Trade prospect No. 3 – Collin Sexton, Utah Jazz
After missing nearly the entire 2021-22 NBA season to a leg injury, Collin Sexton was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of the package that sent star guard Donovan Mitchell out of Utah.
Through his four-year career thus far, Sexton has averaged 19 points, 3.2 assists, and has shot 38 percent from 3-point range. The 6-foot-1-inch combo guard is a lethal offensive threat and was the first step in Cleveland’s successful rebuild. While he was eventually traded, he gave their fanbase a glimpse of hope that propelled their team back into playoff competition. Sexton, though, has not seen the playoffs yet, being traded just before the Cavs returned to the postseason.
Joining the Lakers would give Collin Sexton the chance to prove his playoff potential as a dynamic scorer and competitor. But, his overall playstyle would hurt his chances of fitting the Lakers’ needs.
Where Sexton is good, he’s an exciting player with potential. But where he’s below average, he can seriously hurt the team.
Although the former lottery pick would certainly improve Los Angeles’ offense in the second unit, his lack of defense and subpar court vision would mimic a repeat of some of Russell Westbrook’s problems with the Lakers.
Sexton is no doubt a better long-range shooter than Westbrook, but he has the same struggles creating off-ball movement for himself and does not have the passing ability needed for a ball-dominant point guard. He would struggle to fit next to LeBron James, who would likely have the ball in his hands much more than Sexton.
On defense, Sexton is far from a complete player. According to Cleaning the Glass (subscription required), Sexton was in the 13th percentile for blocks and 15th percentile in steals for his position. Although he was in the higher tiers for both mid-range shots and 3-point shots, the drop off on defense would be a serious problem on a team with a defensive mentality such as the Lakers.
What made both Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura blossom quickly with the Lakers was their defensive intensity that matched their offensive talents. Sexton has yet to show any consistent defensive potential in the Association, and the Lakers already learned their lesson about putting a scoring-first guard with no defense next to James and Davis.
If D’Angelo Russell does leave the Lakers this year, though, finding a replacement guard is not a bad idea. The next trade target could do that, at least mostly.