INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — The Cavaliers selected a point guard and pitch man.
Moments after the team selected Collin Sexton with the No. 8 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night (Friday, Manila time), the Alabama playmaker made his appeal for LeBron James to resign with Cleveland.
"Man, LeBron, let's do it," Sexton said during ESPN's telecast from the draft in Brooklyn. "Let's do it. I've you needed a few extra pieces this past season, and let's do it. Let's go back to the Finals."
The Cavs are hoping Sexton — and perhaps a few more tweaks to their roster — will help convince James that there is no reason for him to leave home for the second time in his career.
Sexton averaged 19.2 points and 3.6 assists as a freshman for the Crimson Tide, and the 19-year-old also carried the school to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. The confident 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is a proven scorer and he addresses a major need for the Cavs, who traded All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to Boston last year and spent all season trying to replace him.
The Cavs managed to get to the Finals for the fourth straight time, but they didn't have nearly enough firepower to hang with the Golden State Warriors, who swept them and won their third title in four years.
Cleveland entered the draft in the dark on James' plans. The three-time champion must notify the team by June 29 on whether he intends to opt out of his $35.6 million contract for next season — a move he is expected to make.
Sexton has been on Cleveland's radar for some time. The day after they lost Game 4 in the Finals, Sexton worked out at the team's facility and owner Dan Gilbert referred to him as a "very intriguing draft prospect" on Twitter.
While Sexton certainly improves the Cavs' backcourt, there is no guarantee it will do anything to impact what James may do.
The Cavs passed on a chance to take Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., whose back issues have caused him to drop in the draft.