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Dante Exum downplays report he’s angling to be drafted by Lakers

May 15, 2014, 8:56 PM EDT

Dante Exum Dante Exum

The NBA Draft Combine began in Chicago on Thursday, and perhaps the most attention on day one was paid to Australian prospect Dante Exum.

The 6’6″ point guard hasn’t been seen by many decision makers in person, and his appearance at the combine and willingness to go through the process speaks to the mystery surrounding him, as well as his hope of rising even further up NBA draft boards.

That would seem to be a strategy that would do anything but help the Lakers select him.

Exum signed on with Kobe Bryant‘s agent Rob Pelinka, and has been working out in Los Angeles since just after the All-Star break. It was reported that he may try to force his way to L.A., even though that’s not something that would deter other teams from drafting him in the slightest. But he downplayed that in speaking to reporters.

From the Associated Press:

Exum attended several Lakers games this season and got to meet Kobe Bryant, but he downplayed a report that he would prefer to play for them. He insists he’s most concerned about the fit when it comes to who drafts him.

“Obviously the Lakers are a great organization,” he said. “But I’m in this draft to go to a place I feel best at, that is a good fit for me.”

Simply showing up to the combine makes Exum easy to believe, as the only reason to do so would be to impress teams and to generate a buzz that could help him emerge as one of the top few picks.

Most mocks have Exum going somewhere in the top five, and if the lottery goes according to statistical probability, that would leave the Lakers on the outside, as they would be slotted for sixth. But as Exum has seemed to make clear, he hopes to be selected much higher than that.

  1. mackcarrington - May 15, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    I don’t know how one “angles” to be drafted by a certain team. But perhaps if he just came out and said ” I won’t play for anyone but the Lakers. Otherwise don’t waste your time drafting me.”, teams would avoid him.

    • ranfan12 - May 15, 2014 at 11:41 PM

      maybe they are hoping money may sway his mind

  2. money2long - May 15, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Can’t wait to see this guy play in the league.
    He will be special.
    Mark my words.

    • 00maltliquor - May 16, 2014 at 3:00 AM

      Where/when have you seen him play live? This isn’t a smart-a_ question either, I’m being sincere. Hope you don’t repond Draft Express.

      • 00maltliquor - May 16, 2014 at 3:01 AM


      • money2long - May 16, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        I have an eye for talent.

  3. aboogy123456 - May 15, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    If I was a GM, I would have Exum second on my draft board right now, behind Wiggins. Tuesday is a big day for lakers, because if they get in the top 3 then they should be able to get him, but he won’t be there at pick 6.

    • pharohislife - May 15, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      Tony Romo will.

  4. kb2408 - May 15, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    My LAKERS just gotta get a top 3 pick!!

  5. chicagosports2014 - May 15, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    This dude must got game to bad I never heard of him


    • jonevans511 - May 16, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      Not knowing one of the best talents in the draft says much more about you than him. True he’s an unknown commodity but I’ve seen more than enough tape to know the kid is nice. Can’t argue with Parker whatsoever but don’t sleep on the Aussie.

  6. eugenesaxe1 - May 15, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    He talks like he has a say in where he goes, does he understand how the draft works?

  7. lakerade - May 16, 2014 at 4:40 AM

    I like that he’s a big guard, but I’ll wait for the lottery to get excited or not about him being a Laker.

  8. ravenswhat - May 16, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    He won’t go top 3. Wiggins, Parker, Embiid are a lock there. After that the 4-10 spots are anyone’s guess.

    • spursareold - May 16, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      Two years ago, Sullinger was a lock at #5. Then the physicals were done, and he had red flags for his back. He was drafted at #21.

      Embiid has back issues. He missed time both in HS and last year at Kansas. We don’t know exactly what they are yet, but we will. To say he’s a lock at #3 MAY just be a bit premature.

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