Utah Guard, Dante Exum has suffered a knee injury that will more than likely sideline him for the upcoming NBA season. The Jazz did confirm that the young guard tore his ACL while playing in an exhibition game for the Australian national team in Slovenia.
Australia was preparing themselves for the Olympic qualifier next week with a series of exhibition games in Europe. This injury will put Exum status for the 2015-2016 Olympic games in jeopardy. More importantly, the Utah Jazz, who had high hopes for their 2nd year player, are concerned for the young man and his well being.
“First and foremost, our overriding concern is with Dante and his long-term health,” General Manager Dennis Lindsey had said in a statement to reporters.
The 20-year old, who is going into his second season was expected to have a bigger role on the team. As the Fifth overall pick in 2014, Exum did not quite have the season many had anticipated. He averaged 4.8 points, 2.4 assists, and 1.6 rebounds per game. Given that, his defensive play is what really stood out. His length and athleticism is what made him a great wing defender that was only going to improve with time. Exum was one of four rookies to play in all 82 games, so this is a huge blow to the Jazz, who finished 38-44 last season.
Many rumors swirled around that the Jazz were looking to move Point Guard Trey Burke, but nothing ever materialized. I can’t imagine a scenario where they would move Burke now that Exum is going to miss the 2015-2016 season. Hopefully the young man with tons of upside can come back and be the player most teams, especially the Jazz, thinks he can be.