Collin Sexton enters the 2018-19 NBA season with big expectations on his shoulders for the Cavaliers after being picked eighth overall in the NBA Draft. He should have plenty of workload to shoulder, and in ESPN’s Rookie of the Year projections, he’s landed fourth on the list.
Sexton earned just three percent of first place votes on ESPN’s panel, so few expect him to win — he’s clearly in the picture though, and there’s a ton of room for him to operate on a Cavaliers team stocked with shooters and capable off-ball players on a roster that was once built for LeBron James.
Vegas odds paint a slightly better picture for Sexton. On Sportsbook, he’s listed as the third favorite for the award, tied with Kevin Knox and Marvin Bagley at +800 behind front-runners Luka Doncic (+400) and DeAndre Ayton (+450).
Ultimately, Sexton’s going to have more opportunities than most eighth overall picks to succeed. He’ll be playing in four-out lineups that offer plenty of space that will help him cope with a dubious jumper, and spacing always helps young point guards.
That doesn’t mean he’s always going to have great nights - Sexton’s going to have games with low efficiency and a ton of turnovers, because point guard is probably the toughest position to play in the NBA as a young player.
If he makes the most of it and the Cavaliers outperform expectations, Sexton could very well find himself in the thick of the Rookie of the Year race.