Ryan McDonald: “I think the Jazz want me back,” Dante Exum says
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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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May 27, 2018 | 3:15 pm EDT Update
On Friday, James banged his right leg in a fourth-quarter collision with Larry Nance Jr. James said afterward it left him with pain in the leg and the ankle. Asked how the leg felt Sunday morning, James said, “It’s been better, but I’ll be ready tonight.” James wouldn’t say whether the ankle or the leg was more of an issue. “Uh, the ankle is a part of the leg, so it’s the full leg,” he said.
Asked what Green did best in Game 6, Lue said, “I think he attacked the small guys, the switches, and took his time, did a good job attacking, rebounded the ball well. I just think defensively being able to switch and guard multiple positions, that’s huge for us. He was able to switch a lot more, we were able to do a lot of different stuff defensively and he came through for us.”