The NBA’s trade season has officially begun. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announced reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers have sent guard Jordan Clarkson to the Utah Jazz for fellow guard Dante Exum and two second-round picks.
While most of the trade rumors coming from Cleveland have centered around Kevin Love, it’s no surprise that Jordan Clarkson was dealt, considering his $13.4 million expiring deal. Clarkson is a combo guard who broke in with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014. Clarkson takes his 14.7 points per game average on 44 percent shooting to a Utah bench that could sorely use the help.
Cleveland has agreed to trade Jordan Clarkson to Utah for Dante Exum, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 23, 2019
The Jazz are winners of five of their last six despite missing point guard Mike Conley. Conley is out with a hamstring injury and could miss several weeks. The acquisition of Clarkson mitigates some of the pain from Conley’s injury. At 6-foot-4, Clarkson can play both guard positions and has a 2.7 assists per game average. He’ll take minutes from Emmanuel Mudiay.
In order to make the deal work, Utah agreed to send San Antonio’s 2022 second-round pick and Golden State’s 2023 second-round pick to the Cavaliers.
Cleveland is cashing in an asset in Clarkson and receiving a player who has struggled with injury his entire career. Dante Exum is from Australia and was chosen fifth overall by the Jazz in 2014. After a solid rookie season, Exum tore his ACL and missed what would have been his second season. He played 66 games in the 2016-17 season, then was limited to just 14 games in 2017-18 thanks to a shoulder injury. He played only 42 games last season and has seen action in just 11 games thus far this season.
Exum’s length and defensive acumen made him a sought after prospect, but injuries have derailed a once-promising career. He’s signed for two more years, with $19.2 million remaining on the deal. Exum may not break into a Cavs guard rotation that features second-year player Collin Sexton, rookies Darius Garland and Kevin Porter, Jr., and veteran Matthew Dellavedova.
Cleveland and Utah have worked together on three trades since February of 2018, including that trade deadline three-way with Kings that included Jae Crowder and Rodney Hood. Jazz acquired Kyle Korver for Alec Burks and two second-round picks last November. https://t.co/W2uo6gdJtz
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 24, 2019