Cleveland Cavaliers: Grading Dante Exum’s 2019-20 play thus far

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dante Exum looks for an outlet. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dante Exum looks for an outlet. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Dante Exum, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dante Exum brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Taking a look at Exum’s offensive play

Exum is not a player again, that should be expected to be a big-time bucket-getting presence.

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For his career, Exum has only had an average of 5.7 points in 18.7 minutes per game, per Basketball Reference, of which has mostly been with Utah.

To this point in his 24 appearances with the Cavaliers, Exum has averaged right about that with 5.6 points per outing in an average of 16.8 minutes.

Exum, while he is alright driving to the basket via quick bursts when getting defenders parallel to him or via pick-and-roll matchups, is not a player that should be relied on to score off-the-bounce consistently.

In transition, he is a nice finisher, though, and that was good to see with the Cavs when he was able to go pre-hiatus, and it is evident that Exum is an instinctive cutter, too.

Plus, Exum’s passing willingness has been a positive, and with Cleveland to this point with more regular burn when he’s been healthy, Exum has at least moved it via spray-outs to shooters out there with him such as Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman and Larry Nance Jr. 

That being said, there are definitely instances throughout games when he’s gotten meaningful minutes that it’s hard to see Exum have a consistent impact, and him having just 3.0 assists per-36 minutes with Cleveland thus far in 2019-20 has been a bit underwhelming.

Additionally, Exum has never been realistically a floor spacer, and though he’s hit 35.1 percent of his three-pointers with Cleveland, it’s tough to say he’s fit into that realm.

Considering for his career to this point that Exum has only hit 30.8 percent of his triples, too, I wouldn’t have expected him to be more than really streaky with the Cavs had he been able to return from his ankle injury down the road, though I’ll give him credit for starting out fairly well.

Grading Exum’s offensive play with Cleveland thus far in 2019-20: C

To this point, Exum’s offensive presence has seemingly come and gone throughout stretches.

He did have a massive career-high 28-point outburst in a January game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and has shown he’s been able to get the Cavs in offensive sets leading to good sequences at times, but Exum offensively has again when healthy been no better than a C contributor, I’d say.

He was at times out of rhythm it seemed when healthy, but I’ll give him slack with him being pretty new with the Cavs still to this point and injury issues have been unfortunate for him, as was the case in Utah.