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Likely top-10 pick Dante Exum signs with adidas

Apr 17, 2014, 7:05 PM EDT

Essendon Bombers Media Opportunity Getty Images

Dante Exum is a prospect that intrigues a lot of fans, mostly because those fans haven’t seen him play. We’ve seen Andrew Wiggins disappear during games, we’ve seen Jabari Parker‘s defensive issues. Exum is the unknown and we can project what we want into that void.

Exum, a 6’6″ combo guard from Australia and played in his native land, is working out in Los Angeles under the watchful eye of Rob Pelinka (Kobe Bryant‘s agent). Exum has flashed real potential in settings like the Nike Hoop Summit and the FIBA U19 World Championships. There are some scouts very high on him, others who think he hasn’t shown he can live up to the hype.

Adidas is betting on him working out — he signed with the shoe company, the company announced.

“I’m really excited to join the adidas family,” Exum said in a released statement. “I’ve had the opportunity to play in adidas Nations in the past and I’ve always liked their shoes and gear. I look forward to what’s to come for me and adidas.”

The book on Exum is that he can create shots and has great athleticism, there’s a lot of potential, but his jump shot needs considerable work. He’s a bit of a project.

If that project  pans out, adidas will have made a smart gamble. Either way it might have been smart to be in on the ground floor.

  1. kb2408 - Apr 17, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    That’s future LAKER Dante Exum!!

  2. ihavenonickname - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Who else has been signed before being drafted like this?

    • sumkat - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:25 AM

      Very few, because it’s not really possible for US players, and there haven’t been many international players with much pre-NBA hype. There where a few when everyone and their mother was coming out of high school (I think LeBron and KG both had deals before they were drafted). But for guys that go to college, you can’t even start to negotiate until you declare, and by that point, it’s close enough that the company will probably want to see what market they are in before they cross the T’s and dot the I’s (Wiggins in LA or Philly is probably going to sell more sneakers than Wiggins in Wisconsin

  3. soundsofsuccess7 - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    Lakers bound

  4. ranfan12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:14 AM


  5. shuttaman1990 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    welp lakers may need to stay away.
    Addidas is toxic and he might already be damaged goods injury wise.
    Lakers all day.

    • bougin89 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      You do realize Kobe was with Adidas, right?

      Bucks all day.

      • shuttaman1990 - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        You do realize that was before players really started to get hurt with addias, and that Kobe didn’t stay with them for long right?
        As of Now Adiddas is the devil.
        Lakers all day.

      • bougin89 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:10 PM

        Oh the irony of your comment… Kobe was hurt wearing Nike’s.

        Bucks all day.

      • shuttaman1990 - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        you do realize that kobe was playing full games with almost no rest which caused his injury right?

      • bougin89 - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        And this matters how?

        Injuries happen to athletes, it’s not related to the shoes they wear.

    • yanivvinay - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:54 AM

  6. sumkat - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:19 AM

    Would’t take him unless I was the Lakers GM, or if the Lakers win the lottery and pass on him. But I’d have no interest in him if it’s just a stop until he gets a chance to leave for LA.

    If the Lakers pick top 3 and don’t take him, and then another team drafts him, that may not be as much of an issue. I think he’s too much of gamble to take top 3 this year with all the talent up there (personally, I wouldn’t consider him until #5 with Randle, Parker, Wiggins and Embiid ahead), but he would be in that 2nd tier of guys. In with Gordon, Ennis, Smart and Vonleh

    • Kurt Helin - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:17 PM

      Exum’s desire to play for the Lakers is vastly overstated by Lakers fans. Trust me. He will play where drafted and likely stay there at least 7 years if he pans out to be any good. Pretty much every guy in the NBA grew up a fan of one team or another but it’s a business once you’re there.

      • sumkat - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:19 PM

        I’ll take your word for it, since I really know nothing about Exum except the little I’ve seen on highlight reels and articles

        But if that’s true, I’d probably put him at #4 (I’m not sold on Embiid) with his upside (again, from the little I’ve seen, I’d have to assume NBA teams have a better scouting reports)

  7. greenejoemean - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    That pic makes it seem like he can potentially be chubby.

  8. saint1997 - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    I would not call Dante a bit of a project Kurt. His jumper is at a similar level to what we saw from MCW – he’s no MKG he can still shoot fairly well

    • Kurt Helin - Apr 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      MCW is still a project.

      • saint1997 - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:57 AM

        Yes he is congratulations. If you are basing jump shots as the only way of defining whether a player is a project then Dwyane Wade is still a ‘project’! Dante’s jumper is at ‘project’ level, but his defence? His passing? His ball handling? I know Dante Exum, I am from Australia and a close friend played with him at the AIS, he is NOT a project and he DOES want to play for the Lakers. Don’t comment on things you don’t know about Kurt – first rule of journalism

      • Kurt Helin - Apr 20, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        So you saw him against inferior talent, that’s great. Doesn’t impact the NBA and I’ll trust the scouts, the real experts that I talk to. Also, wanting to play for the Lakers and going Eli Manning to get there are different things. He will not do that and the owners of other teams would not let him set the precedent. He will go where he is drafted.

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