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 lays the ball in. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Hitting on Exum’s overall play

Exum’s done a fine job to this point when he’s been able to go for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He’s not a high usage player, nor is he going to carry you for stretches offensively, but that’s not what you’re looking for from Exum. He’s been an active cutter that’s finished well, as he’s typically done in his career, and defensively, he’s done a nice job.

His defensive rating of 110.2 with Cleveland has illustrated that, and it’s not simply been misleading with him playing mostly deep bench or garbage minutes, such as with Ante Zizic, as Exum’s had plenty of matchups and held his own against starting guards.

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So what grade am I going with for Exum for his 2019-20 play with Cleveland thus far?

Grading Exum’s overall play for Cleveland thus far in 2019-20: B-

A B- grade for Exum seems reasonable to this point.

He has displayed he’s a willing passer, and while he’s not a player with Delly-like vision, Exum is capable of initiating ball-swings and makes the right plays, generally, as a driver, even if the end result isn’t always a bucket. Granted, he is a non-floor spacer, which limits room a bit out there for drivers with him.

Defensively, he’s again been one of Cleveland’s better perimeter pieces, on the plus side. Either way, though, whether or not Exum can stay healthy is a major question mark looking at next season.

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That, along with Sexton, Garland and Porter, and potentially others needing big minutes, seems to make me believe Exum could be the odd man out in Cleveland’s perimeter rotation next season.