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Rookie Collin Sexton says he’s ready to lead the Cavs after LeBron James’ departure

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are once again preparing for life without LeBron James after the superstar departed his hometown in free agency for the second time.

On this occasion, the King chose to take his talents to Los Angeles as he signed a four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers.

But unlike 2010, the Cavs are in a slightly better position to deal with the loss of the four-time MVP as they’ve got some young talent to build around.

One player who’ll have a big role to play in the team’s future is Collin Sexton who they drafted with the number eight pick this year.

The Cavs received this lottery pick from the Boston Celtics when they traded Kyrie Irving last summer and always saw it as insurance if LeBron left.

They would’ve hoped for a top-five pick but the early signs show that Sexton could be a steal for Cleveland.

In a handful of Summer League games, the 19-year-old has been one of the standout performers among his draft class.

In four outings, he’s averaged 18.8 points and 3.3 assists and is looking like an exciting prospect for the Cavs.

His best game came on Wednesday as he posted 25 points and seven assists in a win over the Sacramento Kings.

The point guard could become the future face of the franchise but that responsibility is not something that fazes him and he’s willing to step into a leadership role if required.

“Honestly, I felt like at Alabama I turned into a leader very fast, very quick,” Sexton said.

“So it’s just going to translate. But it’s a different group of guys now, especially since they’re older, they have egos.”

In college, the youngster was an explosive scorer as he put up almost 20 points a game and he has all the attributes to do the same in the NBA.

Alabama v Villanova

Sexton has a fearless mentality and is known for playing hard every time he steps on the floor which has earned him the nickname 'Young Bull'.

Regardless of who he comes up against, the Alabama product always looks to play his natural game.

“Honestly I just go out there and play,” he said.

“I’m just going out there and playing like I played in college. And honestly, I feel like I’m playing a lot better.”

Cavs fans are desperate for another star now that they’ve lost James and previously Irving.

Sexton is certainly well aware of the pressure that’ll be on him.

"They have high expectations for me when I’m out there on the court," Sexton said.

With the guard choosing to take the number two jersey, fans in Cleveland will hope he performs at a similar level to the man who wore it before him.

CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.

Topics:
Collin Sexton
Kyrie Irving
Central Division
Kevin Love
Cleveland Cavaliers
Eastern Conference
LeBron James
NBA

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