Could Collin Sexton be a Part of the Rockets’ Rebuild?
A recent rumor has linked restricted free agent to be Collin Sexton with the Houston Rockets. After a little digging, the rumor was nothing more than conjecture. The only source the article sites is a Bleacher Report article that suggests he is an intriguing fit.
While the rumors linking the Rockets to Sexton are speculative fan-fiction, that doesn’t mean the idea shouldn’t be explored. After all, Sexton is young, productive, and could be a bargain after missing 71 games due to a meniscus injury.
Collin Sexton is a Certified Bucket
Disregarding his 2021-22, Sexton has shown steady improvement throughout his young NBA career. He improved his points per game, 2-point field goal percentage, and free throw attempts per game each of his first three seasons. While his 3-point shooting declined slightly each season, it came with an increased volume and as a career 37.8% shooter from deep it’s hardly a concern.
In very basic terms, a player who averaged 24.3 points per game on league average efficiency in their age 22 season is a player worth rostering. When you factor in league scoring environment, the 2020-21 season was the best offensive season in history, Sexton’s 2020-21 season was very comparable to Anthony Edward’s 2021-22 from a scoring and scoring efficiency standpoint.
Which begs the question, if Sexton is such a promising scorer, why would he be available?
Why Collin Sexton May be Available
Collin Sexton presents two unfortunate interconnected deficiencies to any team that rosters him. Listed at 6’1, he is incredibly small by NBA standards, and he is best utilized as a shooting guard on offense. His presence, due to his size, almost guarantees that your backcourt defense will be atrocious.
While plenty of teams roster offense first guards with limited defensive ability, they are all either point guards or incredible scorers. If Sexton was a borderline elite playmaker, he’d be locked into an extension right now. However, his 4.4 assists per game on a 29.7% usage rate indicate a player who shoots first and asks questions later.
Sexton is a small scoring guard that isn’t quite good enough at scoring to make up for his poor defense and lack of playmaking to be a star. At his age, there is still time to grow, but it’d require him to the hardest jump of all, from good to great.
Should the Houston Rockets Target Collin Sexton?
The Rockets should be interested in Collin Sexton. He’s a good young player with a decent chance to become a borderline All-Star in his prime. However, every team should theoretically be interested in every player, it’s the cost of doing business that matters.
Because Sexton missed nearly the entire season with a meniscus injury, there’s a chance that he could be signed for a below-market-rate deal. There’s a world where the Cavaliers don’t want to add much salary and the rest of the league is concerned about his health. In that case, the Rockets should be aggressive in their pursuit.
A deal for around $10 million per season then it’s just too much value to pass up, or perhaps Sexton would be receptive to a one-year deal to rebuild his value in Houston. This could all change based on the Rockets’ draft, but having a backcourt rotation of Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr, and Sexton would bring an intriguing amount of scoring punch.
It would also offer Sexton the opportunity to showcase more passing chops. If his scoring comes back, and his playmaking improves, suddenly the Rockets would have a good young point guard to either build around or flip when the time is right.
Collin Sexton doesn’t need to be part of the Rockets' foundation to be a part of their rebuild. If he can be got on a relatively team-friendly deal, either in terms of length or average annual salary, then he’s worth pursuing.