Although Collin Sexton had a solid rookie campaign for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018-19 season, the Cavs went ahead and picked another point guard in this year’s draft, using their No. 5 overall selection on Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland. This could hint at the Cavs trying a dual-point guard setup in the 2019-20 season as they hope to rebound from last year’s 19-63 debacle. But with Sexton and Garland’s common lack of playmaking and defense arguably overshadowing their scoring ability, Bleacher Report recently suggested a trade that could free up the logjam at point guard while also giving Cleveland a capable interior defender who wasn’t given too many opportunities to shine as a rookie.
On Monday, Bleacher Report‘s Zach Buckley published a list of five theoretical trades that could help certain NBA teams “fix [their] roster problems,” starting with a deal designed to benefit the Cavaliers. Citing his Bleacher Report colleague Greg Swartz, Buckley wrote that Sexton and Garland are both ball-dominant point guards who make an “awkward” fit on the same lineup and might have a hard time coexisting on the floor. With that in mind, he suggested that Cleveland could trade Sexton to the Orlando Magic in exchange for the team’s own incoming second-year prospect, Mohamed “Mo” Bamba.
As noted by Buckley, Bamba was “blocked” from seeing meaningful minutes from the moment the Magic picked him sixth overall in the 2018 NBA Draft but could have taken solace from the fact that starting center Nikola Vucevic was set to enter free agency this summer. With Vucevic having recently re-signed with the Magic for four years and $100 million, Bamba now faces a situation where he may still find it hard to get quality playing time off the bench.
Will Collin Sexton's role change after the Cavs drafted Darius Garland 5th overall? "Not at all," he told me, "my role’s going to be the exact same."
— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) July 22, 2019
All in all, Bleacher Report’s Buckley believes that Collin Sexton and Mo Bamba could get the opportunities they deserve if they were traded for each other.
“Ship Bamba to Cleveland, though, and he could grab hold of the starting center spot with his incredible length, rim protection, and offensive potential,” Buckley wrote. “Similarly, Sexton could go from being an awkward fit in Cleveland to the possible answer to Orlando’s point guard prayers.”
As of this writing, journeyman D.J. Augustin is still expected to reprise his role as the Magic’s starting point guard. The Cavs, on the other hand, struggled in the middle, as Tristan Thompson missed close to half of the 2018-19 season with injuries, as shown on the team’s Basketball-Reference page.
As a rookie last season, Sexton averaged 16.7 points and 2.9 rebounds in 31.8 minutes per game as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ starting point guard but averaged just three assists and half a steal per game — underscoring his perceived weaknesses on the floor. Bamba, meanwhile, played in only 47 games for the Magic due to injuries, averaging 6.2 points, five rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 16.3 minutes per game as Vucevic’s backup at center.