Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton has suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee, the team announced Monday. He is expected to miss a significant amount of time in his recovery with no timetable on a return. Sexton exited Sunday’s game against the New York Knicks and did not return. An MRI revealed Monday revealed the meniscus tear. The team says it will provide an update after further evaluation of Sexton’s injury.
The Cavaliers (7-4) have been one of the NBA‘s most surprising teams, and Sexton, a starter in their backcourt, had been a big part of that success. Now, however, the Cavaliers will likely fall back on Ricky Rubio or Isaac Okoro to replace Sexton in the starting lineup as he recovers.
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 an injury, his leverage will be reduced further.
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The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Monday 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 is averaging career lows in points (16), assists (2.1) and minutes (28.7) this season as Rubio and Okoro have taken on bigger roles off the bench 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.