NBA

The Cavs selected Sexton with the number eight pick in the draft.

Tyronn Lue sees similarities between Collin Sexton and Kyrie Irving

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A key part of the deal that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics last year saw the Cleveland Cavaliers receive a first-round pick, courtesy of the Brooklyn Nets.

With LeBron James always likely to depart in free agency, the franchise knew they had a top 10 lottery pick to fall back on.

They selected Collin Sexton with the eighth pick in this year's draft and they have high hopes that he can become an elite point guard in the NBA.

Irving comparisons

To the surprise of some people, the Cavs chose to give the 19-year-old the number two jersey formerly worn by Irving.

The 26-year-old won a championship with Cleveland and will always be remembered for hitting the game-winning shot in that epic Game 7 win over the Golden State Warriors in 2016.

Sexton will have a hard task living up to that standard and will inevitably be compared to Irving as he wears that number on his back.

Sexton chose to take the number two jersey formerly worn by Irving

But head coach Tyronn Lue is not looking to play down the comparisons and believes there are similarities between the two players.

"I see those similarities because he's not afraid of the moment and Kyrie was the same way," Lue said, per cleveland.com.

"He's not afraid of the big moment. You saw Collin in college last year, even in Summer League he made the big three to tie it up and send it to overtime. He's not afraid of the big moment."

The point guard, though, is keen to come in and make a name for himself and not be compared to his predecessor.

Irving was traded to the Celtics after six years in Cleveland

"I'm not following in nobody's footsteps. I'm going to come in and play my style of game," Sexton said. "Kyrie did wear No. 2. Mo Williams did wear No. 2 also."

Post-LeBron eras

Another similarity between the pair is the timing of their rookie campaigns with the Cavaliers.

Kyrie was drafted with the number one pick in 2011, a year after LeBron left the first time, and Sexton will now embark on his debut season just months after the King moved on again.

Seven years ago, it was Irving who was tasked with rebuilding the franchise post-James but this time, it's Sexton.

The Cavs are hoping Sexton can help them stay relevant post-LeBron

However, Lue doesn't feel there's the same pressure on the Alabama product.

"I don't think there's any expectations," Lue said. "His toughness, tenacity, the way he gets to the basket and gets to the free-throw line and can score the basketball and make guys better.

"I just think the biggest thing for him is his pace, speed and intensity. That's something that we haven't had in the past. Good to see that. Just have to play that pace for the whole 48 minutes."

The youngster gave us a glimpse of what he can do in Summer League and Cavs fans are excited to see if he can translate that into the NBA.

Topics:
Collin Sexton
Tyronn Lue
Kyrie Irving
Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James
NBA

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