Report: Dante Exum likely to earn Cavs’ backup point guard role

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff revealed that Dante Exum has earned the team’s backup point guard spot.

“I think he’s earned that for sure,” Bickerstaff said when asked if Exum is the team’s backup point guard.

Exum was solid in the Cavs’ second preseason game against the Indiana Pacers.

The 25-year-old scored a game-high 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and also hit three 3-pointers.

After the game, Bickerstaff had some praise for Exum.

“We talked about him being a two-way player. We talked about him putting pressure on the rim. I think we saw that tonight,” Bickerstaff said. “Defensively being active, getting deflections, being versatile on that end, able to guard multiple positions. But for us, offensively, he brings a pace to the game. Dante is really fast. With his size, he’s long and able to finish in traffic. He brings us a versatility that allows us to do other things with our guards.”

The Cavs acquired Exum last season in a trade with the Utah Jazz.

He appeared in 24 games for the Cavs, making one start. He averaged 5.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game for Cleveland last season.

Exum is in a contract year and will likely try to prove that he deserves a long-term deal either with the Cavs or elsewhere this season.

The No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Exum is still trying to find his footing in the NBA.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.