Exum to put ‘hand up’ for Tokyo Olympics

Australian basketball star Dante Exum is tentatively eyeing off a Boomers return at the 2020 Olympics.

As Andrej Lemanis' side prepare for their World Cup opener against Canada on Sunday, the Utah Jazz guard is pushing for a return to full fitness for the start of the NBA season.



Exum, who signed a three-year, $US 33 million ($A 49 million) contract extension with the Jazz last year, had surgery on a partially torn patella tendon in March.

The injury sidelined him for the rest the 2018-19 NBA season and ruled him out of the World Cup in China.

The 24-year-old says he's spoken to the Jazz about his desire to continue playing for the national team and he has hatched early plans to be part of the Boomers' Olympic campaign in Tokyo.

"I just want to get a healthy season, that's my main focus for now," Exum told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

"But granted, if I'm 100 per cent healthy, I'll definitely put my hand up."

Exum has endured an injury-troubled start to his NBA career after being taken with the fifth pick in the 2014 NBA draft.

He tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee playing for the Australian team in 2015, sidelining him for the 2016 Rio Games, and later underwent shoulder surgery in 2017.

Exum admits it's been a "long summer" of rehabilitation but he's ready to reward the Jazz's patience.

"I feel like I've had the ability to make an impact on this team," he said.

"The Jazz wouldn't keep me around if they didn't think so. They know my abilities and they've seen it when I practice and in my work ethic.

"It's just about getting back on the court."

But Exum will have a battle on his hands for NBA minutes moving forward, with the Jazz acquiring veteran point guard Mike Conley from the Memphis Grizzlies over the off-season.

The Australian recently worked out and chatted with his new teammate at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and is excited to learn from the 12-year pro.

"He's such a good guy and such an underrated player," Exum said.

"He's been hidden away in Memphis a little.

"Hopefully just coming to the Jazz is going to shine a bit of light on him and his abilities."

AAP

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