“There are still scouts and GMs who swear he’s the best prospect in the draft. Period.” – Chad Ford
Name: Dante Exum
Height: 6-6 Wingspan: 6-9.25 Weight: 188 lbs. Born: July 13, 1995 (Age: 18) School: Australian Institute of Sport
Chad Ford, ESPN
Exum can play both guard positions and has the ideal blend of athleticism and skill. He is very quick with the ball and gets to the rim almost effortlessly. His jump shot is still a work in progress — the primary weakness in his game. If he were playing in the U.S., he would be a contender for the No. 1 overall pick.
Exum’s a big guard and a natural floor general with incredible court vision. Case in point: this spin through a double-team and subsequent one-handed pass from the U17 World Championships in 2012.
As Ford mentioned, he also takes advantage of his great length and takes it inside effortlessly and often. The combination of his lightning quick first step and his superior size helps him get to the rim (and the line) with ease. In addition, his overall quickness separates him on the perimeter and he gets lots of room up top. Defenders sleep on him and his reportedly dicey outside game. If he improves his jumper, look out.
Per Ford, Exum declared for the 2014 NBA Draft and hired Rob Pelinka as his agent. So, barring a last minute mid-June withdrawal, the Aussie phenom is all-in. Ford said in recent chats that the Sixers are high on Exum, but he’s not sure how exactly they rate the Australian combo-guard. Based on what he’s hearing, Wiggins and Parker are 1-2 on the Sixers’ draft board and the rest is unclear.
Exum’s a natural point guard with a skill set not all that different from MCW’s, so it’s not a particularly ideal fit, or so it looks that way at the moment. He might need to play point guard to maximize his strengths — penetrating, driving and kicking, handling the ball, etc.
That doesn’t mean the MCW-Exum duo couldn’t work. Exum has played off-ball a bit in Australia and his performance alongside German point guard Dennis Schroeder during the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit suggests he’s capable as a two. He’s listed as a PG/SG, and is more than capable of playing off the ball.
Not to mention, an MCW-Exum pairing could make for scary good defensive backcourt. Oh man, that wingspan – Exum, like MCW, is magnificent at utilizing his length to disrupt passing lanes and grab steals. That alone could be enough for the Sixers and Brett Brown — a former coach in Australia who also conveniently has a relationship with Exum’s family — to bite.