Trade Talks Around Knicks PG Target Heating Up: Report

Collin Sexton

Getty Collin Sexton handles the ball during a January 24 game against the Boston Celtics.

Few things are more certain than the New York Knicks pending point guard chase this summer, with all of Derrick Rose, Elfrid Payton, and Frank Ntilikina headed for free agency.

And after a season that saw them make a triumphant return to the playoffs, for the first time since 2013, they’re hoping that point guard will be a stark upgrade, too.

New York’s set to be operating with north of $50+ million in cap space this summer, and with that in mind, has been linked to any and every upcoming free agent.

One name that’s been linked to New York in recent days is that of Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton.

The eighth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, he’s coming off of a strong third-year campaign where he averaged 24.3 points, 4.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and one steal per game.

But speculation is mounting as to whether or not the Cavaliers will be willing to pay Sexton his next deal.

He’s currently eligible for a max rookie extension worth north of $168-million. But if Cleveland opts to bypass those talks, he’ll enter restricted free agency next summer.

Cue the New York Knicks, who according to recent reports, have their eyes on the 22-year old point guard.

Lloyd: Sexton is ‘Very Much Available’

In his latest piece for The Athletic, Jason Lloyd reported that Collin Sexton is no longer considered a mainstay for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and is in fact, a gettable player this summer:

A deal that might make more sense for the Cavs is bundling Love with Collin Sexton, who I’ve been told is “very available” this summer. I wrote not long ago that I thought the Cavs were going to write the check to pay Sexton a max contract this summer, but based on what I’ve been told the last few months from sources around the league, I no longer believe that’s true.

Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News reported just weeks ago that the New York Knicks were “monitoring” the 22-year old point guard, among others:

If both the Trail Blazers and Wizards are uninterested in a deal, the source says the Knicks are also monitoring Cleveland’s Collin Sexton, Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Charlotte’s Terry Rozier as younger guards the franchise can fold in its plans for the future.

Host of the Locked on Cavaliers podcast, Evan Dammarell, followed up all reports on Sunday, saying Sexton’s name is “popping up a lot more in trade chatter,” and including a list of suitors:

It seems a matter of when, not if, a sweepstakes for Collin Sexton occurs.

And the Knicks, justifiably, will be ready and willing with an offer in hand it appears.

Sexton is Good for New York, and Julius Randle, Too

A 20 point-per-game scorer like Collin Sexton makes far too much sense for a New York Knicks team that was embarrassed in the playoffs by their downright inability to score the basketball.

If the 22-year old is on the table, Leon Rose and company should be finding a way to get a deal (within reason) done.

Arguably the biggest concern for New York walking into this offseason is how Julius Randle will handle playing next to a true point guard on a nearly full-time basis.

Will he be the same player when his 29.3 usage rate dips back to league average? Can he have the same effect on the game without the ball in his hands for what felt like 99 percent of the time all season?

But that’s just it.

There’s an argument he could be the same player alongside a guard like Sexton.

The 22-year old wouldn’t necessarily take the ball out of Randle’s hands, but more so provide him a reliable ball handler to defer to in double-team situations, or less than favorable matchups.

Of which he saw many, in their first-round playoff blunder against the Atlanta Hawks.

There’s a reason why Sexton’s 4.4 assists per game average ranked 34th among all qualified starting guards this season per’s Stats Tracking.

He’s more comfortable driving to the rim, but still able to make the necessary reads in basic offensive sets.

And that’s exactly why Derrick Rose was such a crucial addition for this year’s Knicks team; his ability to drive the offense when Randle was off the floor, and his scoring presence in both the mid-range and at the rim.

A point guard rotation featuring Collin Sexton and Derrick Rose could help to maximize not only the New York Knicks’ offense but also the All-NBA talent they’ve stumbled upon in Julius Randle.

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