Nothing unintentional about Collin Sexton's breakout season

Collin Sexton is finally putting it together this season. What conclusions can we draw from his improvement?
Collin Sexton throws it down against Washington
Collin Sexton throws it down against Washington / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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In Utah, Sexton took some time to return to form. He began his time in Utah in an unfamiliar spot: on the bench. Playing behind Mike Conley, this wasn't too surprising to Jazz fans who had grown familiar with the All-Star Point Guard. Sexton's numbers began at a career-low with only 14 points per game in 24 minutes. Some spectators in Utah saw the player that had been accused of putting up empty stats in Cleveland. No one believed that he would actually be worth any investment from the Jazz front office.

After Conley's departure, Sexton was given the keys to the offense and promised not to scratch the paint, only to leave smoke and skidmarks behind as he zoomed through the neighborhood. Sexton doesn't play without regard, but at times he borders on recklessness. He has the motor of a Ferrari, but the build of a sedan. As a smaller player, his relentless drive can take teams by surprise, but not his team. The issues present in Cleveland didn't exist in Utah.

In a previous article, I described opponents making eye contact with Sexton mid-competition as, "like looking at Vigo from Ghostbusters II--all they see behind his eyes is a never-ending hallway of lava and despair." His passion for the game is ever-present and gets me amped up to see what he'll do next.

This season, despite some early-season griping from fans, Sexton has began to resurface as the player that Cleveland hoped he would be when they picked him in the 2018 draft. His motor has never relented, but finally his playmaking and scoring are beginning to build consistency. In Utah, Sexton's role is clear and accepted by all parties. Despite playing for a team that may be set on tanking for a few more years, his production isn't viewed as superficial across the NBA. Sexton contributes to winning with his team in Utah.

For example, does anyone remember when Sexton barreled through Giannis Antetokoumpo in a Jazz comeback win over the Bucks? This guy doesn't back down from anybody. Seeing him knock down the former MVP and DPOY was inspiring to his teammates. At this point in the game, Utah was down by double-digits. To maintain his competitive fire when behind on the scoreboard lights up his teammates. His fire spreads to the rest of the roster and they play with a new desire to compete and overcome any adversity. Sexton's intangibles multiply his value for Utah exponentially.

Collin Sexton
Sexton's fire on full display / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

Trade rumors and other talks of Sexton's expendability have been squashed as he is having what feels like the best season of his career. You still probably won't hear his name mentioned very often if you don't follow the Jazz, but the NBA shouldn't be surprised to learn that Sexton is good. Utah is lucky to have him.

Next. Are the Utah Jazz tanking the season?. It's a valid question.. dark