Utah Jazz agree to terms with guards Dante Exum, Raul Neto

Tuesday , July 03, 2018 - 5:33 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz of the 2018-19 season will look much the same as last season.

A day after free-agent big man Derrick Favors agreed to remain in Utah, two guards have done the same. Dante Exum and Raul Neto have reached agreements with the Jazz to back up Ricky Rubio in the guard position.

Exum, who gives Utah some dynamic lineup flexibility, agreed to a three-year contract extension that will be worth around $33 million. The extension was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person with knowledge of the agreement, speaking on condition of anonymity because it remains unsigned with the NBA's offseason moratorium in place until Friday.

Exum, 22, missed all of his sophomore season after tearing his ACL during international play the previous summer, then missed more than 60 games last year after a freak collision in a summer league game resulted in a separated shoulder.

The Australian guard averaged 8.1 points and 3.1 assists in 14 regular-season games last season, then averaged 5.1 points and shot 48.9 percent from the floor in 10 playoff games.

At 6-foot-6, Exum's exceptional length and speed remain a key to Utah's future, if he can stay on the floor.

Neto agreed to sign a two-year contract. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that deal is worth $4.4 million and the second year of the contract is a non-guaranteed team option.

The Brazilian appeared in 41 games last season as Utah's third point guard, averaging 4.5 points and 1.8 assists per contest while shooting 40.4 percent from the 3-point line.

The moves come one day after the Jazz retained the services of its No. 1 free-agent priority by reaching an agreement with the big man Favors.

That deal was two years and $36 million. The Salt Lake Tribune reports the second year of that contract will not be guaranteed.

Favors, a 6-foot-10 forward from Atlanta, turns 27 on July 15 and is entering his ninth NBA season. He averaged 12.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season.

The moves could wrap up Utah’s offseason. Barring something major, the Jazz should guarantee the second-year option of Royce O’Neale’s contract at around $1.4 million. As a rookie last season, O’Neale played in 69 regular-season games and started five in the playoffs, scoring 10 points and grabbing nine rebounds in a first-round game that put Utah up 3-1 against Oklahoma City.

What remains outstanding are the second-year options for big men Jonas Jerebko and Ekpe Udoh. The Jazz could choose not to bring one or both back and pursue a free agent such as Nemanja Bjelica or Jabari Parker.

Reports from the Associated Press contributed to this story.

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