Exum struggled to make much of an impact last season, averaging 6.9 points (41.9 FG%, 29.0 3P%, 79.1 FT%), 2.6 assists, 1.6 rebounds, 0.4 threes, 0.3 steals and 0.1 blocks in a career-low 15.8 minutes across 42 appearances. He's hoping to be ready for training camp after undergoing surgery to repair his partially torn patella tendon in his right knee back in late March. However, injuries have been a recurring issue for the 24-year-old guard, as he appeared in just 14 regular-season games in 2017-18 and missed the entire 2015-16 season due to a torn ACL. Moreover, the offseason additions of Mike Conley and Emmanuel Mudiay don't exactly inspire optimism regarding Exum's likelihood of enjoying a breakout campaign in 2019-20. Still, even if Mudiay beats Exum out for the primary backup point guard role, his defensive versatility could help him earn decent minutes along the wing.
An injury-plagued first four years has seen the fifth overall pick in 2014 appear in just 162 games (67 starts). Regardless, the Jazz remain confident in his upside -- fueled by great length and athleticism -- inking him to a three-year, $33 million extension over the summer. Over the past two seasons, he’s averaging 6.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists across 18.3 minutes while shooting 43.8 percent from the field. With Ricky Rubio under contract for one more season and Donovan Mitchell emerging as a high-usage ball handler, Exum’s role is expected to remain relatively minor again this year. While the contract he garnered suggests sixth-man minutes could be in store sooner than later, there’s not much to suggest Exum would be Fantasy relevant if given that type of run. His size theoretically allows him to play both guard spots, but he’s just a 30.6 percent three-point shooter for his career, complicating things from a floor-spacing perspective.
Exum played a reserve role behind starting point guard George Hill last season, as the Jazz seemingly weren’t ready to hand the keys over the Exum after he missed the entirety of the 2015-16 campaign with an ACL tear. The 6-foot-6 guard is touted as a combo guard, though his lack of a three-point shot could often regulate him to the point. Regardless, Exum often scores by way of his great length and top-tier athleticism, helping him get to the rim with ease. While he struggled with efficiency last season, making just 42.7 percent of his attempts from the field and 44 of his 149 (29.5 percent) shots from three, he looked more comfortable on the court than during his rookie campaign. Despite his usage rate jumping from 13.8 to 18.1 percent, he managed to drop his turnover rate from 21.5 to 16.8 percent and raise his effective field-goal percentage from 44.8 to 48.8. He’s still certainly a project, however, as he averaged just 12.1 points, 3.3 assists and 0.6 steals per 36 minutes last year. Though the Jazz and George Hill have parted ways, the addition of Ricky Rubio to the fold and the presence of Rodney Hood at shooting guard mean Exum’s path to significant playing time is still somewhat murky, especially since the Jazz aren’t short on guard depth in general. He’s far from a lock as a sixth man and will likely have to battle in training camp for his Day 1 role. As a result, the 22-year-old can probably be passed on in most Fantasy formats, though could make for a fair Hail Mary pick in the later rounds deeper leagues.
While the Jazz view Exum as their point guard of the future, he'll have to wait until at least next season to take on a full-time starting role, as the team acquired veteran George Hill in the offseason to serve as a bridge to the young floor general. With Hill set to start and Shelvin Mack potentially in the mix for playing time at point guard as well, Exum doesn't figure to see extended run very frequently this season, which could prevent him from producing any notable fantasy value.
Exum will not play for the Jazz this season after tearing his ACL in August during an exhibition game with the Australian National Team. The 20-year-old sophomore showed improvement throughout his rookie campaign and stayed healthy to the point where he appeared in all 82 games and averaged 22 minutes while eventually earning coach Quin Snyder's trust enough to become the starting point guard. At times, Exum seemed a bit overwhelmed when defending experienced guards, and he was rather content with a limited role on offense, but he still managed to play significant minutes for a team that outperformed expectations during the second half of the season. After starting just one game in the team's first 42 games, Exum took the starting job at the end of January and finished out the last 40 games as the starter. While the organization seemingly felt validated with their fifth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, fantasy owners likely didn't share the same sentiment. Exum was wonderful on defense, but his game is conservative. He stays in his lane. Even in the 41 games he started last season, Exum averaged just 5.1 points, 1.3 three-pointers, 1.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 26 minutes per game. If he improves on offense, Exum could become a nice fantasy player, but even after he returns from injury, there are going to be questions about whether or not he puts up enough stats to be relevant in most fantasy leagues. Regardless, his career is essentially on hold for the duration of the 2015-16 season.
Dante Exum was drafted by the Jazz with the fifth-overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The 6-5, 190 pound guard is considered one of the more athletic rookies to enter into the league this year, and the expectations for him are sky high despite most of his experience only coming in international competition with Team Australia. In the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League, he averaged 7.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 0.6 three-pointers in 27 minutes per game through five games. With new first-year head coach Quin Snyder taking over the Jazz, Exum's role is somewhat cloudy due to Snyder being an unknown commodity as a coach. The general consensus is that Exum will play a lot of minutes backing up both guard spots with Trey Burke and Alec Burks tabbed as the starters at point guard and shooting guard. Exum is expected to be groomed more as a point guard than as shooting guard, but considering the team drafted Burke to be their point guard of the future last season, there's a bit of confusion about how Exum's development will be handled. In the meantime, the Jazz organization has openly said that they plan on using him at both guard spots for the 2014-15 season. Exum's potential is tantalizing, but at 19 years old, he may need a season or two to come into his own in the NBA. He might get enough minutes to be of use in standard leagues, but it's important to temper expectations for how much he is going to contribute in fantasy as a rookie. Unless Burke or Burks suffers an injury, Exum might not get enough possessions to be worth owning in all standard leagues, and using him in rotisserie leagues comes with risk considering his lack of a polished jump shot.