The Cavaliers have had a rocky start to their 2018-19 season with a 1-8 start, the firing of coach Tyronn Lue after six games, losing Kevin Love to a foot injury and JR Smith telling reporters he wants a trade out of Cleveland. But there appears to be more.
According to The Athletic, there’s frustration from the Cavaliers veterans that first-round pick Collin Sexton does not “know how to play.”
Things are even worse on the Cavaliers than they seem. Vets expect to be traded. Growing disillusionment with Collin Sexton. Mixed messages from management. Players backing Drew’s contract request. Final Thoughts @TheAthleticNBA https://t.co/DtDRO76Zti
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) November 4, 2018
Per the report: “It’s becoming increasingly clear that when you hear a Cavs veteran talk about younger players not knowing their role, or knowing how to win, or what to do on the court, they mean Sexton. Throughout the organization, the line on Sexton is that he does not ‘know how to play.'”
The Athletic also reported there’s frustration with how Sexton takes advice from the veterans, indicating the players are concerned he’s not listening to them.
“At one point during Saturday’s game, veteran starting point guard George Hill told Sexton he’d teach him how to play defense. Only, there is little confidence in the locker room that Sexton will listen to him.
“But they see his deficiencies, they know he’s going to be on the court, and they’re discouraged when after these losses, he doesn’t seem bothered by them.”
Sexton was selected eighth overall in June after a dominant freshman season at Alabama, but he hasn’t impressed Cleveland. He’s averaging 11.1 points and 2.2 assists in 25 minutes per game. The rookie is shooting 22 percent from 3-point range.
The Cavaliers have one win against the Hawks after Lue was fired and interim coach Larry Drew stepped in.
Cleveland will play the Magic on the road Monday with tip-off set for 7 p.m. ET.