Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue thinks Collin Sexton is ready to start.
He's just not going to -- at least yet.
On Thursday. Lue told reporters at Cleveland Clinic Courts that George Hill will remain the Cavs' starting point guard when they open the 2018-19 regular season against the Toronto Raptors next Wednesday. Entering his 11th season in the league, Hill started 24 regular-season games for Cleveland last season, as well as 18 of the Cavs' 22 postseason games.
The 32-year-old's starting status, however, appeared to be threatened when Cleveland selected Alabama point guard Collin Sexton with the No. 8 pick of the 2018 NBA Draft. And while the 19-year-old has performed admirably in his first NBA preseason, Lue -- a former point guard himself -- said he'll bring him off the bench to start the season in an effort to "ease" him into the pro game.
"I want him to understand the game, understand running our offense, understanding picking and choosing spots," Lue said of Sexton. "G-Hill is a great veteran to learn from. I think just watching him and talking to Collin every day, just teaching him is good for him."
Of course, Cleveland's starting lineup is subject to change -- especially at this point in the year. In the post-LeBron James era, the Cavs currently have as many as 10 different players competing for playing time, creating different lineup and rotation options for Lue to experiment with.
Plus, when it comes to player development, aiding the growth of Sexton this season is one of the Cavs' top priorities. Between a strong Summer League showing and his preseason performances, the rookie point guard has thus far lived up to the hype, even though he'll start his NBA career in a sixth man-type role.
"His day is going to come. His chance is going to come. His opportunity is going to come," Lue said of Sexton. "Just learning the game and not putting so much pressure on him to start right away I think is good for him."
Just when that chance comes could have more to do with Hill than it does Sexton, himself. With just $1 million of his contract guaranteed for the 2019-20 season, he could become an attractive trade piece for a team either looking to contend this season and/or attempting to clear cap space the next.
Of course, the Cavs currently check off both of those boxes -- although it may not take long for that to change.
But while Cleveland enters the upcoming campaign facing no shortage of uncertainty, what is definite is that the Cavs have big plans for Sexton this season -- regardless of his starting status.
"Even though he's probably ready [to start], from my mindset, I just want to make sure we ease him into it, make sure he's comfortable," Lue said. "He's going to have his chance."