Just when things were starting to pick up for the Utah Jazz, they go and lose Dante Exum to a torn ACL, which usually means not playing at all this season, picking it up playing international basketball for Australia. Exum landed badly on his left knee in a friendly game against Slovenia.
Exum, the 5th overall pick in the 2014 draft had a difficult rookie season, but many attributed it to it being the first time for him playing outside Australia. The 20-year old (last July) averaged 4.8 points and 2.4 assists in 22.2 minutes per game, but was expected to make a leap in minutes and contribution this season, looking pretty good in Summer League, although he was injured there very quickly as well.
The Jazz had a strong second half to the season in 2015 and look ready to possibly become a factor in the playoff race this season. Now that Exum is injured, they take a big hit in regards to their depth in the backcourt and specifically at point guard.
Torn ACLs usually mean missing a season, even if it happens more than two months before it begins. Whether or not Exum will have a quicker recovery remains to be seen but for now, the Jazz, who had big hopes and plans attached to the young player, are going to have to pick up the pieces and prepare for a season without him on the floor.