Dante Exum had perhaps the most interesting season of any Jazzman. Many hoped that this would be his breakout year and he could be the regular backup behind George Hill. Unfortunately, inconsistent play and an apparent lack of trust at times from Coach Snyder often led to Exum being buried on the bench.
He immediately touched on how great it will be for him to have a full offseason where he can focus more on improving rather than on rehab and that is certainly a big plus for the Jazz. Exum still has an extremely high ceiling, but needs to improve in several areas before he can truly be an impact player for this Jazz team.
In some ways, Exum seemed a little discouraged in his interview, but if such was the case it’s also somewhat understandable given that this must have been a frustrating season for Dante due to the short leash he had on the court and the ups and downs he faced. However, I loved how when asked about his role, he pinpointed that he saw himself as an energy guy.
He certainly provided that energy in the final game of the postseason and embracing that role and building that identity moving forward would be huge for Dante. He also talked about how much he learned from George Hill this past season and expressed confidence that he will be ready to take over at point guard next season if need be.
Given the minimal stretches of playing time that Coach Snyder allotted him, that might not end up being the case, but it’s still good to know that Exum is confident that he can get there. He came into the league with sky high potential and obviously he’ll need that determination and self-belief to reach it. Expectations will be high for Exum next year, so hopefully he can utilize his experiences from this past season as well as a full offseason of improvement to get to where he needs to be.