Dante Exum Unlikely To Play In Jazz Preseason

Oct 4, 2019, 11:09 AM
Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum (11) begins a drive to the hoop as the Utah Jazz and the Sacramento King...
Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum (11) begins a drive to the hoop as the Utah Jazz and the Sacramento Kings play at Vivint Smart Home arena in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018. (Scott Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum and the organization are hoping for a full season from the Australian, a season that doesn’t involve any injury.

Exum will enter his sixth NBA season, but has only played all 82 regular-season games in one of those five seasons.

That came during his rookie year in 2014-15. Exum then missed the entire 2015-16 season when he tore his ACL with the Australian National Team.

During the 2016-17 season, Exum played 66 games, 14 games in 2017-18 and 42 games last year.

“The recovery has been good,” Exum said at Utah Jazz Media Day. “It’s been a long off-season, it’s not how anyone wants to spend their off-season rehabbing. I am feeling really good and am ready to start training camp. We have a good group of guys that want to work, get better and learn the system.”

It is unlikely that Exum will play in any preseason games or at least not extended minutes as the Jazz management are being conservative with his recovery.

“As much as anything, we are praying for good health,” said Jazz Executive VP of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey. “From there, we will let timetables be dictated. He is at the stage where it is just clinical. We do quite a bit of testing, balances and imbalances, so he is going through that phase. He will take the court during training camp, but I think the contact will be limited for right now. The most honest answer is that we don’t know, but everything is pointed in the right direction, he hasn’t had any setbacks but we are going to be very conservative.”

Each off-season, fans and media have had high expectations for Exum and hoping he will have that “breakout” season. Many have thought he would have after being taken as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

This season, Exum is going in with a different mindset.

“One of the biggest goals for me coming into the season is having an open mind,” Exum stated. “We have a really deep team and where I fit into that is going to be game dependent, I can guard one through three, I can play the point that’s what I have been able to do, but I can also run the floor and that’s a part of my game that I want to add this year and being a threat in transition. Wherever I can find those minutes and find those advantages that I bring, I am going to.”

Jazz management look at Exum as an overall player and not a positional player.

“Right now, we are penciling Dante (Exum) in as just a player,” Lindsey said. “He can play guard and wing, but based off of performance that could be guard or wing.”

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