The Utah Jazz are adding another scoring guard to their backcourt to play alongside Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was first to report on Monday that Utah traded Dante Exum to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Jordan Clarkson. Brian Windhorst of ESPN noted the Jazz also sent a 2022 San Antonio Spurs second-round pick and a 2023 Golden State Warriors second-round pick to Cleveland in the deal. The Jazz confirmed the deal on Tuesday morning.
This is the second time Clarkson has been traded in three seasons, as he came to Cleveland as part of the package that brought Isaiah Thomas to the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2017-18 campaign.
Bobby Marks of ESPN pointed out there is a trade history in place between the two organizations:
Cleveland is already in rebuilding mode at 8-21 and got something in return for Clarkson, who is scheduled to be a free agent following the season. While Exum has not lived up to expectations since the Jazz selected him with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, he is only 24 years old and under contract through the 2020-21 campaign.
Injuries have been a constant story in his career, and he is averaging 2.2 points and 0.6 assists behind 43.5 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent shooting from deep in 11 games this season.
Clarkson joining the Jazz is the bigger storyline in this deal considering they are in the middle of the Western Conference playoff race and now have another ball-handler while Conley deals with hamstring issues.
The University of Missouri product is averaging 14.6 points, 2.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game this season while shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from deep. He can take advantage of the additional attention Mitchell receives and hit open shots on the wing.
He should also be comfortable anchoring the second unit if needed seeing how he hasn't started a game since the 2017-18 season.
Clarkson won't swing a playoff series single-handedly, but he gives Utah another offensive playmaker in the backcourt who should fit in alongside its other ball-handlers.