It will be very surprising if Australian point guard Dante Exum isn’t selected in the top-five of the NBA Draft next week.
Exum is drawing heavy interest from the Milwaukee Bucks, who hold the second-overall pick. The Philadelphia 76ers may select Exum if they can’t get their hands on former Kansas Jayhawks’ forward Andrew Wiggins. The Orlando Magic have liked Exum for some time and there doesn’t seem to be any way he slips by the Utah Jazz at five.
Why is that? As Baxter Holmes of Tne Boston Globe explains, Exum has wowed scouts at times and made a big impression at the under-19 World Championships.
“You’re talking about the kid who, [at] the under-19 World Championships, was the best kid in the tournament, hands down. It’s just a matter of how many people saw him there and how many people are comfortable with that to make a decision on him.
“At the Hoops Summit, he was good, but he wasn’t stellar. He was the youngest guy in the game. He’s another kid that was a year younger than everyone else. He’s a talent. I think teams might be sleeping on him as far as what he potentially could be.”
But one Eastern Conference scout said the issue of what position Exum plays is the “million-dollar question.”
“What is he going to be?” asked the scout. “Are you going to turn him into Russell Westbrook? Or is he going to be Thabo Sefolosha?”
Exum measured in at 6’6 and 196 lbs. with a wingspan of 6’9.5 at the NBA’s Scouting Combine. Exum is ranked by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express as the fifth-best prospect in the draft.