Trade season is officially open for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
As first reported Monday by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavs traded guard Jordan Clarkson to the Utah Jazz for guard Dante Exum and two second-round picks. Clarkson was in the last year of his contract.
Utah will also send two future second round picks to Cleveland in the trade, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/mQBTD8h26k— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 24, 2019
Losing Clarkson does mean an adjustment of sorts for the Cavs. Clarkson has been the main scoring option off the bench, and John Beilein’s rotation will likely be adjusted as a result. Exum certainly will play some, and Collin Sexton’s minutes could be adjusted too.
As for Exum, the 6’6”, 24-year-old Australian has had an up-and-down NBA career since being drafted No. 5 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. He tore his ACL in 2015, lost a season as a result, and he hasn’t quite progressed at the rate the Jazz hoped. For his career, he’s averaged 5.7 points and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 40.1% from the field and 30.5% from three.
Financially, this deal moves the Cavs further away from the luxury tax line this year — they had been just $1.3 million below the line. They are now $5.6 million below it. Exum is making $9.6 million this year and next year, so Cleveland does have less cap space to work with next summer now.
Additionally, the Cavs have a $3.83 million trade exception to work with now.
The trade has not been confirmed by either team.