2014 NBA Draft Prospect Evaluation: Dante Exum

(Photo: Kelly Kline/Getty Images)

We reach the end of our draft profiles for the 2014 NBA Draft which is set to take place tomorrow at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. For our final evaluation we take a look at the Australian phenom, Dante Exum.

Raining3s’ 2014 NBA Draft Evaluation: Dante Exum

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Dante Exum (18 years old, guard, Australian Institute of Sports via Melbourne, Australia)

Physical tools:

Long, lanky guard with large hands. Exum has superb height for a point guard; measured 6 feet, 4.5 inches without shoes at the NBA combine which will allow him to defend either guard positions. Exum possesses a massive wingspan for a guard at 6 feet and 9.5 inches. Exum has large hands which will aid with ball security/control, finishing at the rim and passing. Exum has quite a bit of work to do to fill out his thin frame, weighing in at a mere 196 pounds.

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Athletic ability:

Incredibly quick for a player his size and has great body control. Has great burst from a stand still position which will allow him to blow by most defenders. Will be effective in fast break situations with his elite end to end speed. Exum confirmed his great straight line speed by clocking the fastest time (tied with Zach LaVine)  in the Three Quarter Sprint at the NBA combine. While Exum is quick, he lacks vertical explosiveness which will cause difficulties finishing around the basket and getting off his perimeter shot over defenders.

Playmaking ability:

Above average. Exum’s good ball handling, quickness and ability to beat his man off the dribble and get in the lane should translate well in the NBA in terms of him being able to get his own shot. However, at this stage his ability to make plays for others is still a question mark. In his very limited play against better competition in international tournaments, he turned the ball over at a high rate and made questionable decisions at times.  In the 2013 FIBA under 19 tournament, although playing much of his time off the ball, Exum did not show to be much of a distributor, averaging 3.8 assists and turned the ball over 2.3 time per game.

Overall passing:

Average. Exum height should provide him an advantage as a point guard with the ability to see over defenses and find the open man. Exum shows flashes of creativity with his passes. His length and large hands will aid him in controlling the ball and executing passes from angles that your typical point guard cannot complete. However, at this point of his development, Exum turns the ball over too frequently, makes incorrect reads with his passes and has yet to produce in setting up teammates consistently to be considered better than average.

 

Outside shooting ability:

Poor. Exum has a low release point and poor form on his shot. Exum has not shown any type of consistency with knocking down shots from the perimeter at an efficient rate. Despite getting plenty of opportunity from the free throw line during the FIBA under 19 tournament in 2013, Exum shot a substandard 60.9 percent from the stripe in 7.1 attempts per game. In the same tournament, he shot 33 percent from behind the 3 point line in 5.7 attempts per game. With Exum lacking much lift on his shot, his low release point will make it difficult for him to get off a clean look on most nights in the NBA.

Ability to get own shot:

Very good. Exum has a great first step and an ability to get in the lane. In his international tournament career he has been able to get to the line or finish at the rim very well due to his great body control and touch around the basket. Exum will need to pack on some weight to be able to absorb contact and have anywhere near the same success at the NBA level. The challenge will also come when defenders give him space to negate his blow by speed and dare him to shoot. Exum will need to develop at least an adequate outside shot so that he can keep defenses honest and maximum his blow-by effectiveness.

Defense:

Exum has great instincts, moves well laterally, is quick, long and has a huge wingspan, all of which are great ingredients for a top notch defender at the NBA level. In his international tournament play Exum was successful in getting hands on ball and nabbing steals, although he often appeared to lack attentiveness on defense. His lack of strength and girth will hurt him when playing against bigger guards.

Basketball IQ and intangibles:

Great. Has a great work ethic and great understanding of the game. His high basketball IQ can be attributed to being the son of former professional basketball player, Cecil Exum who played along side Michael Jordan at North Carolina. Chad Ford of ESPN reported that Exum scored exceptionally well in NBA team’s psychological testing, calling him the smartest player in this draft.

Projected draft position:

3-7

Projected position in the NBA:

PG/SG

Comparable NBA player:

A longer, more fluid Leandro Barbosa or a less explosive Anfernee Hardaway.

 

– Fern Rea

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Writer & NBA fan who’s been hooked since the days of Magic v Bird. Love basketball debates without it ending in a knife fight. My BBall nickname: “Todo El Dia” (All Day.) Hit me up on Twitter @fullcourtfern or Instagram: @raining3sdotcom