TORONTO — The Utah Jazz bench has struggled for much of the season, but former first-round draft pick Dante Exum, has still not been part of a possible solution.

Exum played 11 minutes in Sunday’s loss to Toronto, but he didn’t even enter the game until the start of the fourth quarter, when the game had been long decided. He showed flashes, with a season-high nine points on 3-of-4 shooting, but he also committed three turnovers. 

“When Dante came back last year, there was a stretch of nine or 10 games where he didn’t play a lot, but he continued to compete and continued to work. Those opportunities present themselves in many different forms, and I’m excited to have him back. He makes our team better as he continues to do what he’s doing.” — Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder

Since returning to the lineup on Nov. 18 against Minnesota, when he played 14 minutes and scored two points, the oft-injured guard saw his minutes dwindle prior to Sunday’s contest. The next game against Minnesota he played eight minutes, then six against Golden State and five against New Orleans. He never left the bench at Milwaukee, then played three minutes against Indiana and four minutes against Memphis Friday night.

In the latter game, Exum played well, scoring five points on a 3-pointer and a dunk off a lob by Royce O’Neale, which coach Quin Snyder acknowledged, saying, “Dante played really well last game.”

However, Snyder wouldn’t say why Exum didn’t return for the second half or why he’d only averaged about five minutes per game in the past six games. 

“When Dante came back last year, there was a stretch of nine or 10 games where he didn’t play a lot, but he continued to compete and continued to work,” he said. “Those opportunities present themselves in many different forms, and I’m excited to have him back. He makes our team better as he continues to do what he’s doing.”

Snyder did indicate there’s no restriction on Exum’s minutes as he recovers from his knee injury that sidelined him for eight months.

“I try not to discuss minutes limitations — he’s healthy, and we’re happy to have him back.”