In a bit of a surprise, Australian point guard Dante Exum was still on the board when the Utah Jazz made the fifth-overall pick and they did not hesitate to scoop him up. Many figured the Orlando Magic would select him with the fourth-overall pick and after former Kansas Jayhawks’ center Joel Embiid’s foot injury was revealed, there was speculation he’d go even higher.
Although he is extremely talented, Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders doesn’t believe Exum will be a candidate to win the Rookie of the Year Award.
Specifically, his defensive execution, although he has talent in that area, is likely going to be totally lacking. He also struggles to shoot right now (although I think he’ll get better), so playing him together with Burks looks a little dicey. He also struggled with pressure in summer league when guys got into him, and he may need to be protected from certain high-pressure defenders if he is playing the point until he tightens up his handle a bit. (It should be noted that with people going crazy trying to make teams, ball pressure is one of the few areas where summer league can actually be harder than regular season NBA game.)
So I think Exum showed some fantastic vision in the summer league, but it’s hard to see him getting the minutes for ROY compared to someone like Jabari or Wiggins, who are going to basically get handed the keys with a starting position and plenty of shots.
Exum measured in at 6’6 and 196 lbs. with a wingspan of 6’9.5 at the NBA’s Scouting Combine. Exum was ranked by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express as the fifth-best prospect in the draft.
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