NBA: Aussie G Dante Exum Declares for 2014 NBA Draft

Australian phenom Dante Exum, a 19-year-old, 6'6" guard, has declared for the 2014 NBA Draft.

Jan 28 2014, 11:16pm CST | by

NBA: Aussie G Dante Exum Declares for 2014 NBA Draft
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Australian phenom guard Dante Exum has declared for the 2014 NBA Draft. 

Exum, together with his family and agent, confirmed his draft commitment to ESPN on Jan. 28. ESPN's Chad Ford, who reports the Aussie teen has hired Rob Pelinka and Brandon Rosenthal of Landmark Sports Agency to represent him, cites a statement from Exum and his parents, Cecil and Desiree.  

"We are excited to be working with Landmark Sports. Our family felt the Landmark Team represented our style and manner of treating people, and in doing businesses. We also all shared a common commitment to achieving excellence in all things. The fit is just great and we are reallly pleased to now begin the work." 

For his part, Pelinka, a former Michigan Wolverine, said he and his agency are thrilled to have Exum on board. 

"We are thrilled and honored to be working with Dante and his family. As the NBA continues to expand its brand around the world, we feel like Dante's international story comes at a perfect time. We also believe that, with continued hard work and focus, Dante is destined to be a 'franchise' point guard in this next generation of NBA players."

According to Roy Ward of The Sydney Morning Herald, Exum is projected to be a top-five pick among a strong pool of candidates. Should this prove to be true, he is slated to earn roughly $5 million in the 2014-15 NBA season.

On the other hand, Ford says Exum is currently "No. 4 in ESPN's Top 100, and is ranked as the No. 1 point gurad on ESPN.com's Big Board."

Ward then goes into more detail on how Exum caught the attention of NBA scouts.

"Exam burst onto the scene at last year's Under-19 World Championships, leading the Australian team in scoring with 18.2 points a game.

"He caught the eye of scouts with his quickness and ability to get to the rim, while his 2.02-m wingspan gives him an advantage on the defensive end .

"A couple of cameos off the bench for the Boomers in the Oceania World Championship qualifying series with New Zealand gave Exum the chance to play alongside current NBA players Patty Mills and Aron Baynes, who are both at the San Antonio Spurs."  

Exum is still based in Melbourne but will go to the United States during the months just before the NBA Draft on June 26 to train and work out for different squads, per The Sydney Morning Herald report.

He told Fairfax Media six months ago the Australian national team experience has helped honed his basketball skills in preparation for the NBA.

"It's definitely a great learning experience playing with and against them.

"Stepping up against men day in and day out is a challenge. I mean, all these guys are pros.

"One day that is where I want to get to. This has been great for learning and seeing them every day and now they are treating their bodies. It's a confidence boost to know I can hold my own against them."  

Ward also adds the protege's father, Cecil Exum, is a former National Basketball League (NBL) import. The NBL is the professional basketball league of Australia. 

Cecil Exum's Wikipedia page indicates he was a former North Carolina Tar Heel (1980-84) and an ex-teammate of Michael Jordan and James Worthy. A former ninth-round pick of the Denver Nuggets, he played pro ball in the NBL for the North Melbourne Giants, Melbourne Tigers and Geelong Supercats. 

Aside from Mills and Baynes, Ward confirms there are two more Aussies currently playing in the NBA: Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut and Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova. 

 
 
 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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