The Cleveland Cavaliers selected point guard Collin Sexton with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft.
Sexton is a former McDonald’s All-American and was considered by some scouting services to be a top 10 prospect in the country. He chose to attend Alabama over blue-blood programs like North Carolina, Kansas and Arizona.
In his first and only season with Alabama, Sexton averaged 19.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists, leading the Crimson Tide to an NCAA tournament appearance.
Jeremy Woo's grade: B-
There was no easy route for the Cavaliers here given that the top seven prospects in the draft were off the board, but the talk had been that Cleveland wanted a point guard here, and that if Trae Young came off the board it would be Sexton. Cleveland likes Sexton’s toughness and ability to put pressure on the rim, and he will be a useful scorer and ballhandler for them whether or not LeBron James decides to return next season. While there is some split opinion in front offices as to whether Sexton will be enough of a playmaker to become a starting-caliber guard, the Cavs are betting on him to expand his game and work hard to reach his ceiling.
SI.com's Jeremy Woo broke down Sexton's strengths and weaknesses ahead of the draft.
• Knack for getting downhill, attacking the paint and finishing. Strong and unafraid of contact, drawing 7.6 fouls per-40 minutes. Finished in the 87th percentile as a pick-and-roll scorer (0.57 points per possession). Was mostly efficient while shouldering a major offensive load, using 32.8% of his team’s possessions.
• Has the ability to be a strong on-ball defender. Has quick feet and is tenacious when engaged.
• Enough of a jump shooter that he should be passable. Shot just 33.6% from behind the arc but 77.8% from the foul line. High shot volume and selection maybe a factor.
• When locked in, plays with a nasty streak, particularly when closing games. Unafraid of the moment.
• Questionable playmaking instincts. Poor 1.28 assist-to-turnover ratio. Finished in just the 28th percentile of pick-and-roll passers (0.84 points per possession). Can make the correct read, but on whole didn’t make teammates better.
• Scoring efficiency could be an issue given streaky jumper and penchant for taking hero-ball shots. Tends to bury his head and drive to the rim.
• Has a reputation as a good defender and ballhawk, but totaled just 28 steals in 33 games. Could be attributable to major offensive workload, but effort waxes and wanes. Have yet to see him turn it on for an entire game, start to finish.
• Is he better suited long-term as a starter, or as a third guard who provides offensive punch?