Jazz Confirm Dante Exum Has Torn ACL

Dante Exum has a torn ACL in his left knee, the Jazz announced, confirming initial fears in the wake of the injury he suffered Tuesday while playing for the Australian national team. He’ll inevitably require surgery, notes Jody Genessy of The Deseret News (Twitter links), even though the team hasn’t said so. The Jazz didn’t specify a timetable for recovery, either, but it seems likely that the point guard will miss all of the 2015/16 season.

Utah will probably replace Exum in house rather than acquiring another player, as Tony Jones and Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune wrote earlier this week, with Trey Burke seemingly poised to become the starting point guard in Exum’s place. Utah also has draft-and-stash signee Raul Neto at the position, as well as Bryce Cotton, who’s on a non-guaranteed contract. Shooting guard Alec Burks, who’s coming off an injury of his own that prematurely ended his 2014/15 season, also has experience at the point.

The Jazz are ineligible to apply for a disabled player exception since they’re under the cap. Utah has close to $7MM in cap room as it stands and can open more than $10MM if they waive their players with non-guaranteed salary, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders notes.

Exum, the No. 5 overall pick from 2014, played in all 82 games as a rookie, starting precisely half of them. His numbers weren’t eye-popping, as he averaged 4.8 points and 2.4 assists in 22.2 minutes per contest. The injury doesn’t do much to threaten his next contract, since his rookie scale deal runs through 2017/18, provided the Jazz pick up their team options on the final two seasons, a likely scenario. It does thrust Burke into the spotlight in the final season before he becomes eligible for a rookie scale extension next summer.

What do you think the Jazz should do in the wake of the injury? Leave a comment to tell us.

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6 thoughts on “Jazz Confirm Dante Exum Has Torn ACL

  1. Jake Bullis

    They should try and find a PG that is a little bit taller. I like Trey Burke and Bryce Cotton is pretty fun to watch. I don’t really know who is Raul Neto is but.. aren’t those guys all 6’1 or 6’2 an under!? With how good their defense has gotten that seems like it may be a big, big flaw.

    • Chris Crouse

      I agree, Maybe someone whose built to play the two as well would be good for the team.

      Aside from that, I wonder if this injury had happened a few weeks ago, would the Jazz have pursued Dellavedova. He wouldn’t have been a bad back-up for Utah.

    • Chris Crouse

      Devin Harris may be a possibility on the trade market, he’s not that much taller than the guy you mention, but he has shown he can be a capable defender at times.

  2. Jacob Jackson

    I realize he’s not tall enough to fit their defensive philosophy, but I’d consider throwing an offer at RFA Norris Cole. They have $7M in cap space, Norris Cole’s QO is for only $3M, and they could get him with the right offer.
    This serves two purposes: strengthening this team’s chances of a playoff berth, and weakening one of their top competitors for the 7-8 seed in the Western Conference, New Orleans. NoCo played big minutes in the playoffs last year, and if NOLA loses him at this stage in the offseason, there’s no alternative on the FA market. As brittle as Jrue Holiday is, that’s a real problem.
    It could be a one year, $6M offer if you don’t want Cole long term, or a longer offer for less annually. The Jazz are absurdly far away from the salary floor in 2016-2017 anyway.

    • hill

      Go cheap and go young with a backup PG like Kendall Marshall. He’s a great locker room guy, is rehabbing an ACL himself, and can give you a little court mgmt and 3-pt shooting 15 minutes/game. Keep the seat warm for Dante this time next year and ready yourselves for a Top 10 lottery selection.

      • hill

        Or work a deal for a player like Tyler Ennis who’s young, needs a chance to play and is blocked by another young PG in MCW. He’s healthy, a pass-first kid and probably wouldn’t cost much even though he’s a former #18 pick. An unprotected future 2nd perhaps?

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