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2018DD

#8 – Collin Sexton – Cleveland Cavaliers

With the eighth pick in the NBA Draft via the Brooklyn Nets, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected freshman guard Collin Sexton out of Alabama.

Spencer Davies

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With the eighth pick in the NBA Draft via the Brooklyn Nets, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected freshman guard Collin Sexton out of Alabama.

A standout for Avery Johnson in his lone season with the Crimson Tide, Sexton made the most of his short time at the college ranks, earning co-SEC Freshman of the Year honors along with Kentucky forward Kevin Knox.

With his usage rate near 33 percent, Alabama’s offense ran through Sexton the entire year. According to Basketball Reference, his 18.9 points produced per game average was the number one in the conference.

Going with the basic statistics, Sexton averaged over 19 points on 44.7 percent from the field in 33 games.

The biggest knocks on Sexton’s game are his size and jump shot. He measured in at just 6-foot, one-and-a-half inches at the NBA Draft Combine in May and is listed at 183 pounds, though his wingspan is 6-foot-7 and a quarter-inch. The three-ball is a work in progress (33.6 percent overall, 24.2 percent vs. conference opponents) as well.

In spite of that, however, Sexton is one of the most competitive players in the 2018 draft class. His relentlessness makes him stand out from the rest of the crowd. He forces his way into the paint and is constantly in attack mode.

Sexton got to the line 252 times and had a rather high free throw percentage (77.8 percent) for a college player. The figure ranked him second in the SEC and seventh in the NCAA overall among all of his peers, not only players from his class. There is a “dog” in Sexton that other players don’t have. You can just see it in his eyes and how he plays.

After losing Kyrie Irving one summer ago, the Cavaliers – pending a potential trade down the line, of course – have their future superstar point guard and are ready to move forward.

Whether that’s with LeBron James or not remains to be seen. Stay tuned…

Spencer Davies is an NBA writer based in Cleveland in his first year with Basketball Insiders. Covering the league and the Cavaliers for the past two seasons, his bylines have appeared on Bleacher Report, FOX Sports and HoopsHype.

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2018DD

Sources: 76ers Trade Khyri Thomas to Pistons

Basketball Insiders

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Philadelphia’s No. 38 overall pick Khyri Thomas will be traded to Detroit, league sources say.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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2018DD

Sources: Kings Trade Gary Trent Jr. to Blazers

Basketball Insiders

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Gary Trent Jr. is headed to the Blazers in a trade, league source tells ESPN.

Portland will send Sacramento to two future second-round picks for Trent, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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2018DD

#30 – Omari Spellman – Atlanta Hawks

Lang Greene

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With the No. 30 pick in the NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected Omari Spellman from Villanova University. .

After 10 consecutive seasons reaching the playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks failed to win 25 contests in 2018. Gone are All-Stars Joe Johnson, Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague, all of whom the franchise groomed at various points during their decade of playoff bliss. Now the team is faced with a daunting rebuild under second year general manager Travis Schlenk and first year coach Lloyd Pierce.

Spellman was the third Villanova player selected in the first round of this year’s draft behind Mikal Bridges (No. 10 overall) and Donte DiVincenzo (No. 17 overall). In his lone campaign with the Wildcats, Spellman appeared in 40 contests and averaged 10.9 points, eight rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

The Hawks continue to add shooting to their rebuilding roster. With the No. 3 overall pick, the team selected Luka Doncic, who will be traded to the Dallas Mavericks for the rights to No. 5 overall pick Trae Young. The team used the No. 19 overall selection to draft shooting guard Kevin Huerter from the University of Maryland. In Spellman, the Hawks acquire a big man that shot 43 percent from the collegiate three-point line last season.

In addition to Young and Huerter, Spellman will join a young Hawks core featuring point guard Dennis Schroder and forward John Collins, two of the team’s first round draft picks from prior years.

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