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Utah’s Dante Exum could miss season with separated shoulder, ligament damage

Sydney Kings v Utah Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 2: Dante Exum #11 of the Utah Jazz brings the ball up court against the Sydney Kings at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 2, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

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Dante Exum missed his entire sophomore NBA campaign after he tore his ACL in workouts with the Australian national team. With George Hill gone in Utah, this was the year the Jazz hoped to see Exum break out, getting steady minutes behind Ricky Rubio. Exum showed promise in the playoffs last season and through the summer.

Instead, he could miss the entire season again.

Exum could miss significant time, maybe the entire season, after suffering a serious shoulder injury while driving the lane during a Friday night during an exhibition game, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

After the game, Utah coach Quin Snyder said, “If you saw his shoulder, it didn’t look good.”

An MRI revealed a separated shoulder and ligament damage, and Jazz officials and doctors are conferring Saturday to discuss a plan of action on recovery and rehabilitation, league sources said.

This is a blow for Exum, the former No. 5 pick, who now has had a couple serious injuries, but both fluke one-time plays not chronic issues.

If Exum is out for the season, the Jazz could apply for a disabled player exception, reports Bobby Marks of ESPN.

Utah would be eligible to apply for the Disabled Player Exception if Dante Exum is ruled out for the season. The exception would be worth $2.5M and the Jazz would need to clear a roster spot to use. Utah would only be allowed to sign, acquire in a trade or claim a player on the last year of their contract.

The Jazz also could waive another guaranteed player (they have 15, the max) and keep Raul Neto on the roster. Before the injury, Neto was expected to be cut.

Whatever the Jazz decide this likely means more of rookie Donovan Mitchell getting minutes behind Rubio, which could be a good thing for the Jazz long term.