Lakers NBA Draft Prospect Watch: Dante Exum

adidas NationsWhen it comes to international prospects, most casual NBA fans tend to take them with a grain of salt. Especially this year in what is a loaded freshman class, one player has been overlooked for the past 6 months, and that is Australian point guard Dante Exum.

Exum announced this week that he would enter the upcoming NBA draft, and now is viewed as perhaps the top point guard option over Marcus Smart. The 6-foot- 6 lead guard is already 18 years old and NBA GM’s have been impressed with him for quite some time now. He handled the ball the last two years in the FIBA World Championships and had a strong performance in April’s Nike Hoop Summit.

If your team is in the market for a point guard, this is your guy. Long, athletic and very bouncy, Exum can be the face of your franchise for the upcoming 12 years. He has everything you need in someone to carry your franchise. He can score the ball at will, makes solid decisions and can run a team.

Exum has the type of game that will wow you, but doesn’t try to make highlight reel plays constantly. He is also under control, even for always being the quickest player on the court. If he wants to beat his defender to the rim, he will.

One of the biggest attributes a point guard can have is the ability to change speeds. We see it with Chris Paul on a routine basis, and this is exactly what Exum has as well. He can stop on a dime and pull up for a mid range jump shot, or blow by you for a finish.

Every point guard needs to be a willing passer and make his teammates better, and Exum does this well. Although he is always in attack mode, he has solid court vision and has no problem setting up his teammates for easy jumpers or dunks.

The one negative you could say about Exum is he has an inconsistent jump shot. He’s not the type of player that will rise up and hit triple after triple on you, but the good part is he is definitely improving. At his current level he hasn’t had to shoot the ball too much due to his quickness, but at the next level this is something to improve on.

Exum isn’t the strongest guard, and has a bit of a slight frame. He has been able to finish at the rim well, but against grown men in the NBA he will need to improve his strength.

If I’m picking a point guard in the June draft, Exum would be the guy. He is a natural leader and hard worker, who never gives up on plays. His desire to win is always evident.

The Lakers haven’t had this type of talent at the one in ages, so if GM Mitch Kupchak wants to be set with his leader after the Kobe Bryant era, Exum wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
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