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Aussies in NBA: Utah's Rubio acquisition adds urgency to Exum's coming season
According to Spencer Checketts of the Zone Sports Network, Ricky Rubio was traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves, to the Utah Jazz earlier today, in exchange for an Oklahoma City Thunder's first round pick.
Utah GM Dennis Lindsey had earlier confirmed that they were looking for a veteran point guard via trade, on draft night. The addition of Rubio to the Jazz's guard rotation, casts a deepening shadow on Dante Exum's 2017/18 season. The final Jazz roster is yet to be set in stone, with the status of other players like George Hill and Gordon Hayward still uncertain. Acquiring a talented, veteran playmaker like Rubio however, means George Hill could very likely be gone.
It also means the Jazz are hedging their bets on Exum.
Rubio, who has played six seasons in Minnesota since being drafted, averaged 11.1 points, 9.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals in his last season (link).
Jayme made a similar point in his earlier piece, 5 Aussie takeaways from the 2017 NBA Draft, after the Jazz drafted Donovan Mitchell.
Although Lindsay praised Exum for the work he is putting in this offseason, their words don’t appear to line up with their current actions.
It ultimately feels like the Jazz are moving on from Exum, and there is a good chance he is traded before the end of the season so they don’t have to pay up when his rookie contract ends.
Not only is Dante Exum staying in Utah for offseason work, he will be returning to this year's Summer League, an unusual move for third-year NBA player.