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Alabama’s PG Collin Sexton Likely Top 10 Pick In 2018 NBA Draft

In one season, Sexton became a Basketball legend in Tuscaloosa

The NBA has now concluded, now the first objective for each team in the offseason to accomplish is to fill their biggest position need in the 2018 NBA Draft on June 21st. Among some of the top prospects in this NBA Draft is former Alabama Crimson Tide Point Guard Collin Sexton. The 2017-2018 SEC Freshman player of the year is looking to take his explosive and dynamic skills as an all-around player and shooter into the NBA.

In his one year at Alabama this past College Basketball season, Sexton has accounted for 19.2 points per game on a .447% field goal percentage, 3.8 rebounds per game, 3.6 assists per game, and .85 steals per game. Sexton has been a highly reliable and an explosive scorer for the Crimson Tide as he helped lead Alabama to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012. He also helped the Crimson Tide get their first win in the tournament since 2006 when they took down the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 1st round with an 86-83 score. The Tide would go on to lose in the 2nd round of the Tournament to the eventual NCAA National Champions in the Villanova Wildcats with an 81-58 score.

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One of Sexton’s best games as a member of the Crimson Tide was against the 14th ranked team in the nation (at the time) the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Sexton accounted for 40 points on a 12-for-22 field goal percentage, shooting 4-for-7 from the 3-point line, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and a steal. It is not common for the Alabama Crimson Tide to have a great basketball team. It is even more uncommon that the Tide would do surprisingly well in the tournament. This started after the 5-star Point Guard and 5th overall best player in the 2017 high school recruiting class choose Alabama over other top basketball schools in the nation. Sexton knew the second he chose Alabama, he would one of the best players to ever come from Crimson Tide program. He is currently ranked 11th in Sports Illustrated’s big board of prospects in the 2018 NBA Draft.

 

Attributes that Sexton brings into the NBA

Sexton doesn’t just bring in his tremendous shooting ability, he also brings in his explosiveness and mentality to excel in every phase of the game whether it’s defense, play-calling or going for the rebounds. Sexton is one of the shortest players in the 2018 NBA Draft at 6’1 but with him accounting for almost 4 rebounds per game shows the drive he possesses to win. What is even more impressive on top of his physical toughness is his mental toughness. There were many moments where Sexton would either be seen only in the classroom or in the weight room at Alabama. Sexton was determined to outmatch opposing teams physically and mentality. His fire mentality and intensity is a huge plus for a very talented offensively player, especially for one who has a high-continuous motor.

His smaller size at 6’1 matched with a surprisingly large wingspan and tremendous athleticism/explosiveness makes him a player likely to be selected in the top 10 of the 2018 NBA Draft. Sexton has been compared to many players in the NBA but one player that comes to mind due to his playmaking abilities is 2016-2017 season NBA MVP in Oklahoma City Thunder PG Russell Westbrook. Just like Westbrook, Sexton is an explosive and dynamic player who shines the brightest in the biggest games. In the 2nd round of the SEC Conference Tournament this year, Sexton and the Crimson Tide lead a huge 81-63 upset victory over the #19 Auburn Tigers (1st seed of the SEC). In the game, Sexton accounted for 31 points on a 10-for-16 field goal percentage (.625%), shooting 6-for-8 (75%) from the 3-point arc, and 7 rebounds. Sexton is a film junkie and loves to outmatch and expose his opposing team.

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Collin will need to address many areas of his game as he transitions into the NBA. One of the biggest attributes for him to address is his 3.8 rebounds/3.6 assists ratio. He is a very good rebounder when he is not shooting the ball but the problem with him being the main of offensive input at Alabama was that he was consistently taking the shots and not getting the chance to rebound. Another big indication of Sexton being the main source of points for the Crimson Tide is that he does not account for a high number of assists. Sexton is not selfish with the ball but at the same time, he was cognitively aware of the main talent production with the Alabama Crimson Tide. When the games mattered, he took the ball into his own hands. In the NBA, there could be a learning curve for Sexton to become more of a passing Point Guard and be the playbook leader by setting up the plays and passing the ball to other worthy players. Technically, scouts will give a negative mark for not having clear game footage of his Point Guard playing ability (non-shooting) as compared to the NBA. This is a flawed comparison to judge on, considering that Golden State Warriors PG Steph Curry was judged the same way while at Davidson. Sexton is more capable of adjusting to playing scenarios in the NBA (on both sides of the court) than other top Point Guard prospects in this 2018 NBA Draft.

 

Teams of interest in Collin Sexton for the 2018 NBA Draft

There are many teams looking to draft Sexton in the 1st round with some coming into the top 10. Among some of the teams interested are the Orlando Magic (6th overall pick), the Chicago Bulls (7th overall pick), the Cleveland Cavaliers (8th overall pick), the New York Knicks (9th overall pick), and the Los Angeles Clippers (12th and 13th overall pick).

The Orlando Magic are certainly looking into every aspect of improving their team that has problems keeping the young talent they select in the Draft. PF Aaron Gordon is a bright spot for their team but they will need support from the smaller positions considering they finished the 2017-2018 NBA season ranked 24th in the league in points per game (103.4). PG Elfrid Payton was traded to the Phoenix Suns before the NBA trade deadline and right now, D.J. Augustin is projected to start at Point Guard. The Magic have brought in multiple Points Guards including Oklahoma’s Trae Young to workout with them. The Chicago Bulls are looking for their new face of the franchise still after the surprising trade of SG Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. There are reports circulating that the Bulls are looking into every position on their team. There are even rumors that the Bulls are not impressed with the progression and Summer workouts of their starting PG in Kris Dunn despite accounting for 43 starts (in 52 games), 13.4 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, 6 assists per game, and 2 steals per game.

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The New York Knicks have a variety of weapons at Point Guard but they are limited to their own skill settings. Emmanuel Mudiay is a great defender but has only accounted for an average of 8.8 points per game and 3.9 assists per game in the 22 games played for the Knicks (acquired through trade during the season). Trey Burke has accounted for 12.8 points per game and 4.7 assists per game in the 36 games played for New York this season while being called up from the G-League in mid-January. Sexton would be a great all-around player for the Knicks as well as complement PF Kristaps Porzingis on the court. If Sexton were to slip to 12 or 13, it will be highly doubtful that the Los Angeles Clippers will pass on him due to their need for an offensive playmaker at Point Guard with 2016-2017 NBA defensive player of the year in PG Patrick Beverley coming off a knee injury. Clippers need a great scorer Point Guard to possibly start or provide help for 6th man of the year candidate SG Lou Williams. Sexton would a great teammate with SF LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers as he could bring in his intensity and his ability to make smart plays. Cleveland needs a Guard that is both mobile and capable of self-creating scoring situations. All of this though is dependent on whether LeBron James stays or leaves Cleveland again due to free agency. Sexton did have a workout with the Cavs on Saturday, the day after they were swept in the 2018 NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors.

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