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Would Collin Sexton take qualifying offer, become free agent next summer?

Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 26: Collin Sexton #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the basket during the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 26, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the 76ers 108-94. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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Collin Sexton is still the best player on the free agent market, and it’s not close. Two seasons ago, he averaged 24.3 points per game for the Cavaliers as the team’s primary shot creator.

However, after missing all but 11 games last season due to a torn meniscus that required surgery, plus some concerns about fit, the offers were not there this summer. The Cavaliers reportedly made a three-year, $40 million offer — which was in the ballpark of where other teams valued Sexton — but he may take the $7.2 million qualifying offer from the Cavaliers, play this season to increase his value, and become an unrestricted free agent next summer, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer said on the Lowe Post podcast.

“The offer I reported, the three-year around $40 million, I don’t get the sense Collin and his camp would take that. I don’t think they would take a multi-year deal at that number. In fact, I think it would be more likely they would take the qualifying offer, go into unrestricted free agency next offseason. Try to rebuild the value before that, show that you can be healthy, show that the meniscus tear is behind you. Show you can adapt to a lesser sixth man role. All those different things. I think that is more likely than taking the multi-year offer that the Cavs have made at this point in time.”

Sexton reportedly was hoping for an offer more in the starting guard range, which starts at around $18 million a year and goes up from there. The only way he gets that money is to get back on the court and prove he is worth it to a team (as a starter or sixth man, which is more the role he will have with the Cavaliers this year).

With a lot more teams expected to have cap space next summer (including the Cavaliers), betting on himself could pay off in a year. And while he is giving up $6 million or so this season (compared to the Cleveland offer), that bet could pay off with a season where he stays healthy, puts up solid numbers and shows he can fit in with a winning Cleveland team. Plus, it makes the Cavs that much more dangerous in a deep and interesting East.