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Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton didn’t have the best playmaking splits in his rookie season in 2018-19, but with more players around him that can create and likely better spacing, his assist total should increase and hopefully, his decision-making will be better in 2019-20.
Coming out of the University of Alabama last year, there were a number of question marks surrounding guard Collin Sexton. He was a ready-made NBA athlete, and his competitive drive was never in doubt, but his three-point shooting and passing were the two biggest areas of concern.

His rookie season assuaged any concerns about his shooting – he shot the three-pointer at a very impressive 40.2% for the Cleveland Cavaliers on the season (per Basketball Reference), which was up from the 33.6% he shot there in college (per Sports Reference).

Yet, he continued to work on his craft and improve his shooting as the year progressed, and he led the Cavaliers in post-All-Star break scoring mostly due to him taking more three-point looks (5.8 per game, per NBA.com) than he was taking in most instances pre-All-Star break (2.7 per game).

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He faces a similar situation with his passing and vision, though. One does not become a great passer overnight, but to Sexton’s advantage, this year he should have a few more quality options than he did last year to give it up to.

Here are some Cleveland Cavaliers who should represent the best passing partners for the “Young Bull” this upcoming season.

#1: Darius Garland
Darius Garland is the Cavs’ highest overall selection and figures to be Sexton’s backcourt running-mate for a good chunk of minutes in 2019-20. While there is very little film on Garland, all indications point to him being a knockdown shooter with tremendous range.

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That is something Sexton rarely played with last year, as evidenced by the Cavaliers placing in the bottom 10 in both three-pointers made and attempted last year, and the team having the league’s second-worst effective field goal percentage (per NBA.com).

Garland hit 47.8% of his threes in extremely limited college play, appearing in just five games, per Sports Reference, but as KJG contributors have often discussed, Garland projects to be a heck of a shooter both off-the-bounce and off-the-catch.

Hopefully, he will emerge as a great drive-and-kick option for Sexton.

#2: Kevin Love
Hopefully, Kevin Love will be able to remain fully healthy this year. That is a big “if,” no doubt, but if he can be mostly healthy, he represents the Cavs’ most proven scorer.

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Love’s propensity to knock down outside shots (a career 37.0% clip from deep on 4.4 attempts per game, per Basketball Reference) as well as his crafty mid-range game, makes him a great option for Sexton to dish it to inside and outside the arc.

#3: Dylan Windler
The biggest variable here is when rookie Dylan Windler will be on the court. If Sexton and WIndler share a lot of time on the hardwood, it is easy to see Windler becoming a favorite target of Sexton.

Windler is a three-point weapon who connected on a fantastic 42.9% of longballs his senior year at Belmont (per Sports Reference). Sexton needs to become a more willing passer, though, and a lot of that starts when Sexton drives.

He often jumps into traffic in the paint and needs to learn to kick it out to the open man more consistently, and if he does that, Windler could very well find himself as the beneficiary often in this scenario.

Plus, if Sexton can develop more in terms of finding players looking to fire away coming off screens, Windler would benefit in that way a good deal, too.

#4: Cedi Osman
Part of being a “passing partner” is passing the ball and part is receiving the ball. Last season, Cedi Osman found himself with the ball in his hands having to make plays for himself and others a decent amount, often by default.

On occasions when Osman is playing the role of distributor, look for him to look for Sexton. They both played a bulk of last season and spent a lot of the time on the court together.

That chemistry should benefit them both more so than the others mentioned above.

#5: Larry Nance Jr.
Being a great passing option extends inward from the three-point line – it is not always about the drive-and-kick game. Sexton and Larry Nance Jr. could find themselves as pick-and-roll partners more in 2019-20 than they were last year.

With Nance Jr.’s vertical leap and ability as a strong roller, hopefully, we’ll see a decent amount of lobs over the defense and to the basket creating some highlight-reel dunks from Sexton delivering.

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