Former Alabama guard Collin Sexton has a new home.
Sexton will be heading to Cleveland after the Cavaliers made him the No. 8 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft on Thursday.
Sexton was one of the best freshmen in the country during his season with the Crimson Tide. He averaged 19.2 points per game, adding in more than 3 assists and 3 rebounds per contest.
He led Alabama to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2011-12 season. The Crimson Tide bowed out in the second round to eventual champion Villanova.
Sexton is viewed by some to be the best point guard in this draft class, even ahead of touted prospects such as Trae Young and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Young was selected No. 5 overall by the Dallas Mavericks and subsequently traded to the Atlanta Hawks.
His explosiveness and elite athleticism are his most attractive attributes at the NBA level. He didn’t show the elite shooting or passing skills that Young displayed over the first half of the 2017-18 season, but his defensive potential and ability to finish at the rim still landed him inside the lottery.
The Cavaliers are in a tricky situation this offseason. LeBron James is likely to become an unrestricted free agent and is expected to entertain offers from multiple franchises around the league.
Without any certainty from James, it’s tough to project what roster Sexton could be joining come next season. If James departs, the Cavs could look to move on from players such as Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson and rebuild.
Regardless, Sexton appears to be a great building block for Cleveland should they move into a post-LeBron era. If James decides to return, Sexton will provide athleticism and defense that the Cavs have been missing in their back court.
Alabama coach Avery Johnson has touted Sexton as one of the best players he’s ever coached.
“I think his speed, his high basketball IQ,” Johnson said earlier this month in an interview with WJOX FM’s 3 Man Front. “He’s a very explosive offensive player, and because of the space that he’s going to have on the court in the NBA because of the guys that he’s going to be playing with, it’s going to be lights out.
“I mean the kid is a high-level player. He plays both ends of the floor. He’s not a one-way player, he’s a two-way player. And because he’s got to guard some of the best point guards in the world he’s going to be very competitive. He’s got a lot of confidence, mental and physical toughness. So, I think a lot of attributes about his game translate to the NBA game.”