Rumors have been swirling around today that 2014 NBA Draft prospect Dante Exum may attempt to force his way to the Los Angeles Lakers. This sort of thing would be difficult to control, mainly because players cannot decide where they will be picked in the draft. Secondly, who knows if Los Angeles wants to pick Exum, since the team will likely end up in possession of a top five pick this year.
Any Lakers fan cannot speak about this story without remembering how Kobe Bryant forced his way to the Lakers subsequent to being drafted by the Charlotte Hornets years ago. Bryant basically went out a told the franchise that he would rather play overseas than play for the Hornets at the time. Obviously this turned out to be a fantastic move by the Lakers by acquiring Bryant, but not so good for Charlotte, as they barely received anything back in return.
Exum is certainly an intriguing player, being a 6-foot-6 point guard, but predicting how he will adjust to the NBA is just about impossible. The Australian’s name has been mentioned with other big named prospects such as Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, however, people must remember that Exum has not played college basketball. The point has not showcased his talent against some of the current top prospects either. He is a foreign player and history has proven that foreign players are usually a hit or miss.
Teams can’t forget the disastrous move we were all witness to when the Detroit Pistons selected Darko Milicic ahead of players like Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Possessing a top draft pick is something that most teams cannot afford to botch. Franchises receive that pick because they are rebuilding to compete again, so any selection that high in the draft is crucial for the team moving forward. Therefore, the Lakers are way better off taking a safer pick like an Embiid or Parker.
Nothing against foreign players, since we have had so many that have found success in this league, but the competition is simply different in other countries. Places that are not globally recognized for their basketball players usually do not emphasize the sport nearly as much as countries such as the USA or Spain, for example. The competition is not as steep and recruiting the foreign player is impossible. Even if Exum has the desire to be a part of the Lakers, the team must avoid picking him as there are so many alternates this summer.