2014 NBA Draft – Dante Exum
WEIGHT: 196 LBS
NBA PLAYERS COMPARISON: Michael Carter-Williams, Penny Hardaway
Australian draft prospect Dante Exum is arguably one of the best prospects available in the 2014 NBA Draft. He has been bringing his name into discussion over here in the United States for the past few years now and he is now ready for the big stage. It is likely he will be selected within the top five draft picks and the very first point guard taken off the board.
Exum enters the draft this year as a scoring point guard as his label. Since he will be drafted so high, he will probably become an immediate go-to guy on the offensive end. Here is a chart put together by FIBA.com of Exum’s recent stats:
Notable International Competition
|U-17 FIBA WC (2012)||.439||17.2||4.1||2.5||1.1||.17|
|U-19 FIBA WC (2-13)||.446||18.2||3.6||3.8||1.7||.333|
|2013 Nike Hoops Summit||.75||16||3||2||2|| |
Sometimes when scouts hear about a point guard that shoots first and passes second it draws some red flags, not in this case. The 18-year-old Exum is a very fluid and versatile athlete who projects to be a 6-foot-6 point guard. He is very consistent at finishing at the basket and drawing fouls which means he takes advantage of his size and athleticism often by attacking the basket. When it comes to creating opportunities for both himself and his teammates he is the best in the draft class. The fact that he is also capable of hitting floaters consistently, shooting off the step-back and also posting up on smaller guards. The kid can do a little bit of everything on the court and is a very coach-able player.
Dante has shown significant improvements in his outside shooting and if he can improve even more this off-season, he will be very tough to guard. One of the best things for Exum is that since he is so big and versatile he can be used at point guard, shooting guard, and even at the small forward position. On the defensive end, Exum is very active but overall is a much better team defender than on-ball defender. Although, his on-ball defense isn’t stunning he does still manage to record a lot of steals and force loose balls quite often.
The biggest concern for him projecting to the NBA is obviously the level of competition he’s played against. He has not proven himself against a high enough level of competition to make anyone feel completely comfortable drafting him in the top-5. Overseas, some scouts feel Exum has played off-the-ball too often and has yet to prove he is worthy of being selected in the top five as a point guard.
Like I mentioned earlier, his outside shot has a huge question mark and needs some work in order to become a more complete “scoring guard”, as he projects.
The basketball genes are running through his body and that is because of his father who played with the great Michael Jordan at the University of North Carolina. We have all seen Exum play and we know the potential he has as a NBA player, he still has some room for improvement in order to live up to the hype. The three areas he needs to focus on this off-season is ball-handling, outside shot, and his decision making as a point guard. If he can successfully work on those areas the sky is the limit for this kid and he will become a superstar at the next level.