(Photo by Kelly Kline/Getty Images)
It is no secret that Australian phenom Dante Exum is infatuated with the city of Los Angeles, the Lakers organization and Kobe Bryant. He’s been working out in Los Angeles and has attended a few Lakers’ home games this season. With the NBA season soon coming to an end and the time where teams will begin evaluating the talent that has made itself available for the June 26th NBA Draft is just around the corner.
There is some speculation that Dante Exum and his agent, Rob Pelinka, who is also Kobe Bryant’s agent, might make a move to ensure that he falls to the Lakers draft spot, wherever that might end up. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported the following in his most recent draft board:
“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.”
Back in 1996, Kobe Bryant and his agent at the time, Art Tellem, did what some worry Exum might attempt to do in this year’s draft, manipulate his way to his desired location. Back then, once camp Kobe got wind that the Lakers were interested, they threatened to play overseas if any team took him before the 13th pick which is where the Charlotte Hornets were drafting for the Lakers. The plan worked and Kobe fell to the Lakers at 13 and the rest is Hall of Fame history.
That same game plan might not work for Camp Exum this time around. In the same piece by Chris Mannix, he reports that a few GMs aren’t going to be dissuaded so easily this time around.
“two executives from lottery teams said that wouldn’t stop them from drafting Exum if he’s available. “
At this point it is still unclear how high Exum is on the Lakers draft board and if the Lakers would even be interested in taking him with what will end up being a very high pick in the upcoming draft.
The draft will be deep with young talent and the Lakers might have their eye on other players, such as Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or Joel Embiid. We’ll no more about exactly how high Exum ranks on teams’ draft boards as we get closer to the draft and he’s had a chance to go through some private workouts with teams and participate in camps where his measurables will be documented.
What we are learning now though, is if Exum’s stock rises beyond the Lakers draft position, a move ala 1996 team Kobe likely won’t work this time around.
Who knows, Exum might even lose interest in Los Angeles. A recent 5.1 earthquake sure didn’t help in wooing Exum on the idea of Los Angeles.
Just witnessed my first earthquake… had no idea what was happening. #takemebacktoaus
— Dante Exum (@daanteee) March 29, 2014
A lot of things can happen in the next 3 months leading up to the draft and we’ll be following along the entire way.
– Fern Rea
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