Boomers star Dante Exum remains an outside chance to join the NBL, with the South East Melbourne Phoenix still interested in the veteran guard to fill the club’s final roster spot. Exum’s career is in limbo after he was waived by the Houston Rockets, just a month after signing a three-year non-guaranteed contract with the club.
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The Phoenix have spoken to Exum’s manager about his movements and would accommodate him should he decide to return home. The Melbourne-born guard is also a part-owner of the Phoenix and the franchise want to help him relaunch his NBA career with a short-term stint in the NBL.
The South East Melbourne Phoenix have opened the door for part-owner Dante Exum to join the roster, after the Australian Boomers star was waived by the Houston Rockets. “If and when Dante decides that the NBL is the right move for him, we of course will do whatever we can do to make that as easy for him as possible,” Phoenix GM Tommy Greer said via Newscorp.
Shams Charania: The Houston Rockets have waived guard Dante Exum.
The Rockets have officially re-signed guard Dante Exum and waived Tyler Bey to create a roster space for him, according to the NBA’s transactions log. Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw was the first to report the Bey transaction (Twitter link). With John Wall not expected to play for the team this season as it seeks to trade him, the Rockets were in the market for another point guard. The Rockets’ interest in Exum surfaced on Tuesday.
JD Shaw: The Rockets are expected to waive forward Tyler Bey to create roster space for guard Dante Exum, according to a league source.
Shams Charania: Free agent guard Dante Exum is nearing a deal to return to the Houston Rockets, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Exum played in only 24 games last season, but has returned to full health and averaged 9 points and 2.8 assists in Australia’s Bronze medal run in Tokyo Olympics.
Alykhan Bijani: As @Shams Charania mentions in the story, the #Rockets have held discussions with free-agent point guards in the marketplace in recent days. This includes Dante Exum.
Exum also addressed the question every Phoenix fan was dying to know in the live chat regarding whether playing for the Phoenix was in his long-term sights. The 25-year-old has a long NBA career ahead of him but says the Phoenix is the only team he’d play for if he decides to return down under in the latter stages of his career. “I’m going to play here (NBA) as long as possible and if it gets to that, where I want to come back and I want to play, there’d be no other team I’d go to, for sure,” Exum said. “I’m all in with South East…we’ll cross that road when we get to it.”
Tony Jones: The Utah Jazz have a meeting set up with restricted free agent point guard Dante Exum, league sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune. The Jazz have prioritized Exum in his first free agency. Sources say the Jazz would like to reach a deal with Exum
Tony Jones: The Utah Jazz have officially extended qualifying offers to Dante Exum, Raul Neto and Georges Niang, making each restricted free agents, League Sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune….@KeithSmithNBA was first to report
As for Favors and Exum, Lindsey wouldn’t say he expected to sign both players, although he did say he “hoped” to have both players back for next season. “He’s a good player on a good team and Derrick is very consistent in his want to be back here,” Lindsey said. “I think he understands what he has here and we certainly understand what he produces. His agent is a terrific person and that’s been able to carve out good deals for both sides, so I don’t see any initial obstacles. Derrick’s got to go through this process, but that’s my hope (he’ll be back).”
Ryan McDonald: “I think the Jazz want me back,” Dante Exum says
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.
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