Chris Manning (@cwmwrites): In year two, Sexton’s offensive jump at the end of last season holds up and he becomes more efficient in a better, more modern offensive scheme. At the same time, he passes a little bit better/more willingly in said scheme while becoming not a total disaster on defense; not being one of the worst three defensive guards in the league would be a huge, huge improvement. All this, of course, happens with him meshing with Darius Garland.
Justin Rowan (@cavsanada): I think the best case scenario for Sexton would be for him to grow into a combo guard similar to George Hill at his peak. Hill wasn’t counted on to constantly initiate the offense, but could provide secondary play making and defense. Sexton has the wingspan and body to be a good defender, and he’ll need to take steps towards being passable on that end if he doesn’t want to limit his ceiling in the future. Almost all young guards suck on defense and the tire fire that was the Cavs overall defense last season certainly didn’t help his individual stats on that end. That being said, it doesn’t mean he can’t be a good defender in the future and he probably wasn’t as bad as the numbers indicated.
If we can get the same 16-17 points a game with improved defense and the 58.5 true shooting percentage we saw post All Star break that would be a huge step in the right direction.
David Zavac (@DavidZavac): If Sexton can maintain the improved shot selection he showed in the final third of last season while making a small but noticeable defensive leap, we should all be pretty happy. He’ll have to adjust to a new coach, and Darius Garland, and will still be sharing the ball with Brandon Knight and Jordan Clarkson, so that might be a tall order. He’s still asserting himself in the league, and he’s going to want to show he can score. Hopefully he’s patient. If he can bump up his true shooting rate into the 54-57% range that would be tremendous. I’d like to see his competitiveness start to show itself in trying to slow down opposing point guards, too.
CM: While Sexton’s offensive improvements hold up from his rookie year, he remains a major liability on defense and isn’t particularly improved as a passer and doesn’t look comfortable playing off ball. When that happens, it makes his fit in John Beilein’s system tricky and makes his fit with Darius Garland not ideal and puts Cleveland in an uncomfortable spot as it plots what comes next. At the end of the year, as he heads into year three, it leaves his place in the continued Cavs rebuild unclear.
JR: That his improved off ball play during the second half of last season regresses and he remains a ball stopper. The Cavs don’t need him to suddenly have great vision, they just need him to make quick decisions on whether to look to score or move the ball.
The worst case would be that he is stagnant or takes a step back in those areas while his outside shot regresses along with his overall efficiency. Defensive impact stagnating would also be a grave concern, given how low his floor is on that end of the court.
DZ: With a new coaching staff, his poor shot selection returns. It won’t necessarily be his fault, but if he and Garland fail to show passing vision, their fit together gets complicated. Sharing minutes and the ball with Jordan Clarkson causes him to get overshadowed at the end of games. He shows no inclination to develop defensively, but instead focuses on getting opportunities on the offensive end. He’s a good kid, so I’m hoping this stuff doesn’t happen. I suppose the easiest way to say this is that the worst case scenario is his exact scenario through January or so of last season.