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The Downbeat #1699: The Bubble Wrap Edition

More on the Dante Exum injury in your Friday Downbeat!

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports


Randy Rigby on the injury (thanks Moni) :

Randy Rigby’s message to Jazz fans distraught over Dante Exum’s injury
Keep your head up…And we expect Dante is gonna have his head up, and let’s take this a day at a time. And we’re gonna take it, we’ll take it head-on, with whatever the issue is…and we’ll move forward with it.

And we have a player that has remarkable character, and he loves the game. He has great support from a ownership, and from a team, and from a family, and from our fan base. And so, let’s give him our thoughts and prayers. Let’s hopes for the best.

And if we're dealing with something otherwise, let’s get behind him and you know what? This team is going to, if we have to move forward while he’s rehabbing and getting better, for a day or two or r–or weeks or months, you know what, we’ve got other great players that are gonna show that it’s an opportunity for them to rise and the Utah Jazz is gonna move forward, and it’s gonna be an exciting year.

Randy Rigby also talked in length about Trey Burke stepping up to fill in the gap. Rigby praised him for being a young man. He praised him for being professional and always being willing to do what the coaches have asked of him.

Dennis Lindsey gave an interview with 1280 the Zone yesterday. Its the first time I have listened to that station since I think Quin Snyder was named the coach.

Highlights of Lindsey's interview

  • The Jazz have weekly communication with players no matter where they are playing. Whether they are playing in international play, gyms or at the Jazz site, the Jazz are constantly in communication with them.
  • The Jazz had Jeff Watkinson with Dante in Slovania He called Dennis Lindsey within five minutes of the injury.
  • Dante can now straighten his leg and the swelling is down.
  • Dennis had a paternal reaction upon hearing about Dante's injury
  • The Jazz have tracked ACL injuries clear back to 1970 to see what works and what doesn't work. Spoke of how good Mark McKown was in helping Al Jefferson recover from his ACL tear.
  • Working closely with Dante, his representatives and his parents so that all communication is clear. Mindful of Dante's body, mind, and spirit in his recovery.
  • When asked about playing in the offseason: "No way to put guys in bubble wrap you have to let them play."
  • When asked about acquiring a new player Lindsey said that they have had no conversations with anyone else outside the Jazz organization.
  • There will be plenty of time to address team needs. Their job is to adapt and make adjustments. Lindsey talked in length about the adjustments they made went Alec Burks went down last season.

Jody had news on the point guard front:

I posed this question on Twitter:

(Excuse my grammatical error)

These were the responses:


And these:

What is your answer?

Our idol, Zach Lowe wrote a thought provoking article about the Dante Exum situation. Lowe writes about the struggles the Jazz had when Kanter and Burke were in the starting lineup and how things started to change when Gobert and Exum replaced them. I found this interesting:

Knowing your lane has value — to a point. Exum not shooting also meant Burke was not shooting, and the difference is that Burke shoots a lot. Playing Exum meant that Burke’s bricky off-the-bounce jumpers became Hayward drives, Gobert dunks, Favors cutting scores, and other good basketball things. Exum showed all the yips on defense we’d expect from a dude who turned 20 just last month, but he’s legitimately giant for a point guard, and his length created problems on some nights.

And this:

Burke is a craftier driver than Exum, and he actually shot 38 percent on spot-up 3s, per Synergy Sports. He’s awful shooting off the dribble, but Utah might achieve better two-way balance if Burke accepts a less ball-dominant role on offense. That’s on both Burke and the coaching staff. This isn’t Michigan anymore, and Burke’s track record so far in the NBA is borderline disastrous. He perked up late last season as a score-first option on bench units, but that mentality may not translate well in the starting lineup.

Lowe does go over some options the Jazz can do without adding anyone. He also talks about how the Jazz were active in trying to trade out of the draft for a point guard. He mentions talks with Indiana about acquiring George Hill. He said the talks probably won't be revisited now that the draft is over. A few point guards that Lowe said the Jazz might be interested in are:

With about $6.7 million in cap room, the Jazz could open up more by waiving a couple of the four non-guaranteed deals they're carrying. They could absorb Jose Calderon in a salary dump from the Knicks, throw some cash at Norris Cole (presumably alive, hanging with Tristan Thompson), or take a point guard from a team seeking tax relief — Mario Chalmers from the Heat or D.J. Augustin from Oklahoma City. The Bucks don’t have enough minutes for Jorge Gutierrez, Tyler Ennis, and Jerryd Bayless (a hybrid guard) behind Michael Carter-Williams and Greivis Vasquez.

Lowe's bottom line was that the Jazz won't do anything rash. They won't trade assets for a marginally better player. Anyways go read it!

Rudy has this to say about international play

and this about Derrick Favors not being invited to the Team USA mini-camp.