Aussies in NBA: Exum’s opportunities open up with Mack’s departure

Jan 23, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum (11) dribbles up the court during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Oklahoma City won 97-95. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Dante Exum’s playing minutes are set to get another boost, with Shelvin Mack’s exit from the Utah Jazz.

Mack was acquired at the trade deadline from the Atlanta Hawks last season as a reserve guard. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Mack has left the Jazz for a two-year deal with the Orlando Magic.

The 6’3 point guard averaged 7.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his last season with the Jazz, and shot 30.8% from the three-point line. He saw the floor in 55 regular season games, and averaged 21.9 minutes a night as part of Utah’s reserve unit (stats).

Exum’s limited playing time (18.6 minutes per game last season) could be attributed to several factors, one of which was the Jazz coaching staff’s preference for Mack. Exum’s newfound growth in his playmaking abilities over the Summer League doesn’t prove anything on an NBA court, but it does point to Exum being ready for an expanded role on the Jazz backcourt.

The Jazz currently have Ricky Rubio, Raul Neto and rookie Donovan Mitchell at the point guard spots. It’s up to Exum to make the most of his opportunities this coming season.

Kein

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It's all about Banner 18. And our Aussies in the NBA. And selfless passes. And hard cuts. And defense. Andddd this is where I stop before I get too carried away. Really, it's all about this beautiful sport we know and love as basketball.

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