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Utah Jazz traded Dante Exum, two second-round picks to Cleveland

By Adonis Richards Contributing Writer |

On December 23rd, The Utah jazz traded Dante Exum and two second-round picks to Cleveland for Jordan Clarkson reports say. this is the first trade after the December 15th deadline which allowed a great majority of players in the NBA to be traded. This trade ends the longest drought in NBA trade history with 165 days without a trade.

According to CBSsports, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the trade just before the Monday night games went underway. Brian Windhorst of ESPN added that the trades included a 2022 and 2023 picks via the San Antonio Spurs and Golden stat Warriors respectfully. This trade was the first trade made since Russell Westbrook was traded for Chris Paul on July 11th. Utah is ranked 21st in the NBA in offense and is in need of veteran scoring off the bench especially because of Mike Conley’s up and downplay. According to ESPN Clarkson, 27, is averaging 14.6 points per game. The veteran guard is a disciple of Kobe Bryant, having spent the first few years of his career with the Lakers. Clarkson’s season-high of 33 came off a victory against the Memphis Grizzlies last Friday.

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Dante Exum, the 5th pick in the 2014 NBA draft,( Clarkson was the 2nd round pick), struggled in his early years in Utah. a career riddled with injury and spotty playing time, the young guard seemed to turn a corner last year with good bench minutes. Both teams will be bolstered in some way due to these trades. Cleveland, who is in a long rebuilding process attempting to fill the behemoth sized hole LeBron James left in 2018 was looking to dump Clarkson in hopes for the future. Utah, feeling that Exum’s time was ending in Utah and in desperate need for offensive boosts, pulled the trigger. According to ESPN, The Cavs created an estimated 28 plus million dollars in cap space. Exum’s contract expires in 2021, which is said to have a massive free-agent class that summer.

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Exum is a long, 6’6 guard that can provide defense and facilitation for the Cavs. This is especially a boon for their guard play led by Darius Garland and Colin Sexton. The Cavs’ backcourt combined is averaging 5.4 assists per game. If healthy, Exum can possibly become a playmaking wing that provides good defense. This can be compared to Andre Igoudala who has a similar body to Exum. the Cavs appear to be taking the Warriors and Trailblazers route. this is having two high scoring guards starting in their backcourt. It hasn’t panned out just yet, as Garland is having early-season struggles. However, this is natural as he is a rookie learning new systems and the speed of the NBA. Sexton is looking to come to Form, especially off his performance last night against the Atlanta Hawks in which he scored 25.

The Jazz and Cavs have had a few trades in the recent past. This is likely due to the long-standing relationship between Cavs and Jazz GMs Koby Altman and Justin Zanik respectfully. In February 2018, the two teams were involved in a 3 team deal with the Sacramento Kings, as well as a swap for Kyle Korver and Alec Burks in November 2018. This trade, although the first in months, is a minor trade that may have major effects down the line due to playoff hopes for the Jazz and free agency hopes for the Cavs in the near and far futures respectfully.



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