An anonymous NBA scout called Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, who was the focus of trade speculation throughout the offseason, an "assh--e" and said the team won't find success trying to play him alongside Darius Garland.
The unnamed talent evaluator provided his breakdown of the Cavs backcourt to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated on Friday:
"I think Collin Sexton is a backup and an assh--e. None of his teammates like him. I like Garland. I actually like Garland. I think he plays hard. He puts pressure on you because he can shoot, he can pass, and he's a much more willing passer. He's not out there trying to f--king get his stats and go home in the same way that Sexton is. I don't think they can play those two small guards together and get a ton out of them."
Sexton has steadily improved across three NBA seasons since Cleveland selected him with the eighth overall pick in the 2018 draft.
The 22-year-old University of Alabama product averaged 24.3 points, 4.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 threes across 60 appearances last season. His shooting percentage, which was 43 percent as a rookie in 2018-19, was up to 47.5 percent in 2020-21.
His advanced numbers tell a similar story. He accumulated an unsightly -7.4 WAR as a rookie, but that number improved to -0.6 in his second season and moved into positive figures (0.3) last year, per FiveThirtyEight.
While Sexton's defense is still a concern, his vast improvement offensively has helped him become a plus player with plenty of room for continued development.
The trade talk that surrounded him for most of the summer faded as the regular season has moved closer, but it may resurface in the coming months.
"Cleveland had multiple good offers on the table for Sexton," a source told Evan Massey of the NBA Analysis Network last week. "I don't think we've heard the last of that. Around the trade deadline, I think it picks back up."
That idea contrasts what Cavs general manager Koby Altman said in September when he said the front office was interested in signing Sexton to a contract extension.
"We want him here long term. He wants to be here long term. We're working with his representation to see that through, but this is someone that has been with us since the start of this thing and we love him,' Altman told reporters. "We will deal with that behind closed doors. The feelings are mutual in terms of something long term."
If no deal is reached, Sexton can become a restricted free agent at season's end with a $8.6 million qualifying offer available to Cleveland, per Spotrac.
For now, the Georgia native remains a key cog in the Cavaliers lineup as they prepare to open the regular season Wednesday when they visit FedEx Forum to take on the Memphis Grizzlies.