2. Secondary Playmaking
As previously mentioned, the Mavs possess a dearth of guard depth. Although the Mavs employ a top-tier guard tandem in Irving and Doncic, the only other guards on the roster are Jaden Hardy, Curry, and Exum. Hardaway Jr. or Green could be considered a guard, but will likely spend time at small forward.
Hardy and Curry are shoot-first players. Curry has averaged 2.1 assists per game for his career, while Hardy averaged 1.4 assists per game in his rookie season.
Both Dallas reserve guards are capable as secondary playmakers, but will surely look to score in their minutes off the bench. Curry is a remarkable shooter, who has never shot below 40 percent from three. Hardy is a versatile scorer who can get to the rim, create space in the mid-range, and shoot it from deep.
The Mavs are in need of a guard who can pilot the offense while Irving and Doncic rest. Furthermore, Irving isn't the most reliable player, as he has averaged only 41 appearances over the past four seasons.
Exum may be just that for Dallas, a player who can man the helm in minutes where Irving and Doncic are absent. Playing for Partizan, Exum handled the ball as a lead guard. Also, in FIBA competition, Exum averaged the third most assists playing for Aussies 3.0, behind fellow NBAers Patty Mills and Josh Giddey.
While Exum may not be the most exceptional playmaker, he doesn't have to be one. Playing behind Doncic and Irving, Exum will only be tasked with handling the ball in short spurts and setting up premier shooting threats and athletic forwards and bigs.