Dante Exum, the 22-year-old point guard for the Utah Jazz, suffered a gruesome shoulder injury which could force him to miss the season.
Exum was looking sharp and improved in all areas of his game during the offseason and on the court this preseason. His jumper was looking better, he was quick as ever after his torn ACL and his athleticism was unquestionable. But his latest injury could keep him out for his second of four years in the NBA.
But if doctors decide he will need an operation, however, he will likely be out for the entirety of his contract year with the Jazz. Bobby Marks wrote about what the team may do with Exum likely out for the majority of next year (via ESPN):
“The Dante Exum injury now has the Jazz faced with a tough roster decision. Currently with 15 guaranteed contracts, backup PG Raul Neto is the odd man out. Utah would need to waive or trade a guaranteed contract to clear a spot for Neto.”
Adrian Wojnarowski reports rookie Donovon Mitchell is likely to take over as the backup for starting point guard Ricky Rubio. But considering Mitchell is unproven and the Jazz are considered a playoff contender, they will likely want someone with more experience in the league available as well.
Neto, 25, has a non-guaranteed contract with the franchise heading into his upcoming campaign.
Utah forward Joel Bolomboy has a guaranteed contract. So, too, does rookie center and 2017 first-round pick Tony Bradley. During his final collegiate season, Bradley won the title with UNC.
Royce O’Neale, meanwhile, has a three-year deal with the team and next season his contract is fully guaranteed. The former Baylor forward played last season in Spain.
If the team decided to use a Disabled Player Exception, they would need to clear a roster spot. But with no one on the team an obvious fit, it seems that Utah could be in a position where Mitchell plays backup point guard for the Jazz next season.
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