SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – One day after the Jazz traded for point guard Ricky Rubio, Utah’s Summer League team sounded pretty excited about the deal.
“It’s going to be great,” said Jazz point guard Dante Exum. “He’s another international guy, so he’ll bring some more international ball to Utah, but he’s been great. Just his ability to defend and find guys on the offensive end, hopefully I can learn a few things.”
Rubio has always been a pass-first type of point guard who likes to push the tempo.
“It’s a Spanish thing for sure,” said Jazz Summer League head coach Alex Jensen. “Historically, Spanish teams play fast. They run, they don’t stop and that’s the way he grew up playing. Playing with a point guard like that, I think it’s fun, and I just told Dante after practice that’s what we want him to do.”
Exum wasn’t expecting to play in Summer League this year, but after an up and down season, he realized this would be a great opportunity to develop his skills.
“I was talking to Quin [Snyder] and Dennis [Lindsey], and I think one of the biggest things for me is I just want to play, to continue to work on my three. I think that’s a big part of the game, and then obviously continue to get to the basket and get other people involved.”
Even though he’s only 21, because he is about to begin his fourth season in the NBA, this is also a chance for Exum to work on his leadership ability.
“I’ve been pulling guys aside and giving my opinion on certain things and try to help them that way,” Exum said.
“It’s cool that he’s out here playing with us,” added rookie point guard Nigel Williams-Goss. “He has a lot to bring to the table just being in the league for a couple years. So, he’s been huge and a great leader out there for us.”
And Exum is doing a little campaigning to try to keep Gordon Hayward in Utah.
“I sent Gordon a message last night,” Exum said. “It’s his decision and he’s going to do what’s right for him. What’s right for him, I’ll be happy for him.”
Hayward met with the Miami Heat on Saturday, and will visit Boston on Sunday and the Jazz on Monday.