Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, the team announced Friday. Sexton suffered the injury on Nov. 7 in a 126-109 victory over the New York Knicks, after which an MRI revealed the meniscus tear.
The Cavaliers (9-8) have been one of the NBA's most surprising teams, and Sexton, a starter in their backcourt, had been a big part of their early success. Since his injury, however, the Cavaliers have gone 2-4, while also dealing with absences from frontcourt staples Evan Mobley, Lauri Markkanen, Jarrett Allen and Kevin Love. Ricky Rubio and Isaac Okoro will continue to receive more opportunity with Sexton expected to be out for the season.
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This injury is a potentially enormous blow to Sexton's financial future. While the fourth-year guard was eligible for a contract extension this offseason, he and the Cavaliers could not agree to terms on a deal. That means he will be a restricted free agent this offseason, but in a low-cap space environment, it isn't clear who would be able to offer him the sort of he deal he will look for. After the injury, his leverage will likely be reduced further.
The Athletic's Shams Charania has reported that Sexton sought a four-year, $100 million deal from the Cavaliers this offseason. No agreement was reached, though, and the Cavaliers reportedly considered trading Sexton. A deal wasn't struck and he ultimately returned to Cleveland, but even though he retained his starting job, his role declined considerably.
Finding a similar offer would have been difficult for Sexton even before this injury. He has averaged career lows in points (16), assists (2.1) and minutes (28.7) this season as Rubio and Okoro have taken on bigger roles and Darius Garland has begun to blossom into one of the NBA's best young point guards. Sexton appeared to be on a similar track last season when he averaged 24.3 points and 4.4 assists per game, but now, it's unclear what the future holds for Cleveland's young scorer.