Indiana Pacers: Reported Collin Sexton interest doesn’t make sense

Indiana Pacers, Collin Sexton - Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Collin Sexton - Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

Thematic with the custom in the past week or so, the Indiana Pacers continue to be a persistent subject in trade conjectures. Not only have they been a hot topic for Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis hawkers and included in the shortlist for the Ben Simmons sweepstakes, but the team has also been connected to one of the league’s upstart players recently.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, the eighth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, has had an impressive career trajectory. While a season-ending knee injury cut short his 2021-22 season, he registered across-the-board career highs last season in scoring (24.3 points per game), playmaking (4.4 assists per contest), and field goal percentage (47.5 percent overall).

Despite his shaved off value due to a serious injury, the Pacers are reported to have taken a liking to Sexton’s scoring prowess, with the Cavs showing inclination to seek guard Caris LeVert in return, according to The Athletic’s Joe Vardon.

Despite clear talent, Collin Sexton is a puzzling target for the Indiana Pacers

Don’t get me wrong—Collin Sexton is a talented scorer, and he’s only 22 years old, setting him up for much better years ahead of him. However, I am not convinced that he’s an ideal piece for the Indiana Pacers right now, even as they pivot to make some big changes to the roster.

Problem is, given all the noise around the franchise right now, it is beginning to feel doubtful that the Pacers truly want to start with a clean slate and build from the ground up. From whispers that Indiana would like to keep one of their big men, to being linked to Simmons, and facing the inevitable reality that win-now components Malcolm Brogdon and TJ Warren should remain part of the team, the Blue and Gold is much more near to a retooling.

In that sense, adding Sexton becomes all the more perplexing. He doesn’t fill the Pacers’ need for a natural point guard, as he’s more of a shooting guard than a floor general. Tasking someone with career averages of 3.3 assists against 2.5 turnovers per game with primary facilitating duties is far from a winning recipe.

Sexton is also far from a perimeter stopper, as his 6’1 frame is simply too much of a concession on a nightly basis. It’s no coincidence that the Cavaliers suddenly have the third-best defensive rating in the association with him shelved for the most part after finishing 25th in that department a season ago.

I’m not admonishing Collin Sexton for his shortcomings, nor am I splitting hairs for things that are radically out of his control, but given the Indiana Pacers’ current state, I doubt that he moves the needle much at all for the franchise, especially coming off a major injury.

Or maybe the Pacers actually want him due to his injury track record. Makes you wonder, right?

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