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Report: Dante Exum’s preference to join Lakers wouldn’t prevent other teams from drafting him

Mar 29, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

dante exum eurocamp

Dante Exum is expected to be taken with one of the top five picks in this summer’s draft, but after signing with Kobe Bryant‘s agent and spending his time working out in Los Angeles, reports have surfaced that Exum may try to do what he can to end up with the Lakers.

L.A. is doing its part by continuing to be terrible, thereby increasing the team’s number of ping pong balls in the draft lottery. But beyond landing a higher pick than five, or trading into one of the top two, there’s no way to guarantee that Exum would be available by the time that Lakers pick comes around.

Just how much Exum might do to dissuade others from selecting him remains to be seen, but even if he lets it be known that L.A. is his preferred destination, that wouldn’t by itself prevent other teams from selecting him.

From Chris Mannix of

Exum has been working out in Los Angeles in preparation for the draft. There have been reports that Exum, who is represented by Kobe Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, may be angling for the Lakers to draft him. But two executives from lottery teams said that wouldn’t stop them from drafting Exum if he’s available. Scouts rave about the Australian’s natural talent. Exum can play both guard spots, but his long-term future is likely at shooting guard.

All Exum could really do would be to close up shop so to speak, and refuse private workouts or interviews with teams who are interested in drafting him in hopes that might be enough for them to begin to took somewhere else.

The whole Lakers connection may ultimately be overblown, and Exum may be happy anywhere he ends up. But even if it’s real, it won’t matter one bit if another club sees him as the key piece to its future.

  1. connorchew - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Article To come: although Andrew Wiggins is from Canada and would like to play for toronto, other teams still considering drafting him before the raptors are on the clock.

  2. eugenesaxe1 - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    All it takes is a polite reminder that he plays for whoever drafts him or he doesn’t play in the NBA. EVER.

    • kb2408 - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      In the words of Steven A. Smith, “Oh, please!!” I guess you’ve never heard of Eli Manning, Deon Sanders, Kobe Bryant or John Elway?! Those are just a few of the players that dictated where they would, or would not, play going into the draft. No team wants a disgruntled player on their roster.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Mar 29, 2014 at 11:39 PM

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t all those you mentioned traded for packages the drafting team considered favorable? (Maybe not Elway, but the others)

        Meaning team A drafts the kid and sits on his rights until LA comes up with a favorable package. And at the moment, LA has jack worth having in a trade.

        Players can only dictate when the teams let them. You draft Exum, tell him he plays for you or he plays in Russia, he’ll play for you.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 30, 2014 at 6:56 AM

        Or Spain, or China, or in any of the other countries where they pay for top level talent. There’s a real opportunity cost to the team, not getting anything out of a top-five pick. If an player (especially an international player) has no issues playing abroad, it gives him a great deal of leverage over the team.

  3. fotydaze - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    Who is he?

  4. aboogy123456 - Mar 30, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Exum reminds me of a young kobe bryant. Guard with crazy athleticism and gumption. Similar to kobe, he grew up around basketball because his dad played overseas. I would love to see him in LA so he can get mentored by Kobe, he will be a star.

    • sportsfan18 - Mar 30, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      I hope he ends up on the Lakers too, because he’ll be a bust…

      • musician0785 - Mar 30, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        nice to see you can say anything besides “Kobe’s contract blah blah blah”…… do you know he will be a bust?……….most people have never seen him play, and all there is available on the internet is highlight clips,…..your Laker hate is showing, pull ya skirt down

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 30, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        How do I know he’ll be a bust?

        Because Kobe would be his mentor… that’s why…

      • ranfan12 - Mar 30, 2014 at 5:44 PM

        I don’t understand how kobe being his mentor would equate to him being a bust. Even a worst case scenario would have him being better than Kwame

  5. csbanter - Mar 30, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Kobe did the same thing in 1996. The Hornets were held at gunpoint by team Kobe. The worst team should get #1 automatically. Commish Silver needs to address this. Besides that Kobe is not the mentoring type.

    • therealhtj - Mar 30, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      They used to give the #1 overall to the worst team – the tank fest that ensued resulted in the lottery system.

  6. JMClarkent - Mar 30, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    I wonder how things go if he is on the board and the Lakers go elsewhere?

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