Salt Lake City — The loss of Dante Exum to injury sent ripples throughout the Jazz lineup that will be felt on both sides of the ball.
The opportunities for Trey Burke and Raul Neto, the only pure point guards left on the roster, have grown exponentially.
Burke, a former Michigan star, gets his starting job back and has a chance to wash away the unpleasantness of the 2014-15 season. Exum suffered a torn ACL over the summer.
Burke’s shooting percentage plummeted as the top scoring threat off the bench.
Part was shot selection, part was Burke being left with the ball in his hands late in the shot clock.
Going into his third year, many expect the ninth player taken in the 2013 draft to come into his own soon. Pistons fans can find out Wednesday, when the Jazz play the Pistons at The Palace.
“It’s just a matter of getting better every day,” said Burke, who acknowledged there’s more responsibility with the roster as is. “By nature I’m a scorer, but I think the game’s opening up so much for me that I’m realizing I can get others involved and just let the game come to me.
“I’m going to get shots throughout the game. Guys finding me, me coming off the screen, transition.
“But I think the more I’m able to get in the paint, find other guys for open shots, the easier it makes my job.”
Neto’s minutes as the third guard were likely to be limited at best beforehand.
No Exum and no fourth point guard shows the trust the Brazilian rookie has gained in a short time.
Neto said he’s been prepared for whatever role and however many minutes are sent his way.
LeBron James says his back feels good and he will be active for the Cavaliers’ season opener tonight in Chicago.
... A video game simulation of the NBA season predicts a repeat of last season’s finals, only with Golden State needing seven games to beat Cleveland this time.
... NBA coaches will wear lapel pins with the word Flip to honor former Pistons coach Flip Saunders, who died Sunday.
... Star Kobe Bryant is still expected to play in the Lakers’ season opener after being slowed by a bruised leg for two weeks. He participated in most of the Lakers’ practice Monday.
... Metta World Peace earned a spot on the Lakers’ roster after 19 months out of the league.
... Indiana waived guard Toney Douglas and rookie forward Terran Petteway to get down to the NBA’s 15-player roster limit.
... The Jazz waived guards Eric Atkins and Phil Pressey.
... The Mavericks waived rookie forward Maurice Ndour to get their roster down to 15 for the regular season.
... The Nets waived Dahntay Jones and Justin Harper to get their roster down to 15.
... The Bucks exercised third-year contract options on forward Jabari Parker and guard Tyler Ennis and fourth-year options on guard Michael Carter-Williams and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
... The Suns exercised their 2016-17 options on center Alex Len, forward T.J. Warren and guard Archie Goodwin.