Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton has confounded expectations during his rookie season, according to former NBA champion Francisco Elson.
After being selected with the eighth pick in last year’s draft, Sexton initially failed to live up to the expectations some had for him, but has shown signs of improvement in recent weeks.
Aided by some extremely impressive – and somewhat unexpected – three-point shooting, the 20-year-old put together a streak of eight games in which he scored 20 points or more, eclipsing former Cavaliers rookie LeBron James’ franchise record of four.
“He came in as a scoring point guard, pass second, and now he turned out to be a different type of point guard,” said Elson, who won the 2007 championship with the San Antonio Spurs.
“He’s fast, he’s hyper-competitive. When you’re in the league you’ve got to have some type of speed and getting into the lane for him is easy.”
Although Sexton’s 20 point-plus scoring streak came to an end in a defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday evening, he still managed to contribute 18, improving his season average of 16.2 per game.
However, for Sexton to justify his lofty draft position, he will need to develop his playmaking ability, with an average of 2.8 assists per game this season making for an underwhelming mark.
“What he’s got to learn is seeing the court more often, because there’s a guy in the corner for a triple,” Elson told Sky Sports‘ live NBA studio show.
“The one thing he can add to his game is getting his team-mates involved,” fellow studio guest Mike Tuck agreed. “That’s probably something as a rookie point guard that the team is going to look for you to do more of.”
“He’s become a more effective shooter and is opening up the floor for himself. He’s playing really well – seven games in a row with 20-plus points – he beat King James’ record as a rookie, so when you’re beating the king, you’re in a good place.”
With the Cavs rebuilding after James’ departure last summer, they are currently holders of the third-worst record in the NBA at 19-55, but will hope another high draft pick in June can propel them back towards playoff contention.