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The Downbeat: Dante Exum Needs a Breakout Season

If there is a time to ball out, it’s now.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone knows what this year means to Dante Exum. Approaching a contract season, still recovering from an injury, and fighting out of Quin Snyder’s dog house. There’s plenty of reason to watch Exum’s development this season, and NBA personalities from across the league are tuning in.

Exum made’s list of 10 young NBA players that need breakout seasons in 2017-18. He came in at number four on the list, and will look to make his breakout season a reality in this upcoming season.

Technically speaking, Dante Exum has only played two seasons in the NBA. But since he missed the entire 2015-16 campaign with an ACL tear that’s hindered his progress with the Utah Jazz to this point, the overwhelming takeaway from his career thus far is how much further along he should be.

In Exum’s defense (pun intended), he’s an quality defender who’s still 22 years old. His long arms and good defensive instincts will help him stick in Quin Snyder’s backcourt rotation, even if he never evolves into the franchise point guard the Jazz thought they were drafting back in 2014.

But that’s kind of the point: Utah was expecting so much more with that fifth overall pick, and whether it’s because of injury, a crowded backcourt or his supremely underwhelming career .385/.308/.743 shooting splits, the offensive end hasn’t even come close to clicking yet.

With Ricky Rubio, Rodney Hood, Raul Neto, Alec Burks and rookie Donovan Mitchellon the roster, Exum has no clear path to a breakout season. But after being drafted more than three years ago, it’d be great to see him stay healthy and prove himself worthy of that top-five selection.

The construction crew at Vivint SmartHome Arena continue to make progress, and the arena is looking pretty cool. The Jazz have posted updates and pictures through their social media platforms updating fans with how the construction is coming along.

To get a better look at the arena and its new features, Vivint SmartHome Arena has published a channel on YouTube with 360 degree virtual tour videos. These include views of the new court and seating arrangements, as well as the entry, plaza, and some of the new restaurants in the arena.

The first rendition of the Utah Jazz alternate jersey surfaced online Wednesday afternoon, and it’s an interesting look.
Conrad Burry

It’s definitely an interesting look, and it may be hard to decide if you really like the jersey combo simply by a graphic image.

Happy Birthday to Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell! Mitchell turns 21 today, here’s to many great years to come Donovan.

2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Photo by Elsa/Getty Images