Dante Exum declares for ’14 Draft – Magic target?
It was learned today that Austrailian PG/SG, Dante Exum has signed with an agent and will forego playing college basketball in the United States. Exum, who graduated from high school in December, will be immediately eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft.
Exum is considered a combo guard and will be in the running with Marcus Smart, Gary Harris and anyone else who makes a late Oladipo-esque surge up draft boards to be the first guard taken in this years draft. At 6’6″, he is already drawing lots of comparisons to both Penny Hardaway (ceiling) and Michael Carter-Williams. At this point, Exum is probably a lock to be a top-5 pick in the draft and with strong workouts could shoot even higher. It will be interesting to see how much exposure Exum’s agent allows him to have and if they will limit head-to-head workouts. His agent, shared with Kobe Bryant, James Harden and others is notorious for holding out draft prospects and letting a market create itself for his clients. i.e. Dion Waiters going 4th overall in 2012.
Exum signing w/Pelinka (Dion Waiters’ agent) almost assuredly means NBA teams will be seeing very little (if at all) of him until draft time.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) January 28, 2014
The biggest question mark will obviously be the level of competition he has faced – look at that video… some of the kids look like they’d struggle to start for a U.S. middle school team. But his size, and the added bulk you can see in his newest video, can’t be replicated. There is a lot of talk regarding the defensive nightmare that a Marcus Smart and Victor Oladipo backcourt could cause, but an Exum/Oladipo backcourt could have a significantly higher upside. 6’6″ point guards create nightmares all on their own.
While it seems unlikely the Magic would take Exum over Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or even Joel Embiid - he is absolutely a player that fans should monitor throughout the draft process. With strong enough combine workouts and individual workouts, Exum even has the potential to surpass the names you’ve seen all year.
You can read more about Exum and watch his Hoop Summit workout videos on DraftExpress.