Cleveland Cavaliers: Collin Sexton’s All-Star hopes are realistic

The Cleveland Cavaliers young stud, Collin Sexton, made a bold statement that the next goal on his list is to reach an NBA All-Star Game.

There may not be a more misunderstood player in the league than Collin Sexton. The Young Bull has had two solid seasons for the Cleveland Cavaliers, both filled with substantial growth in all facets. But, when Sexton stated that his next personal goal was to reach the NBA’s All-Star Game, many fans were quick to dismiss him.

The 21-year-old guard has been an easy scapegoat for the Cavaliers who have finished towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference in consecutive seasons. While his playstyle has been the root of frustration for many of his teammates, Kevin Love included, even Love himself acknowledged the work Sexton has put in to improve.

“Very seldom have I seen somebody work so hard in this league to get better. I think the game slowed down for him,” Love said. The two have clashed on the court in the past but it’s clear that Young Bull has earned the veterans respect.

In fact, Sexton just about demanded respect from everyone in the association with his performances down the stretch of this season. Since January, Sexton posted 23.6 points per game on over 45 percent shooting from both the floor and 3-point line. The Rising Star really hit his stride in the final eight games, averaging nearly 30 points on a 56.2 percent clip.

Through his young career, Sexton boasts shooting splits of 45/39/84, flirting with the 50/40/90 club in both of his first two seasons. Less than 10 players in NBA history have ever recorded a 50/40/90 campaign, giving Sexton the potential to join some very elite company.

Speaking of elite company, Sexton is already among the league-best at finishing around the rim. He converted on over 200 layups this season, the seventh-most of any guard. He also ranked 13th in total drives to the hoop, shooting a similar percentage to that of players such as Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard.

Favorable indicators

A total of 21 players attempted 1,000 or more field goals last season. Of this group, Sexton recorded the 14th best true shooting percentage and the 16th best effective field goal percentage. This is less than ideal, but the gap between him and stars like LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard isn’t that large (less than two percent in terms of true shooting).

Sexton’s biggest flaw is his decision making and shot selection. Some of his shots can be seen as forced, likely reducing his ability to score efficiently. This can only be fixed by studying the game. If Sexton can clean this area up he will be a blossom into a much more prolific scorer.

The sophomore has already taken steps towards becoming a better playmaker. In the final month of the season, Sexton was making much better reads on his drives and bumped his assists per game to over 4. Continuing to be a better distributor will be pivotal to his All-Star hopes.

The main factor holding Sexton back is his team’s success. It’s rare for a player on a lottery team to earn an All-Star nod. The Cavs seem to be a few years back from reaching the playoffs, something that will undoubtedly hinder Sexton’s aspirations.

However, with a good pick in the upcoming draft, plus a few promising young players and veterans already on the roster, the Cavaliers could push their way into postseason contention soon. In this case, assuming Sexton proceeds to stride forward as a scorer and playmaker, it’s very possible the Young Bull makes an appearance in the All-Star Game. While it might take a few years, his goal is certainly realistic.

Next: CLE: 8 Quality free agents to target
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