this season. During a March 2020 interview with ESPN, James reflected on his relationship with Garland, admitting that he is closer in age to his sons than himself.

“This summer, I had Darius Garland and Darius Bazley and all those guys over to my house throughout the summertime,” James explained at the time. “And when they would come over to the house, they’d be outside actually playing basketball with [James’ sons] Bryce and Bronny or playing video games with them. At first, I was like [confused], and then I had to realize those guys are 17, 18 years old and my sons are 15 and 13. So yeah, it made all the sense in the world.”

The Cavs snagging the No. 3 pick has some people believing the team is more likely to trade either Sexton or Garland this offseason, especially if they select another guard. It is a team worth watching as a potential trade partner for the Lakers, especially if negotiations with Schroder go south.