When the Utah Jazz traded Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Collin Sexton joined Lauri Markkanen and a load of draft picks on their way to Utah. At the time of the trade, it was a fairly common opinion that Sexton was the more valuable player that Utah received. After Markkanen's breakout All-Star season, Sexton has become something of an afterthought. Injuries limited him to just 58 games played, and while he had an excellent shooting season, it's unclear what his role is with the team going forward. With Sexton's talent, there's no reason to write him off yet. He may be due for a breakout year himself.
Age/Season: 24 years old, 6th season.
Measurements: 6’1”, 190 lbs, 6’6” wingspan
Last Season Stats: 14.3 points, 2.9 assists per game, 61.6% true shooting (50.6% FG, 39.3% 3P, 81.9% FT), 1.8 turnovers per game.
Collin Sexton's first season with the Jazz was a mixed bag. It was the first time in his career that he wasn't a full-time starter, and he had the lowest usage of his career. Perhaps because of that, he shot the ball better than ever.
The biggest question fans have about Utah's rotation this year is regarding the starting point guard. Sexton may be the choice for head coach Will Hardy, but he has to compete with Kris Dunn, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Keyonte George. Coach Hardy has proven that he is willing to change up the starting lineup and reward players who prove their worth. With his first full offseason in Utah and a clean bill of health coming into the year, Sexton has a chance to earn that starting role.
Sexton recently said to The Athletic's Tony Jones, "I want to be able to try and take over the point guard role. I want to show them that I can run the show."
Collin Sexton's best-case scenario for next season would see him fighting for an All-Star selection and putting up 20-25 points per game. He'd have to remain healthy and earn Utah's starting point guard role. He'd need to maintain his efficient scoring from last year while raising his volume and minutes. On top of that, Sexton would have to improve his playmaking and defense enough to add value outside of his scoring.
Last season, Sexton nearly reached the coveted thresholds of 50% shooting from the field and 40% from three. In his four seasons with Cleveland, he averaged 55% true shooting. In his first season with Utah, he jumped all the way up to 61.2% true shooting, a very impressive number. Scoring efficiency was one thing holding him back from reaching his potential. He could be a dangerous scorer if he can maintain that level of efficient shooting while earning more minutes from coach Hardy.
Young Bull brought the and the this season— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) April 28, 2023
let's take a look back,
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If everything went right for Collin Sexton, and he managed to have this best-case season, he'd cement himself as a core piece for the up-and-coming Jazz. That would give Utah a strong core of Markkanen, Sexton, and Walker Kessler and a slew of other young players who could force their way into that conversation.
The worst-case season for any player is one plagued with injuries, especially for Collin Sexton, who has been dealing with nagging injuries for years. A knee injury kept him out for most of the 2021-22 season with the Cavs, and a recurring hamstring issue limited his first season in Utah.
If healthy, Sexton's worst-case season would show little to no improvement as a facilitator and defender while reverting to his mediocre scoring efficiency of earlier years. In that scenario, Will Hardy might start veteran Kris Dunn or rookie Keyonte George, and Sexton would find himself again fighting for more minutes.
Sexton will have to make an impact on the court. Too often last year, he played well enough but just didn't stand out. This year, he needs to make himself known every time he steps on the court. He must find ways to impact the game outside of scoring. If he can prove valuable in other areas of the game, he can avoid the worst-case scenario.
Collin Sexton is full of talent. In his third NBA season, he averaged 24 points and four assists per game. While injuries and changing rosters have pushed him off the track to stardom, this young Jazz team could be his ticket back. If he can build off his efficient season last year and take on a bigger role, he could set himself up for a hugely successful career. This year could be a big turning point for the 'Young Bull.'