Collin Sexton has had the best season of his career but is it enough to factor into the future?

Collin Sexton has shown a lot this season, but has he shown enough to be part of the long-term plans?
Cleveland Cavaliers v Utah Jazz
Cleveland Cavaliers v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

In just his second season with the Utah Jazz, Collin Sexton has arguably had the best season of his pro career. A core component of the 11th-best scoring offense in the NBA, Sexton has done a number of things this season to help elevate the team.

He's shot nearly 50% from the floor (49.4%), second best of his career. He's had the second-best three-point shooting season of his career (39.7%) and the third-most three-point shots attempted in a game of his career. He's averaged nearly five assists per game for the season, a career-high, and is nearly at 19 points per game (18.8), third-best of his career.

Not only that but he's played the second-most games of his career too, at 76. He's only crossed the 70-game mark once before, as a rookie, when he played all 82. As it stands right now, barring something unfortunate, he'll play all 82 games.

And despite the fact that he's played every game so far, he's also had the lowest amount of turnover so far in a season where he's played a minimum of 60 games.

Not only are his box score stats wonderful, but his advanced stats are too. His true shooting is the second-best of his career, while also posting new career bests in offensive box plus-minus, his second-best defensive box plus-minus of his career, and a new career-best box plus-minus. His VORP (value over replacement) is at an all-time high as well.

You would think with how effective he's been this year, that Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy and Jazz team lead Danny Ainge would have big plans for him. Sexton has bounced in and out of the starting lineup all season, despite being the team's best and most consistent two-way guard.

For some reason, Sexton has been at times sitting back for guards who have struggled all season. Despite the fact that Sexton is a borderline All-Star, he's not nearly getting the minutes and action he really should. When the team was trying to win, the Jazz leaned on the veterans and had Sexton sitting on the bench, and when it started to be about the tank, Sexton was in and out of the starting lineup again, as the team prioritized the younger players.

Whether it's guys like Jordan Clarkson or Keyonte George, Hardy keeps prioritizing other guys over Sexton. So now we're left wondering if Sexton is even in the long-term plans for the Jazz.

It's not unfair to wonder about this either, as Hardy rode guys like Talen Horton-Tucker and Clarkson over Sexton for far too long to start the season, just to then switch it up and focus on the rookies. It feels like Sexton keeps being the odd man out.

Sexton may not be a Hardy guy, and if that's the case, and the team decides to compete in 2024 and 2025, he could get traded.

That would be a bad thing to do, as Sexton rejuvenated the offense and was a great compliment for Lauri Markkanen, but with the fact Sexton is already 25, and the team unsure what direction it wants to take, Sexton may not be part of the future plans. Hardy may not be a Sexton guy, but he very well might be.

That's not going to save his tenure with the Jazz if the goal is to really rebuild. He's too old for a rebuild, as when the team is finally ready to compete for real, Sexton could be pushing 30. Guys like Markkanen and Sexton are going to be seen as assets to trade and after the year Sexton has had, he'll fetch the Jazz a pretty penny should that be the direction they go in.

Truthfully, though, Sexton and not George should enter the 2024-2025 season as the team's starting point guard. He's proven to be a much better all-around player than George and if the goal next season is to finally win, not only should Sexton still be around, he should have one of the bigger roles on the team.