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Memphis Grizzlies 2018 NBA Draft Prospect Profiles: Collin Sexton

The Young Bull has the Grit n Grind mentality, but is he a good fit?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Alabama vs Villanova Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Collin Sexton of Alabama, AKA “The Young Bull” would be a reach for the Grizzlies at #4 overall, but with the team rumored to be considering a move back in the draft, he could be a potential steal in the mid to late lottery.

The electric score-first point guard out of Alabama averaged 19.2 points on nearly 45% shooting, leading Bama to the second round of the NCAA tournament this past season. Sexton carried the Crimson Tide for most of the season, and made the basketball team relevant for the first time in quite some time.

A player like Sexton should make the Grizzlies feel more comfortable trading back in the draft, should the right offer come their way. Sexton would be considered elite in most drafts, but he often gets forgotten when discussing the deep class of 2018.

What are some of Sexton’s strengths and weakness? Would he fit in with the Grizzlies? Let’s take a look.

Strengths

  • Non-stop motor
  • Size & athleticism to be a lockdown defender
  • Can get anywhere he wants on the floor
  • Ambidextrous and aggressive finisher.

Collin Sexton never runs out of energy. He once dropped 40 points in a game against Minnesota where Alabama spent most of the second half playing 3 vs. 5. That type of mentality helped Alabama flourish this season (comparatively speaking) and will make Sexton a valuable pick, no matter where he is drafted. Sexton will give you 100% for every second you put him the court. He’s crafty with the ball in his hands and can get to just about anywhere on the floor that he wants. Similar to the Grizzlies current floor general, Mike Conley, Sexton is ambidextrous around the rim able to finish efficiently with either hand.

Sexton has all the tools to be an elite defender. He’s engaged off the ball, and his fighting through screens would make Tony Allen proud. Sexton isn’t an elite knock-down shooter, but he shoots the ball well enough to force defenders to respect his jumper. Sexton has a knack for drawing fouls and makes enough of his free throw attempts to have a real impact on a game.

Weaknesses

  • Shot selection
  • Low passing numbers
  • Never played in a legitimate offensive system
  • Questionable decision making

Sexton’s biggest weaknesses are partially a result of him being far and away the best player on Alabama’s roster. Sexton would force questionable shots, simply because he didn’t trust all of his Crimson Tide teammates. This also results in Sexton averaging only 3.6 assists despite playing point guard. At times, the Alabama game plan was for Sexton to pick his spots and drive through the lane without any actual system in place.

The lack of an offensive system is something Sexton should be able to overcome in the NBA with solid coaching. However, Sexton has some bad habits as a result of his always being the best player on his team. He continuously forces bad passes or shots that lead to easy baskets for the opposition. Sexton’s motor is his greatest strength, but he’ll need to play more controlled in the NBA.

NBA Expectations (Ceiling, Floor, Realistic Expectation)

If Sexton can piece everything together, his ceiling could be that as high as Russell Westbrook. The scouting report on Sexton and Westbrook would be oddly similar. “Relentless score-first point guard who struggles with decision making” applies to both players, although Westbrook has obviously established a great NBA career already.

If Sexton can’t kick his bad habits and continues to make questionable decisions, his floor could be that of Emmanuel Mudiay. Sexton will need to make better decisions in the NBA, where his sheer talent won’t be enough to dominate.

Realistically, Sexton will likely carve out a career similar to Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe was a thorn in the Grizzlies side when he was the undersized energizer bunny for the Clippers teams back in the rivalry’s hay day. Bledsoe is a streaky shooter, but has made a niche in the NBA for being a pesky defender and having a non-stop motor. Sexton could do just that, just with better size.

Fit with the Grizzlies: A Reach at #4

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Like I previously stated, Sexton would be a solid pick up if the Grizzlies trade back to the mid or late lottery. At #4? Sexton would be a huge reach. Even if the top 3 goes as expected (Ayton, Doncic, Bagley), the Grizzlies have better options at #4 than Sexton.

If Sexton does end up with the Grizzlies, though, he’d fit in just fine. His gritty attitude would appease the fans, and his relentless motor would help push the Grizzlies pace. Sexton would obviously backup Conley (and maybe Andrew Harrison to start, but not for long), but the Grizzlies will likely use a bunch of dual point guard lineups with all 3 players at their disposal.

Sexton would probably average 15-20 minutes per game to start the season, but if he develops quickly, he could get up to 25 minutes per game. Either way, the addition of Sexton would likely help limit Conley’s minutes next season as he recovers from his ankle/Achilles surgery.

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