2018 NBA Draft: Collin Sexton and his best fit in the NBA

Photo by Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Photo by Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images /

While it would take a fall down the 2018 NBA Draft board or trading up to get him, Collin Sexton brings a lot of what’s missing to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Collin Sexton is the type of prospect that is going to be really enticing to teams after the top 8-10 guys are drafted. He’s highly competitive, well-spoken and comes with an unmatched motor. It’s what made teams fall in love with Josh Jackson last year and Jaylen Brown the year before, despite flaws in their games.

Alabama’s point guard is another one of these guys with some flaws. Sexton lacks elite creation, a workable jump shot and is limited to mostly defending the 1. Still, he can be an impact defender, thrive in the open court and it’s probably too early to give up on his jumper (less than 34 percent from 3).

When analyzing the type of point guard Sexton could be, let’s look at the glass half-full. After all, teams are more likely to need to justify this portion over the opposite. Are you comfortable with what his upside he could be? If so, is that the type of player that could fit well into your team’s NBA rotation?

For flawed ball-handlers like Sexton, fit is so incredibly important. That’s why the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the best options for him. Sexton needs to play alongside versatile defenders who are good passers and threats from deep. The Lakers are in need of a ball-handler to attack the paint and dominate the pick-and-roll. If Lonzo Ball‘s shooting continues to show promise, this is a great pair.

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The Lakers are in need of that, as well as more defensive-oriented players. Sexton projects to be an absolute beast at the point, likely in a Patrick Beverley type role. He won’t be able to survive long on anyone over, say, 6’5″ or 6’6″, but he’ll make you work all game. Pairing him with floor stretchers and smart players like Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma will help unlock the best version of himself. That is a dynamo who attacks the rim, pushes in transition and draws fouls.

Sexton’s jump shot and feel are shaky, but that impact can be minimized in certain situations. Ball is a perfect player to help alleviate those deficiencies, especially in the half-court. What’s likely more important for Sexton than his jumper is improving his decision-making. If he can be a dynamic driver and draw fouls, it won’t matter if he can’t make the right pass. This also isn’t to say Sexton can’t shoot at all. He’ll make his fair share, but he’s a volume shooter.

Now the Lakers are selecting at No. 25, far from Sexton’s expected range. I wouldn’t anticipate them giving up young pieces, but he should be high on their list were he to drop a bit on draft night. This isn’t a lost exercise just because the Lakers are low on the board. What we’ve outlined should help think about where Sexton is best suited.

New York is interesting because of the versatility of Frank Ntilikina and the shooting gravities of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis. Ninth is probably a bit high for him, but you can understand the logic in his fit. For Sexton to be most productive, you need the threat of perimeter shooting, a multi-positional defender to pair with him in the backcourt and likely a shooting big man as well. It’ll open the floor for him, which could unlock his driving game in more space.

Next: Full two-round 2018 NBA Mock Draft

In about two months, we’ll have a good guess based on where he ends up in the draft. We can likely project a lot more about him once he’s actually drafted.