Eric Woodyard: Dante Exum on free agency: "For me as a player, I just need to control what I can control."
Heading into his restricted free-agency year, Exum has two weeks and the playoffs to establish some sort of market for himself. At worst, he figures to accept the one-year qualifying offer from the Jazz, who will presumably tender that to him rather than allowing him to head into unrestricted free agency. At best? He’s got to hope for a strong finish and count on the memories those NBA officials have of his July splash five years ago.
“He has not had an easy time with injuries,” one general manager told Sporting News. “I don’t think you hold that against him. I think you have to look at him as a physically gifted guy who is only 22 (he turns 23 in July) and has already gone through the huge NBA learning curve. There are guys in this year’s draft who will be 22 but aren’t going to have the kind of knowledge of the league he has, and don’t have the physical gifts.”
It’s speculation, but it only takes one team willing to make an offer. Of course, that offer would have to be at least two years under NBA restricted free agency rules, unless the Jazz decided to let him go (which is unlikely). One front-office executive estimated that Exum could warrant a two-year deal in the range of $18-20 million (with an option for a third likely) to get him away from the Jazz, who would have two days to decide whether to match. “He’s a gamble,” the front-office executive said. “But $10 million a year is not as big a gamble as it once was. He could show something here.”
Tony Jones: I've been saying this for months but I'd be shocked if exum isn't back. The Jazz value him a ton
Hood is one of two Jazz players eligible for an extension. Former lottery pick Dante Exum is the other. If Hood or Exum can’t reach a deal, their subsequent step would be restricted free agency next summer, where they can receive an offer sheet from another team, but the Jazz have the ability to match the offer. The Jazz are expected to allow Exum to reach restricted free agency unless he accepts a team-friendly deal similar to Alec Burks, who extended for $10 million annually three years ago. There is hope internally that Exum is on the verge of a breakout, and he is expected to play a key role off the bench this season.
May 24, 2022 | 5:01 pm EDT Update
Zach LaVine underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Chicago Bulls executives are in Los Angeles to attend various agency pro days in advance of next month’s NBA Draft and were in close contact with the two-time All-Star guard, who is expected to begin a short rehabilitation period shortly. In a release, the team termed the surgery “successful” and said LaVine is expected to make a full recovery.
Anthony Slater: Gary Payton II beginning to increase his activity level. Still limited to right-armed shooting, but workouts are amping up. Finals return seems like a possibility.
LeBron James: My thoughts and prayers goes out to the families of love ones loss & injured at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX! Like when is enough enough man!!! These are kids and we keep putting them in harms way at school. Like seriously “AT SCHOOL” where it’s suppose to be the safest!
May 24, 2022 | 1:59 pm EDT Update
K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago joined the Mully & Haugh Show on Tuesday morning to discuss LaVine’s future. “The safe bet is still that Zach will return (to Chicago),” Johnson said. He offered that with a caveat though. “I’m just reporting what I was hearing at the Combine – and that is multiple people connected to other teams, agents, etc., the chatter at that Combine, the representation of that chatter is that Zach is very much in play,” Johnson said. “Now that said, the Bulls are still very confident in their ability to re-sign Zach LaVine. Michael Reinsdorf has said it. Arturas Karnisovas has said it. They still have the power to pay him more than any other franchise.”