It was a year that started with struggles and the public doubt of teammates and the media. However in the end Collin Sexton’s work ethic paid off as he was rewarded with a spot on the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
Sexton finished seventh in the cumulative scoring for the All-Rookie Team behind Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Deandre Ayton, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marvin Bagley III, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
This feels like the right spot for Sexton, as his overall rookie season was fairly inconsistent. Giving Gilgeous-Alexander a slight edge over him, given team success and his prowess on the defensive end was probably the right decision.
The one thing Sexton’s rookie season did reveal was his tremendous work ethic and will to get better. Sexton deviated from his biggest “strength” in the midrange pull-up and willed his way into becoming a good three point shooter on a healthy volume.
This result also provides some validation to the Cavs who received criticism for the pick from many, including myself. A lot of rookies get hyped up as being gym rats, but it’s clear that with Sexton that it was not just lip service. He still has a very long way to go, but for the eighth overall pick to go from where he started this season to seventh in All-Rookie voting is impressive.
The Cavs are building an environment filled with hard workers with an emphasis on player development. While skeptical voices remain, it isn’t hard to see the team build towards a new identity independent of any one superstar. Having players like Sexton that are determined to reach whatever their ceiling may be is a pretty easy plan to get behind.