Cavaliers select Sexton


By Tom Withers - AP Sports Writer



First round

1. Phoenix, Deandre Ayton, c, Arizona.

2. Sacramento, Marvin Bagley III, f, Duke.

3. a-Atlanta, Luka Doncic, g, Real Madrid (Spain).

4. Memphis, Jaren Jackson Jr., f, Michigan State.

5. a-Dallas, Trae Young, g, Oklahoma.

6. Orlando, Mohamed Bamba, c, Texas.

7. Chicago, Wendell Carter Jr., c, Duke.

8. Cleveland (from Brooklyn via Boston), Collin Sexton, g, Alabama.

9. New York, Kevin Knox, f, Kentucky.

10. b-Philadelphia (from LA Lakers via Phoenix), Mikal Bridges, f, Villanova.

11. c-Charlotte, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, g, Kentucky.

12. c-LA Clippers (from Detroit), Miles Bridges, f, Michigan State.

13. LA Clippers, Jerome Robinson, g, Boston College.

14. Denver, Michael Porter Jr., f, Missouri.

15. Washington, Troy Brown Jr., g, Oregon.

16. b-Phoenix (from Miami), Zhaire Smith, g, Texas Tech.

17. Milwaukee, Donte DiVincenzo, g, Villanova.

18. San Antonio, Lonnie Walker, g, Miami.

19. Atlanta (from Minnesota), Kevin Huerter, g, Maryland.

20. Minnesota (from Oklahoma City via Utah), Josh Okogie, g, Georgia Tech.

21. Utah, Grayson Allen, g, Duke

22. Chicago (from New Orleans), Chandler Hutchison, f, Boise State

23. Indiana, Aaron Holiday, g, UCLA

24. Portland, Anfernee Simons, g, IMG Academy

25. LA Lakers (from Cleveland), Mortiz Wagner, c, Michigan

26. Philadelphia, Landry Shamet, g, Wichita State

27. Boston, Robert Williams, c, Texas A&M

28. Golden State, Jacob Evans, f, Cincinnati

29. Brooklyn (from Toronto), Dzanan Musa, f, Cedevita (Croatia)

30. Atlanta (from Houston via LA Clippers), Omari Spellman, f, Villanova

Trades

a-Atlanta traded the rights of (No. 3) to Dallas for the rights of (No. 5) and a 2019 protected first-round pick.

b-Philadelphia traded the rights to Mikal Bridges (No. 10) to Phoenix for the rights to G Zhaire Smith (No. 16) and a 2021 first-round draft pick.

c-Charlotte traded the rights of (No. 11) to LA Clippers for the rights of (No. 12) and two future second-round picks.

INDEPENDENCE — The Cavaliers selected a point guard and pitch man.

Moments after the team selected Collin Sexton with the No. 8 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night, the Alabama playmaker made his appeal for LeBron James to resign with Cleveland.

“Man, LeBron, let’s do it,” Sexton said during ESPN’s telecast from the draft in Brooklyn. “Let’s do it. I’ve you needed a few extra pieces this past season, and let’s do it. Let’s go back to the Finals.”

The Cavs are hoping Sexton — and perhaps a few more tweaks to their roster — will help convinces James that there is no reason for him to leave home for the second time in his career.

Sexton averaged 19.2 points and 3.6 assists as a freshman for the Crimson Tide, and the 19-year-old also carried the school to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. The confident 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is a proven scorer and he addresses a major need for the Cavs, who traded All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to Boston last year and spent all season trying to replace him.

The Cavs managed to get to the Finals for the fourth straight time, but they didn’t have nearly enough firepower to hang with the Golden State Warriors, who swept them and won their third title in four years.

Cleveland’s front office led by general manager Koby Altman entered the draft in the dark on James’ plans. The three-time champion must notify the team by June 29 on whether he intends to opt out of his $35.6 million contract for next season — a move he is expected to make.

Sexton has been on Cleveland’s radar for some time. The day after the Cavs lost Game 4 in the Finals, Sexton worked out at the team’s facility and owner Dan Gilbert referred to him as a “very intriguing draft prospect” on Twitter.

While Sexton certainly improves the Cavs’ backcourt and adds a young player capable of breaking down defenders, there is no guarantee it will do anything to impact what James will do.

In the meantime, Sexton has his fingers crossed that he and James will soon be teammates.

“He’s one of the best players to ever play basketball,” Sexton said. “Just being able to come in and learn from him, it’ll be big for me and big for my growth.”

James will factor family and his quest to win more championships into his decision. The 33-year-old has been unusually quiet on social media since the Finals ended and he has given no hints about his future.

If James doesn’t stay in Cleveland, there’s a strong chance he’ll look to join the Los Angeles Lakers, who have salary-cap room to sign two maximum contract players. James already owns two homes and a film production company in Southern California.

Based on his wardrobe for the draft, Sexton may have had an inkling Cleveland was going to take him. He wore a crimson-and-black tuxedo jacket that perfectly complemented the wine-colored Cavs cap he was given before taking the stage to shake hands with Commissioner Adam Silver.

Sexton burst on the national scene last season with several strong performances, including a 40-point game against Minnesota when Alabama had to play 10 minutes with just three players because of disqualifications.

He went on to be named the SEC’s top newcomer and a first-team all-conference selection.

“It just shows all my hard work paid off,” Sexton said. “I just grinded, started from the bottom and came back up to the top. That was the biggest thing, just show people what I can do.”

Sexton said he had one of his better workouts with the Cavs, and that while he was in Cleveland he attended Game 4 of the Finals.

The Cavs passed on a chance to take Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., whose back issues have caused him to drop in the draft. Porter was selected No. 14 by Denver.

By Tom Withers

AP Sports Writer

First round

1. Phoenix, Deandre Ayton, c, Arizona.

2. Sacramento, Marvin Bagley III, f, Duke.

3. a-Atlanta, Luka Doncic, g, Real Madrid (Spain).

4. Memphis, Jaren Jackson Jr., f, Michigan State.

5. a-Dallas, Trae Young, g, Oklahoma.

6. Orlando, Mohamed Bamba, c, Texas.

7. Chicago, Wendell Carter Jr., c, Duke.

8. Cleveland (from Brooklyn via Boston), Collin Sexton, g, Alabama.

9. New York, Kevin Knox, f, Kentucky.

10. b-Philadelphia (from LA Lakers via Phoenix), Mikal Bridges, f, Villanova.

11. c-Charlotte, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, g, Kentucky.

12. c-LA Clippers (from Detroit), Miles Bridges, f, Michigan State.

13. LA Clippers, Jerome Robinson, g, Boston College.

14. Denver, Michael Porter Jr., f, Missouri.

15. Washington, Troy Brown Jr., g, Oregon.

16. b-Phoenix (from Miami), Zhaire Smith, g, Texas Tech.

17. Milwaukee, Donte DiVincenzo, g, Villanova.

18. San Antonio, Lonnie Walker, g, Miami.

19. Atlanta (from Minnesota), Kevin Huerter, g, Maryland.

20. Minnesota (from Oklahoma City via Utah), Josh Okogie, g, Georgia Tech.

21. Utah, Grayson Allen, g, Duke

22. Chicago (from New Orleans), Chandler Hutchison, f, Boise State

23. Indiana, Aaron Holiday, g, UCLA

24. Portland, Anfernee Simons, g, IMG Academy

25. LA Lakers (from Cleveland), Mortiz Wagner, c, Michigan

26. Philadelphia, Landry Shamet, g, Wichita State

27. Boston, Robert Williams, c, Texas A&M

28. Golden State, Jacob Evans, f, Cincinnati

29. Brooklyn (from Toronto), Dzanan Musa, f, Cedevita (Croatia)

30. Atlanta (from Houston via LA Clippers), Omari Spellman, f, Villanova

Trades

a-Atlanta traded the rights of (No. 3) to Dallas for the rights of (No. 5) and a 2019 protected first-round pick.

b-Philadelphia traded the rights to Mikal Bridges (No. 10) to Phoenix for the rights to G Zhaire Smith (No. 16) and a 2021 first-round draft pick.

c-Charlotte traded the rights of (No. 11) to LA Clippers for the rights of (No. 12) and two future second-round picks.

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