The Jazz have several options to replace the injured Dante Exum, according to Zach Lowe of Grantland. Exum tore the ACL in his left knee Tuesday while playing for the Australian National Team and is expected to miss the entire 2015/16 season. Utah currently has about $6.7MM in unused cap room, Lowe notes, along with four nonguaranteed contracts. By opening up some more room, the Jazz could fit Jose Calderon if the Knicks decide to dump his salary or they could make a play for Pelicans free agent Norris Cole. Another option is to target guards on teams seeking luxury tax relief, such as Miami’s Mario Chalmers or Oklahoma City’s D.J. Augustin. Lowe reported in April that Utah was hoping to trade its first-round pick for a point guard, but couldn’t find any takers.
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- The Jazz would have preferred to keep Olivier Hanlan in Idaho for this season, tweets Andy Larsen of KSL.com, but the small D-League salaries made that impractical. Hanlan, the 42nd pick in this year’s draft, signed with Zalgiris Kaunas of Lithuania.
- Thunder coach Billy Donovan’s journey to the NBA began in earnest when Rick Pitino became his coach at Providence, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. Frustrated over a lack of playing time, Donovan was thinking of leaving Providence before prior to his junior year when Pitino took over as coach. As a senior, Donovan averaged more than 20 points per game and played in the Final Four, launching his career, briefly as an NBA player, and ultimately as a coach.