Collin Sexton | The Young Bull

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Lee

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It's not that Collin is bad, everyone loves his stupid-level chip and dogged work ethic.

His getting better and better is akin to me leveling up my hand drills though. They all do the same thing, but just do that same thing better. Collin keeps sharpening the scoring blade despite every coach and multiple teammates and whoever else telling him really needs to sharpen the other non-scoring aspects of his game. And those blades remain as dull as ever. One thing I'm surprised he hasn't developed is a quicker release from 3 off the dribble, as it's in his wheelhouse of things he likes to improve.But I digress.

What he looks like on a good team is Ben Gordon adjusted for pace (NBA games were in the 95-100 PPG, so a 23/24 PPG scorer today would look like a 19/21 PPG scorer in the early 2000's). A high usage but undersized combo guard who can score on 3 levels with very good efficiency. He doesn't have Ben's strength and Ben was a little bit longer in wingspan, and Ben had a better team around him that in many ways complimented his skill sets and lack of true playmaking ability.

If he can't bring more to the floor-game in other aspects while demanding such a huge portion of the usage, the coaches will eventually just start to dial his minutes back with more well rounded players at their disposal.

Well said. Ben Gordon was a good player, very good imo, and had a very important role that could be had on a championship team. So in no way I want to trade Sexton for draft picks or lesser players, it will take a very good player for me to part with him, but the part of his game that needs to evolve to be more than just an efficient instant offense scorer has not evolved. Look not every basketball player is a 5 tool player like Lebron or Durant. Many stars have some holes in their game, it doesnt mean they arent valuable...but Sexton has holes in his game while being an efficient scorer.
 

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Collin Sexton at age 22 is a much much better player than Ben Gordon at 22.
Gordonsexton3.PNG

Gordonsexton1.PNGGordonsexton2.PNG

The fact that he's already at the level of Ben Gordon's best year is why I'd be hesistant to part with Sexton unless I got a lot of value in return. I agree with most people on here that he has some flaws in this game that may mean he never gets to be the best player on a good team, but I already think he could be a top 3 player on a contender and whose to say he won't improve and further round out his game. Most 22 year olds are just beginning to unlock their talent in the NBA.
 
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There was an episode of “The Gong Show” where every single act came out and sang “Feelings”. It’s where we are with Sexton. Every post critical of him is about …

”Ceilings, nothing more than Ceilings,
Trying to forget my, ceilings above
Teardrops rolling down on my face,
Trying to forget my, ceilings above

Ceilings, for my career I’ll feel it,
I wish I’d never met you Cavs,
I’ll never start again

Ceilings, wo-o-o Ceilings,
wo-o-o feel I’ll just be a sixth man …”
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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There was an episode of “The Gong Show” where every single act came out and sang “Feelings”. It’s where we are with Sexton. Every post critical of him is about …

”Ceilings, nothing more than Ceilings,
Trying to forget my, ceilings above
Teardrops rolling down on my face,
Trying to forget my, ceilings above

Ceilings, for my career I’ll feel it,
I wish I’d never met you Cavs,
I’ll never start again

Ceilings, wo-o-o Ceilings,
wo-o-o feel I’ll just be a sixth man …”
Or how about this one:

There's a lot more to winning basketball than simply scoring.

Sexton doesn't do anything outside of scoring at a high enough level to contribute to winning.

Can that change? Sure! But so far, it hasn't.

If you offer me comparable value with better fit, I'm open to taking the deal. Something like a Tobias Harris-level SF to help fill out the roster? Sounds good. A high pick that can be used on Scottie Barnes? Sounds good.

I'm not saying we have to jettison Sexton for the 21st pick or anything shitty like that. I'm not even saying you have to get max value for him--I think it's an acceptable course to keep him on the roster, and it's acceptable to let him walk if someone offers him a contract that turns him into a negative asset. It's also acceptable to re-sign him at a level where you feel he's a positive asset.

I'd love to see a lineup with Garland/Okoro/INSERT SF HERE/Mobley/Allen that brings Sexton off the bench to take over the game and score in spurts. I'm fine if you're paying that guy 24 million a year to do so.
 

Bob_The_Cat

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Or how about this one:

There's a lot more to winning basketball than simply scoring.

Sexton doesn't do anything outside of scoring at a high enough level to contribute to winning.

Can that change? Sure! But so far, it hasn't.

If you offer me comparable value with better fit, I'm open to taking the deal. Something like a Tobias Harris-level SF to help fill out the roster? Sounds good. A high pick that can be used on Scottie Barnes? Sounds good.

I'm not saying we have to jettison Sexton for the 21st pick or anything shitty like that. I'm not even saying you have to get max value for him--I think it's an acceptable course to keep him on the roster, and it's acceptable to let him walk if someone offers him a contract that turns him into a negative asset. It's also acceptable to re-sign him at a level where you feel he's a positive asset.

I'd love to see a lineup with Garland/Okoro/INSERT SF HERE/Mobley/Allen that brings Sexton off the bench to take over the game and score in spurts. I'm fine if you're paying that guy 24 million a year to do so.

This is where I'm at. I'm not denying Sexton's ability to score. It has value, especially if he's willing to come off the bench and sign at the right number. However, I have yet to see any real evidence of Sexton making guys around him better on offense, and the defensive problems created by playing him and Garland together for huge minutes creates a substantial problem for any team trying to play winning basketball.

If the Cavs can add a suitable SF without trading Garland, Okoro, or Sexton, I'm 100% all for keeping Sexton and seeing what happens in RFA next season, I just think that's going to be pretty tough to accomplish.
 

Derek

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Collin Sexton at age 22 is a much much better player than Ben Gordon at 22.
View attachment 6140

View attachment 6138View attachment 6139

The fact that he's already at the level of Ben Gordon's best year is why I'd be hesistant to part with Sexton unless I got a lot of value in return. I agree with most people on here that he has some flaws in this game that may mean he never gets to be the best player on a good team, but I already think he could be a top 3 player on a contender and whose to say he won't improve and further round out his game. Most 22 year olds are just beginning to unlock their talent in the NBA.
Ben Gordon was also playing in an offensively depressed era. If you adjust for pace and era, he looks a lot more impressive. Still, in my opinion, Sexton is just a notch below "peak" Ben Gordon right now due to Gordon's better efficiency relative to his era while also playing on a better team.

I do believe Sexton will have a longer peak than Gordon, who fell off pretty fast after age-25, but if we're talking about who Sexton is right now, the Gordon comp fits. I do believe he'll eventually surpass that, or at least match it for much longer than the three-year peak Gordon enjoyed.

Gordon's peak was age 23-25.

Age-23 Ben Gordon (per 100 possessions):
33.2 points
5.6 assists
.572 TS% (League-Average was .541)
3.0 VORP

Age-22 Collin Sexton (per 100 possessions):
34.0 points
6.1 assists
.573 TS% (League-Average was .572)
1.0 VORP
 
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narbar32

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It's not that Collin is bad, everyone loves his stupid-level chip and dogged work ethic.

His getting better and better is akin to me leveling up my hand drills though. They all do the same thing, but just do that same thing better. Collin keeps sharpening the scoring blade despite every coach and multiple teammates and whoever else telling him really needs to sharpen the other non-scoring aspects of his game. And those blades remain as dull as ever. One thing I'm surprised he hasn't developed is a quicker release from 3 off the dribble, as it's in his wheelhouse of things he likes to improve.But I digress.

What he looks like on a good team is Ben Gordon adjusted for pace (NBA games were in the 95-100 PPG, so a 23/24 PPG scorer today would look like a 19/21 PPG scorer in the early 2000's). A high usage but undersized combo guard who can score on 3 levels with very good efficiency. He doesn't have Ben's strength and Ben was a little bit longer in wingspan, and Ben had a better team around him that in many ways complimented his skill sets and lack of true playmaking ability.

If he can't bring more to the floor-game in other aspects while demanding such a huge portion of the usage, the coaches will eventually just start to dial his minutes back with more well rounded players at their disposal.

I like your drill analogy and I don't hate the Ben Gordon comparison, but I don't think the bolded is true. While Sexton has not turned himself into a floor-general or a lockdown defender, I don't know how you can say that those "blades" remain as dull as ever.

In the last couple months of last season, seemingly following a crescendo of "noise" regarding Collin's unwillingness to pass the ball, my eyes saw a genuine--though perhaps not entirely dramatic--shift in his efforts to move the ball around and get teammates more involved, and it resulted in an uptick in his assists. Assists certainly aren't the end-all / be-all for "feel," and I realize that "feel" will continue to be one of the main bullet points in this particular debate, but he absolutely HAS shown improvement in that non-scoring aspect of his game.

I believe that he has also improved in his on-ball defense during his career, which includes his added mass and strength, but obviously still struggles there and even more off the ball (though the latter aspect also depends more on scheme and teammates than the former and it is harder to judge when pretty much the whole team sucks).

I am not opposed to trading him or anybody else to improve the team, make the pieces fit better together, and to stop allowing opposing teams to just sit back and launch threes over us all game long, but I do hate how much criticism he gets locally and think there are generally too many opinions regarding his future development that get thrown out there as facts. But with Sexton I guess I just have to accept that he is and will continue to be a total lightning rod for these debates for the time being--due to the makeup of the team, his style of play, and perhaps more than anything because so much of the discourse regarding Sexton involves particularly subjective and vague concepts like "feel" and "drive."
 

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Ben Gordon was also playing in an offensively depressed era. If you adjust for pace and era, he looks a lot more impressive. Still, in my opinion, Sexton is just a notch below "peak" Ben Gordon right now due to Gordon's better efficiency relative to his era while also playing on a better team.

I do believe Sexton will have a longer peak than Gordon, who fell off pretty fast after age-25, but if we're talking about who Sexton is right now, the Gordon comps fits. I do believe he'll eventually surpass that, or at least match it for much longer than the three-year peak Gordon enjoyed.

Gordon's peak was age 23-25.

Age-23 Ben Gordon (per 100 possessions):
33.2 points
5.6 assists
.572 TS% (League-Average was .541)
3.0 VORP

Age-22 Collin Sexton (per 100 possessions):
34.0 points
6.1 assists
.573 TS% (League-Average was .572)
1.0 VORP
Good point about how the games pace and scoring efficiency are different these days.

However, I think it's worth noting that Sexton at present looks pretty darn comparable to the best Ben Gordon season there. Maybe this will be Sexton's peak? If you believe that I think the comparison is very fair and maybe even you'd give the edge to Gordon that one season.

I personally think Sexton can still improve. For all that people say he hasn't improved as a passer, for example, his assist numbers have improved even without better shooters or finishers around him. He's getting to the free throw line a lot more. And there are obvious efficiencies (e.g. taking more 3s) that could increase his scoring and efficiency. My guess is when it is all said and done he'll be quite a bit better than he is now. But it doesn't always work out that way. It didn't really for Ben Gordon. You never know when injuries or other factors will disrupt a player.

I guess my point is that I think Ben Gordon is more Collin Sexton's floor than his ceiling. But his floor and ceiling may be pretty close right now. It's hard to say. I'd really really like to see what he looks like with a roster that is healthy and makes some kind of sense before we give up on him. But like with any player I'd move him for the right trade.
 

Derek

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Good point about how the games pace and scoring efficiency are different these days.

However, I think it's worth noting that Sexton at present looks pretty darn comparable to the best Ben Gordon season there. Maybe this will be Sexton's peak? If you believe that I think the comparison is very fair and maybe even you'd give the edge to Gordon that one season.

I personally think Sexton can still improve. For all that people say he hasn't improved as a passer, for example, his assist numbers have improved. He's getting to the free throw line a lot more. And there are obvious efficiencies (e.g. taking more 3s) that could increase his scoring and efficiency. My guess is when it is all said and done he'll be quite a bit better than he is now. But it doesn't always work out that way. It didn't really for Ben Gordon. You never know when injuries or other factors will disrupt a player.

I guess my point is that I think Ben Gordon is more Collin Sexton's floor than his ceiling. But his floor and ceiling may be pretty close right now. It's hard to say. I'd really really like to see what he looks like with a roster that is healthy and makes some kind of sense before we give up on him. But like with any player I'd move him for the right trade.
Sexton does look very comparable to Gordon's peak season(s), but that gap in efficiency isn't anything to brush to the side. If Sexton were as efficient this year (relative to league-average), he would have been over .600 TS% and many of these conversations aren't taking place.
 

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Sexton does look very comparable to Gordon's peak season(s), but that gap in efficiency isn't anything to brush to the side. If Sexton were as efficient this year (relative to league-average), he would have been over .600 TS% and many of these conversations aren't taking place.
I don't want to get too into the weeds here, but I don't think it's fair to compare league averages when evaluating these players because the improvement in league average TS% is almost entirely from big men and forwards. When I looked at the weighted average by minutes played for SGs on basketball reference (which includes Sexton and Gordon) TS% in .553 in 2006-2007 and was .557 in 2020-2021. They're both similarly more efficient than their peers at the positions they play.
 

Derek

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I don't want to get too into the weeds here, but I don't think it's fair to compare league averages when evaluating these players because the improvement in league average TS% is almost entirely from big men and forwards. When I looked at the weighted average by minutes played for SGs on basketball reference (which includes Sexton and Gordon) TS% in .553 in 2006-2007 and was .557 in 2020-2021. They're both similarly more efficient than their peers at the positions they play.
Positional stats can be kind of wonky, but if that's true, that's even worse for Sexton as it would appear that his positional value is much worse than Gordon's was.
 

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Positional stats can be kind of wonky, but if that's true, that's even worse for Sexton as it would appear that his positional value is much worse than Gordon's was.
I think an indicator of positional value on offense is usage rate at least if we believe that how likely the average offense is to use a position on any give play means that having a better offensive player at that position is worth more. So, I calculated the weighted average by minute for usage of each position and then did a weighted average for the whole league and normalized it.

I represent the positions here are the percentage of league average usage each position has. E.g. 98% for PG would mean point guards usage rate is 2% lower than the league average.

Position2006-20072020-2021
C94%93.5%
SG105.9%101.2%
SF99.4%92.5%
PG99.8%112.3%
PF98.6%92.7%

Based on this, it would indicate that at least on offense Ben Gordon's positional value was a bit higher than Sexton's. However, it seems the role of SGs in offenses is still fairly high. I was very surprised to see the usage of forwards has declined. Maybe that the best players in the league are forwards hides the fact that after the top 10 guys the rest of the forwards in the league aren't worth running plays for. It also may in part come from teams who play more than two forwards in individual lineups pulling the average down. I'm too lazy to dig into why this is at the moment.
 

Cavatt

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Ben Gordon was often in at the end of games, but he feasted on 2nd units. Your defensive numbers are also hard to compare bench to starters.

Lastly if Collin starts taking 8 3s a game like Gordon did, he would blow him away offensively. He shoots more 3s when there is better spacing. Also had more kick outs than Darius, so...

Gordon was never a guy to punish you at the rim like Collin. Made plenty of tough shots tho
 
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