Praise Continues To Pour In For Dante Exum

Utah Jazz v New York Knicks

Dante Exum has received some encouraging words from LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers after playing a season-high 27 minutes in Tuesday’s 101-97 road loss for the Utah Jazz.

Averaging 18 minutes a night and contributing a positive four points and two assists per game, Exum continues to show signs he could become a future star after the Jazz selected the 19-year-old with the fifth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Exum did a solid job against the Clippers, making half of his attempts from the field for seven points while adding five rebounds and three assists.

Although far from a standout, Rivers went all out when asked about Exum’s potential.

“I love the kid [Exum], I really do,” Rivers said. “I don’t even want to sell him because I’m really high on him. He’s playing a decent amount of minutes.

“I think he has a chance to be, like, great. I really do. His length. He’s smart. He’s young. He’s athletic. He can play one and two. I think that’s a heck of a pick for them.”

The Australian Institute of Sports product has had a promising December, which featured a whopping 14 games for the Jazz. He put up back to back double-digit scoring games mid-month against New Orleans and Miami and averaged nearly a three a game at a 41.9 percent clip- the biggest knock on Exum heading into the Draft.

The Jazz have used back-to-back first round picks on point guards in both 2013 and 2014, selecting Michigan standout Trey Burke in 2013. Exum is expected to eventually supplant Burke as the starter at point, but the team appears happy to develop Exum slowly due to his age and the rigours of the demanding 82-game NBA schedule. 

Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.