Collin Sexton needs to shoot more from three to be a long-term option for the Utah Jazz

Collin Sexton, Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Collin Sexton, Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The only thing holding Collin Sexton back is his three-point shooting.

Collin Sexton is poised to have a big year in 2023 with the Utah Jazz. The team is likely to compete for a playoff spot, and regardless of that, they are likely to trade away some older players like Jordan Clarkson. If they end up doing that, they’ll likely find themselves in a situation where Sexton will get a lot more action on the court than expected.

This would be a great thing for Sexton, who over the last two years has battled injuries to get back on the court full-time. He played in just 48 games last, starting 15, and playing just a tad under 24 minutes per game. It was his lowest minutes per game of his career, the lowest number of starts in a season by any measure, and the second-fewest games he’s played in a season since being drafted.

Despite that, he still scored very well. A lifetime.458 scorer in Cleveland, Sexon would go on to average nearly 51% from the floor with the Jazz, an absurd number. While he shot the fewest number of attempts per game in his career (an average of 16.3 attempts down to 9.8 attempts), he still scored 14.3 points for 2022-2023.

And that’s while barely shooting threes at all. He only took 2.5 three-point attempts per game, hitting one per game. And while everything else that he dealt with in his first season with the Jazz came down to his injury recovery and a loaded roster, the lack of three-point shooting is nothing new.

He’s not a great three-point shooter, and while he’s had some good averages in the past, they’re more due to the lack of shots taken, as opposed to a real skill. He only averaged 3.9 attempts per game in Cleveland, hitting just 1.4.

In Utah, he shot 2.5 per game and hit just 1.0. So very similar numbers. We know he can score from inside the paint and around the basket as a whole, but he’s got to prove he can pull up from behind the line and have faith in his shot.

There’s reason to believe that’s the only reason the Jazz haven’t traded Jordan Clarkson yet, as Sexton is a younger, cheaper option who can play a near one-to-one style as Clarkson but even more efficiently (at least from inside the arc).

Yet Clarkson jacks up seven shots per game from three, granted on bad efficiency (33.4% while in Utah), so if Sexton could increase his volume of threes taken, and keep the same rate of efficiency of making them (nearly 40%), then he Jazz could look to trade Clarkson and get something back for the aging guard.

But if Sexton can’t find a way to be a better perimeter shooter, then it’s likely he’ll be the one traded at some point.

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