You don’t have to be a fan to be glad that a player is rising from adversity. Such applies to the current re-resurgence of Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton.

Just months ago, the majority would most probably agree that the 25-year-old is fast-approaching the road to obscurity. Now, things look quite different as he has been on a hot streak for over a month now.

Before anything, though, let’s back up a little bit and get some history:

Sexton was a sought-after high school talent from Mableton, Georgia. He was rated No. 7 in ESPN’s Top 100 HS prospects for the class of 2017, alongside Jaren Jackson Jr., DeAndre Ayton, and Michael Porter Jr, among others.

Upon going to the University of Alabama, he helped generate hoop buzz from the renowned ‘football school,’ averaging a team-leading 19.2 points and 3.6 assists per game while guiding the Crimson Tide into just its second NCAA Tournament berth in 12 seasons.

One of the main highlights of his lone college year was on November 25, 2017, when ‘Bama had to play the majority of the second half against the University of Minnesota with only three players, competing in an unprecedented 3-on-5 situation. In just his sixth college game, Sexton dropped 40 points and almost guided the severely shorthanded Crimson tide into a victory, 89-84. It was a good display of why he was known as ‘Young Bull.’


As expected, he was a ‘one-and-done’ and declared for the 2018 NBA Draft, where he was selected 8th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, a franchise preparing for a rebuild in anticipation of LeBron James’s imminent departure.

Sexton wasted no time showing out for the Cavs, appearing in all 82 games in his rookie year and supplying 16.7 points per game, rightfully getting himself in the 2018-19 All-Rookie Second Team. He then kept increasing his production, with 20.8 PPG in his second year and 24.3 PPG in his third, both team-bests.

Unfortunately, he had a setback in his fourth year as he tore his meniscus just 11 games into the season, prematurely ending his ‘21-22 campaign. Then, it just snowballed from there: the ensuing off-season saw him get shipped to Utah in a package for Donovan Mitchell. It was a no-brainer considering it’s for an All-Star scoring machine, but it also signified that the franchise preferred Sexton’s backcourt mate, Darius Garland, who had superior playmaking abilities.

The Cavs then thrived in ‘22-23, rising as the best defensive team in the league with a legit, high-level scorer, earning themselves top 4 seed in the playoffs – something that they couldn’t even sniff during Sexton’s tenure. 

While the Jazz also thrived early on, Sexton was a mere piece in the second unit, and was injured a lot, missing 34 games and looked as if he was about to be an afterthought. There was even a viral clip with him and head coach Will Hardy having a heated back-and-forth after he got sent to the bench.

More of the same happened early in ‘23-24 as he was almost non-existent, with the Jazz only 7-15, looking as expected: a young team with little to no chance for a postseason spot. That’s when things shifted.

Due to injuries and other teammate struggles, Sexton was inserted in the starting lineup. He then immediately went back to his old ways, going on a scoring barrage and showcasing that ‘Young Bull’ heart on the floor.


With rhythm and momentum overflowing, the next 20 games have suddenly made Sexton look like a very reliable offensive weapon.

First 22 games
(Oct 26 – Dec 9)
Next 20 games
(Dec 12 – present)

Here’s a good compilation of his improved play:

Not only is he more relaxed at creating scoring opportunities for himself, he’s also patient in setting teammates up, and when you have a combination of all that, you make better plays, limit mistakes, and can quickly make up for errors. From being a low-value trade chip, he’s now right there alongside All-Star Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson as the most impactful players in the group.

What’s also noteworthy is that the improved play is reflecting well in the standings. It has brought Jazz into a 12-2 record over their last 14 games, with averages of 125.7 PPG and an impressive +10.6 point differential. It’s the best record and highest-scoring offense in the league since December 21st. Overall, Utah is at 22-20 and 9th in the Western Conference.

Sexton and the Jazz have 40 games left on the season, and will have a load of challenges ahead. In any case, though, it’s fun to see the 25-year-old have his mojo back. It adds excitement into a young, underrated team that could make some noise in an intense race to the playoffs.