Australian guard Dante Exum has officially declared for the 2014 NBA Draft, per a report from Chad Ford of ESPN. The 18-year-old seemed destined for the draft regardless of an official announcement, but he has now filed the paperwork and hired an agent, the same agent as Kobe Bryant and James Harden to be exact.
While there had been rumblings about the talented point guard from down under prior to this summer, his play at offseason tournaments like the Nike Hoop Summit and FIBA U-19 championships really got people talking about just how good he could be on the NBA level.
At the U-19 championships, Exum was a stud. In nine games, the youngster averaged 18.2 points, 3.8 assists, 1.7 steals and only 2.3 turnovers in 29.3 minutes per game while hitting 52.9 percent of his two-point field goal attempts and a decent 33.3 percent of his threes. Oh yeah, he was only 17 years old at the time, as well.
At 6’6” and at the point guard position, Exum has the advantage of having great size at his position. He can play shooting guard as well, but the predominant belief around the NBA is that he’ll be best suited as a big point guard. Like many larger point guards in the league right now, though, Exum does lack a reliable jumper. At his young age, though, that’s certainly something that can be worked with moving forward.
The biggest thing with Exum right now, as he’s projected to be a lottery pick in the 2014 draft, is the mystery surrounding him. Since this summer and since he’s been playing in Australia for his regular season, there hasn’t been much film on the young man. The occasional highlights will hit YouTube and they’re undeniably impressive, but we aren’t getting to see the whole body of work like we would with players playing at the college level in America right now.
From what we’ve seen, though, Exum has the tools and physical gifts to be a successful pro player. In a loaded draft class, there’s a reason why he’s in the mix early in the lottery according to most experts. With that sense of mystery surrounding him, though, you have to wonder which team will be willing to forego taking a player they’ve seen more of and gamble on the mystique surrounding the Aussie prospect.