Jazz Notes: The Exum for Clarkson Trade

Dec 26, 2019, 8:14 PM | Updated: 10:05 pm
Jordan Clarkson signs autographs for fans...
Jordan Clarkson signs autographs for fans before making his Utah Jazz debut against the Portland Trailblazers. (KSL Sports | Ben Anderson)
(KSL Sports | Ben Anderson)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz pulled off a rare early-season trade, sending Dante Exum and two second-round draft picks to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for guard Jordan Clarkson.

Clarkson and Exum entered the NBA in the same draft, and have had inverted careers compared to the two players’ predraft hype. Exum, the fifth overall pick projected as a slashing athletic guard capable of carrying a large scoring load on an NBA roster.

Coming out of Missouri, Clarkson was a burgeoning point guard with strong defensive potential, but struggled as a shooter.

As NBA players, each players’ pre-draft projection could be flipped. Clarkson has largely been an isolation scoring guard who has seen his three-point shooting reach new heights since being traded to Cleveland in February of 2018. However, his defensive instincts have yet to translate to the NBA, ranking as one of the league’s worst defensive players according to ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus.

Injuries largely derailed Exum’s development in Utah – and his offensive game never developed as a result. When he was healthy, Exum largely filled the role of a defensive wing who scored opportunistically in transition.

In the latest episode of the Jazz Notes Podcast, Ben Anderson discussed why the Jazz moved Exum for Clarkson, including the salary relief the team will see as a result, as well as the impact of waiving Jeff Green in favor of G-League callup Rayjon Tucker.

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