Dante Exum’s start to his career has been bumpy—and that’s putting it mildly. He entered the NBA as a teenager, missed his entire second season due to injury, struggled to earn minutes in his third season, re-injured himself in his fourth season, then re-injured himself AGAIN in his fifth season. During that time he has found himself playing anything from point guard to shooting guard to small forward as Quin Snyder and his coaching staff have struggled to find where he fits. With the Utah Jazz short on power forwards could the Australian guard become something much more different than projected?
He doesn't fit in the NBA. PF? Are you joking?
The Utah Jazz have a problem for next year however at the Power Forward position. They’re light on warm bodies who specialize in playing the four. They have players who have played it when their team needed them to—Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, and Royce O’Neale—but their only real power forward is Jeff Green who has struggled to be a plus player when on the court the past 5 seasons.
Dante Exum entered the league weighing 190 lbs. He had a 6’6 with a 6’9 wingspan. He has since grown to almost 6’8 and looks more like an elite NFL tight end. He’s definitely looking like he’s in the 220-240lbs range. Over his career he has shot 30% from three, but his real strength is his speed and playmaking. If anyone could match what Joe Ingles can do as a point forward, it would be Dante Exum. Before Exum suffered his injury his last 8 games he was averaging a PER36 of 20.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 9.8 assists, 1.9 turnovers on 50.7% and 41.7% 3P%. How would Dante Exum compare to Utah’s other potential Power Forwards in 2019-2020?
was 6'10 reach. First I've heard that he grew two inches.. He's not Ingles!
I know there’s a few writers at this site who are HYPE about Georges Niang’s upcoming season, but I do not count myself among them. The Jazz have been both good and lucky when it comes to finding diamonds in the rough, but we cannot expect the same development from every undrafted player that makes it onto the Utah Jazz roster. While Georges Niang can light it up from three, he struggled when those three point shots were when it mattered most, and he struggled mightily on the defensive end as his DRAYMOND Rating can attest.
Byut unlike Exum he isn't a horrible offensive player and can stay on the floor. Sounds like he was working on his body which was his biggest weakness
Now we’re down to the Aussies, Joe Ingles and Dante Exum. I HIGHLY doubt we’ll see Joe Ingles play any time at the four spot unless injuries hit. The reasoning? He’s getting older and Utah will want to preserve his health at any cost. What he brings as far as floor spacing and playmaking cannot be replaced by anyone on this roster. Though it is tempting to see Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert run endless 4-5 PnRs.
I think Niang could possibly be better than Ingles in time. Has to improve defensively like Ingles did
Which leaves us with Exum. I don’t think that this article will be the first or the last that we scrutinize what position Dante Exum plays this season. But the reasoning behind it this season will be much different from previous seasons. In past seasons, Utah has run a very traditional NBA offense. They had a traditional Power Forward in Derrick Favors and the Utah Jazz were trying to find minutes for Dante Exum on the court with Shelvin Mack gaining favor as the backup one. Other times, it was because of Raul Neto’s improved play, not Dante Exum’s regressive play that was the reason for the necessary adjustments.
Neto was always better than Exum. There offense isn't traditional. They were trying to play it with traditional players like Favors and Rubio spotting up in the corner instead of guys that fit
This season, Utah is projected to run a VERY modern NBA offense with 4 out spacing with either Rudy Gobert or Ed Davis manning the middle. It’s an offense that Orlando Magic-era Stan Van Gundy would be proud of. It has its Hedo Turkoglu in Joe Ingles. It’s Rashard Lewis in Bojan Bogdanovic. It has a way better Jameer Nelson in Mike Conley. It has an astronomically better Courtney Lee in Donovan Mitchell. With that offense, Dante Exum could be playing any number of positions because of his versatility. He can play-make like Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley, but he has the size, wingspan and weight to matchup with any player short of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Giannis Antetokounmpo on the defensive end. If Utah wants to have fun, they can even trot out an all-bench lineup that features Mudiay, Ingles, Green, Exum, and Davis that has Ingles, Green, and Exum fluidly interchanging while on the court. They can relentlessly switch on defense without the opposing offense finding a severe mismatch.
If Mudiay and Exum are playing something is wrong
Dante Exum’s DRAYMOND rating is insane. He has a positive 1.53 which actually puts him as the second best defender according to the DRAYMOND rating metric behind Rudy Gobert. Ya know, the two time Defensive Player of the Year. Dante Exum might not even be a regular in any position this upcoming season. He could be Utah’s ultimate utility player, their swiss army knife off the bench. With a change to the offense that no longer features a traditional roll man at the four spot, Dante Exum can easily enter the game for any player point guard through power forward, and STILL operate the same.
He's also got the worst HARDEN rating on the team. Need guys that play both ends
My predictions for SLCDunk articles for the next week
"Feeling Moody about Power Forward? Get ready to feel Mudiay at Power Forward"
"Ed Davis is more than just a center. He’ll be a possible Power Forward."
"The Jazz will move Joe Ingles to Power Forward to feature our five best players as starters"
Posted by Uber_snotling on Sep 15, 2019 | 12:29 AM
Mudiay already mentioned himself at the 4 after taling with Snyder. He actually makes more sense. He's built more like Royce and Crowder
The team acquired Mike Conley via trade with the Grizzlies, and Bojan Bogdanovic, Ed Davis, Jeff Green, and Emmanuel Mudiay through free agency, significantly bolstering their starting lineup and bench.
After the first 9 their bench may have been weakened
With their new acquisitions, however, it’s possible for the team to become even more suffocating on the defensive end in the 2019-20 season.
I think the reason the D could improve is because of the improved offense. Less turnovers and long misses off of bricks and less transition points given up
With an improved bench unit of Dante Exum, Mudiay, O’Neale, Green, and Davis, expect the Jazz to land closer to, or in the top 10 this year.
Dante and Mudiay is improved? Niang maybe
Of this year’s team, the most likely to make his first All-Star team is Gobert, who won Defensive Player of the Year and made Third Team All-NBA last season.
not sure he is most likely. He will likely be most deserving
Gobert can improve his chances by increasing his scoring to 18-plus points per game, which is a definite possibility with a Mike Conley to help both stretch the floor and feed him open looks down low.
this I can see. Already put up over 17 a game with Jill and Johnson/Diaw around him. Only question is with 3 20 point scorers around him who gets what number wise. 80 or so between the 4 would be nice
While the team’s acquisitions didn’t fix Gobert’s ability to defend on the perimeter, Utah is much more well rounded offensively, making them much more difficult to shut down when Mitchell is having a poor shooting night.
he guards fine on the perimeter. D isn't their problem. Their problem was fixed
Shams Charania: The NBA has informed teams of currently projected salary cap and tax level in 2020-21 ($116M/$141M) and 2021-22 ($125M/$151M), sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium . It is $1M lower for ’20-21 and unchanged for ’21-22 based on previous projections. – via Twitter ShamsCharania
But an underdiscussed element of the club’s roster-building success is the number of guys on the team with starting experience and multi-positional prowess. This gives them the flexibility to be, one could argue, the most injury-proof of the elite teams.
be hard to argue that
Another complicating factor in those Rick-less games is that reserve guard Dante Exum was also unavailable for 12 of the 14 that Rubio missed. A healthy Exum should give Utah some options, and even if the beleaguered Aussie misses time again, Utah has emergency options in Emmanuel Mudiay and Nigel Williams-Goss.
Exum is no answer
Dressed & ready: Georges Niang, Nigel Williams-Goss, Miye Oni, Tony Bradley3
Howard/Goss? Oni should be with the Stars at least to start the year
The only problem is that giving Jingles’ defensive assignments over to Royce will keep the Baylor product from helping out on bigger forwards. O’Neale’s ability to guard bigger bodies is going to be a big key in terms of how Utah is able to run with Bogdanovic as the nominal power forward on offense, but if he is occupied with covering for Ingles on the wing, then suddenly Utah’s a little thinner defensive on the front line. Green’s minutes would likely be extended, and someone like Niang might need to be pressed into action. We’d probably also see more of Oni or another option who could help patrol the perimeter. With the guards healthy, those minutes would likely come at the expense of Mudiay.
Niang should be playing anyway
The trickier part is how the Jazz fill in the center minutes behind him if Rudy’s sitting. After two NBA seasons, Bradley still hasn’t played anything beyond garbage minutes. This might be a situation where Utah needs to try using Green for some small-ball center minutes behind Davis, which would naturally require more minutes from Niang to cover Green’s usual role.
Bradley deserves a shot. Double double off the bench in the only quality minutes he's gotten. The fact that they only have 3 centers tells me they think he's ready to play if called upon
To expect much more out of the galoot was folly. Terminally uncoordinated, he didn’t offer any offensive threat, and on the other end of the floor, he was a smart positional defender given to spectacular feats of clumsiness. He was only an adequate rebounder. Ostertag’s lone inelegant strength was getting in the way—a large object obstructing defenders, driving lanes, and much more talented big men. Have you ever played ball in a church with a support beam in the middle of the floor? He was like a beam that could move around, kind of. This had its utility—advanced stats like Ostertag a lot, which might be enough justification to burn the analytics movement to the ground—but that didn’t make him any more pleasant to watch.
great offensive rebounder
Of course, he doesn’t have to apologize for anything. There have been many more ignominious careers than his, and he contributed, in his way, to a handful of really good teams. But if Greg Ostertag is remarkable, it is for representing the stark limits of Jazz fans’ capacity to appreciate players who looked like them. They wanted him to be Mark Eaton, and they would have exalted him had he cleared that relatively low bar, but instead he was a source of frustration and disappointment. Ostertag never found love, not even in the one place that might have given it to him.
Plus, Ingles, Bogdanovic, Green, O’Neale, Niang and Exum are all good players. They aren’t stars, but with Mitchell, Conley and Gobert they don’t have to be. Being A-level role players will be enough to vault the Jazz into a new era or prosperity in the NBA.
How about Exum actually shows that he's good before saying he's good?
I don’t think Snyder wants a 4 on the court. His 1st 2 years, he played Favors and Booker at the 4, but after that, more time started going to guys like Boris Diaw, Joe Johnson, and Jae Crowder, who all came into the league as guards or wings. It’s pretty clear that Snyder wants to play either 2 guards and 2 wings with a big, or 1 guard and 3 wings with a big.
Posted by TheManTheyCallJayne on Sep 19, 2019 | 2:02 PM
he wants 4 guys that can shoot, pass, handle the ball. You forgot Lyles
I think this is why the Jazz were reportedly inerested in Mirotic before he went to Europe. He shoots the three AND rebounds.
Really, the best player for the Jazz would have been a Favors who could shoot threes.
Posted by BoufantPuffydoo on Sep 19, 2019 | 3:36 PM
In any case, Scott definitely has the look of a player the Jazz can get into their system and development. Last season, he averaged 12 points, 4.5 assists and just over 1.5 steals per game for the Polish club BM Slam Stal Ostrow.
The addition of Mike Conley creates a new big three for this Jazz team with Rudy Gobert manning the paint and protecting the rim and Donovan Mitchell who will be looking to make another leap in year three.
more of a big one and I'd put Bojan in there with Mitchell and Conley
To replace Favors, the Jazz signed Bojan Bogdanovic who is a terrific floor spacer and shot creator. To improve their depth, they brought in guys like Jeff Green, Ed Davis, and Emmanuel Mudiay, all guys who are capable of contributing in a big way for their team.
Eric Woodyard: Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum’s shoe deal with Adidas has ended and he’s evaluating options, per sources. Exum was recently spotted wearing Nike’s around the practice facility. – via Twitter E_Woodyard
There have been a lot of headlines in Utah over the course of the summer, more than usual for a Jazz team that normally is out of the national limelight. Mike Conley was traded to Utah, Bojan Bogdanovic, Ed Davis, and Emmanuel Mudiay signed in Utah, Donovan Mitchell’s shoes sold out, Jazz players had amazing performances at FIBA, and Donovan Mitchell did this. There’s a lot to talk about in Utah, but the most important piece to Utah’s success has been quietly skimming beneath all the noise while working to improve his game. His ability to take even the slightest step forward in his development could mean the difference between another disappointing early round playoff exit and a championship. That player? Royce O’Neale.
most important will be who steps up after the 9 proven guys they have
That potential led into the Jazz’s training camp where he beat out the second round drafted Joel Bolomboy. A move that many—most of us at this site not named James Hansen—didn’t see coming. He went from being the last man on the roster to a playoff starter in his 1st season. In his second season, he had a sophomore slump. He started slow and found himself in and out of the rotation. By the end of the season his play improved. He had a net rating of +12.3 when he was on the court and averaged 5.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 24 minutes a game. His shooting metrics dropped, but his defensive intensity was back.
he had a guaranteed contract. If I remember Bolomoboy's was a partial guarantee
This upcoming season, the Utah Jazz will ask Royce O’Neale to take the arguably the biggest step forward in his development: play power forward. Back in July, Tony Jones of The Athletic reported the Utah Jazz were seriously contemplating starting Royce O’Neale at Power Forward. That would mean Royce O’Neale went from undrafted shooting guard at the end of the roster to starting power forward of the Utah Jazz in only two years time. Playing power forward for the Utah Jazz is akin to piloting the black lion of Voltron. It’s a position that has been held down by some big time players such as Adrian Dantley, Thurl Bailey, Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer, Derrick Favors, and Karl Malone. How could the Utah Jazz be looking at a 6’6 shooting guard for the power forward position?
Dantley wasn't a PF
It doesn’t end on the offensive end either. They still have to have the strength on the defensive end to matchup against four different position AND still rebound at an above average rate. (Yet another reason why prime Andrei Kirilenko would dominate this era, but I digress.)
AK wasn't a great rebounder or shooter.
While ballhawking steals is great for points and Royce O’Neale is no slouch when it comes to steals—in his rookie year, he had a steal in San Antonio that sealed the game—O’Neale is a beast at rebounding. According to Cleaning the Glass, Royce O’Neale was in the 92nd percentile in defensive rebounding. In offensive rebounding, he was in the 23rd percentile. But there is hope for better performance in that area. In Royce’s rookie year he was in the 53rd percentile.
Gobert or Davis will usually be the only guys on the offensive glass
This is where Utah wants to see the biggest developmental gains with Royce O’Neale. Royce O’Neale is going to be surrounded by weapons. If he improves his playmaking ability in transition—identifying the open man and weapons available—and becomes a player with whom Quin Snyder is comfortable initiating the offense, then Utah is a very dangerous team. Now he’s not just a floor spacer and defensive stopper. He becomes the total package. The ideal modern power forward.