SALT LAKE CITY — Finally, there was a Dante Exum sighting as the fourth-year point guard from Australia was seen at Jazz practice Saturday afternoon talking with coach Quin Snyder. Exum injured his right shoulder eight days earlier when Phoenix’s T.J. Warren fell on him in a preseason game at Vivint Arena.
But no news about Exum’s status was given by Jazz officials as to whether he’ll have surgery or when he might be back. Exum was not wearing a sling, indicating that he hasn't already had surgery.
Snyder acknowledged Exum being present Saturday and said he was merely watching practice, saying, “He’s watching practice, yeah, he’s here watching.”
When asked what the two were talking about, Snyder said, “Just talking about private personal stuff, something about the game. I’m not going to go through all my conversations. I’m not going to tell you what I talked to my wife about this morning.”
But Snyder did offer this about Exum:
“More than anything, wherever this injury goes, he’s ready to attack it. Whether there’s some decisions made about how to proceed, whatever that decision happens to be, he’s going to be as aggressive and committed as he can be to the recovery process.”
RULES CHANGE: The biggest rules change in the NBA this year concerns timeouts, which have been reduced in order to improve game flow. Instead of a possible nine timeouts per game, teams can only call seven timeouts, all of which will be 75 seconds long, and only two instead of three can be taken in the final three minutes.
The new rules will have an effect on coaches more than anyone, and Snyder discussed what effect they might have.
“The purpose of the rule is to shorten the game on some level,” he said. “Teams are going to have to be able to execute during the flow of the game, because you lose that timeout. At the end of the game when you have three seconds on the clock and you don’t have a timeout to advance the ball, it’s makes it difficult to get a good shot on your out of bounds.
“You’re going to see a lot of things like that — you’ll see strategy kind of evolving as people get more comfortable. Coaches will figure out, sometimes the hard way, sometimes reinforcing things that work out, but guys will be prepared to adjust to it.”
PRETTY PLEASED: Snyder said nothing has surprised him about newcomer Ricky Rubio, but he has been pleased with everything he’s seen so far.
“The one thing you never know about a player is his willingness to work,” Snyder said. “He’s probably better on the ball defensively than we thought and we thought he was pretty good. That’s been something he’s taken a lot of pride in. In the gym he’s taking time to improve. There’s a plan for him, and he’s embraced it.”
JAZZ NOTES: The Jazz waived two players Saturday, former Iowa State standout Nazaraeth Mitrou-Long and former Dayton star Kendall Pollard, who was signed just the day before. Following the moves, the Jazz roster stands at 18 players and must get down to 15 by opening day. The Salt Lake Stars, the Jazz’s G League affiliate, announced they had re-acquired player rights to guard Aaron Craft and a 2018 second-round draft pick in exchange for Tyrone Wallace, who started 18 games for the Stars last year. The Jazz were not practicing Sunday, but are expected to practice Monday and Tuesday before their season-opener Wednesday night against Denver at Vivint Arena at 7 p.m. After Wednesday's game, the Jazz will go to Minnesota for a game Friday night before returning home to play Oklahoma City Saturday night.