The Utah Jazz made one of the most intriguing picks of the draft when they selected Australian point guard Dante Exum with the fifth-overall selection.
Last week, the Jazz finally got to see what Exum could do playing with and against other NBA-level players. Exum’s Summer League debut was up and down - he scored 10 points on four-of-10 shooting from the field, one-of-four shooting from beyond the arc and one-of-two shooting from the free throw line, to go along with three assists, three rebounds and just one turnover. Exum averaged only 7.2 points, 2.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game, but scouts were pleased with his performance.
Zach Harper of CBS Sports explains that although Exum had poor numbers, he wowed scouts in Las Vegas.
“I think we can remove any doubts about that kid,” a Western Conference scout told me following Exum’s time in Vegas. “It’s not that he doesn’t have stuff to work on; the cloudiness of what he might be seems to be over.”
Exum didn’t shoot particularly well, which was a concern about his game heading into the draft. We hadn’t seen much of his competition prior to summer league and what we did see only offered up more questions about what was real and what was simply hope for a new star. The international man of mystery knows the jump in the level of competition with Vegas summer league and then joining the Australian national team this summer is something to embrace as he figures out how to succeed consistently.
Exum will likely start his career playing off of the ball so that last year’s lottery pick, Trey Burke can play alongside him and another talented guard, Alec Burks can come off of the bench and try to mesh with both players at different times.