NBA Rumor: Dante Exum Free Agency

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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.”

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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).”

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.”

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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