11 - Dante Exum

6-6, 196 Point Guard/Shooting Guard
Australia International
07/13/95 (24.5 yrs)
East Melbourne, Australia
High School
Australia Institute of Sport
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison: Penny Hardaway/Leandro Barbosa

Strengths: The 18-year-old Aussie is a fluid and versatile athlete, who shows a great deal of potential … Good size for a guard, and should fill out nicely over time …  Excels at getting to the basket and drawing fouls … Finishes through contact and can score with either hand …  Excellent body control allows him to make very acrobatic shots at the rim … Opposing defenders are constantly off-balance due to his effective hesitation moves and explosive first step …  Moves well without the ball – makes good use of screens and does it at a relatively high rate of speed … Can create scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates … Just scratching the surface in certain areas of his game – effective at making floaters, shooting off the step-back and posting up, but does not use these skills very often … Improving as an outside shooter – smooth and elevates well off the dribble … Very versatile – used at the 1, 2, and 3 spots … An active and alert team defender – his length and speed allows him to cover a lot of ground … Comes up with a lot of steals and loose balls … Does a little bit of everything, and is willing to do whatever is needed to win, including setting screens and mixing it up in the paint … A good kid – is coachable, affable, grounded, humble, and intelligent …
Weaknesses: Level of competition is the biggest knock against Exum. He has not proven himself against a high enough level of competition to make anyone feel completely comfortable drafting him in the top 5 … Some of his best performances have come in games (Under 19 World Championships) where he appeared to be one of the most physically advanced players … Playing for the Australian National Team, he was given free reign to create offense for himself. Can he be as succesful without being given the same level of freedom? … Exum has played off the ball a lot, and he doesn’t appear ready to be a true point guard … His handle is loose at times – has the ball poked away too often and occasionally fumbles when changing hands or directions … Not an exceptional facilitator – makes too many ill-advised passes … Inconsistent outside shot – does not always get enough elevation and has a low release point, especially when his feet are set (catch-and-shoot) …  Trajectory on his shot appears flat at times … Settles for long-distance threes too often … Not vertically explosive and struggles to finish with authority. For a player who thrives off of beating defenders off the dribble, his lack of ability to explode and finish with the best of them is concerning … Tends to drive to the left and shoot with his right … Struggles at the free-throw line, shooting around 65% in International competitions … Can he develop his body and become a tough player capable of finishing with contact?
Notes: Exum’s father played on UNC’s 1982 national championship team with Michael Jordan … Attended the Australian Institute of Sport, an elite high school for gifted athletes, which has produced NBA players such as Andrew Bogut and Patty Mills …  At 15, Exum became the youngest player to ever be on the Australian national team. The head coach of that squad at the time was Brett Brown, the current coach of the 76ers …  Exum was named to the All-Tournament Team at both the U–17 and U–19 World Championships in 2012 and 2013, respectively … Led Australia to the semifinals in the 2013 U–19 World Championships. In 9 games, he averaged 18.2 points, 3.8 assists, and 1.7 steals per contest…  Played for the international select team at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit.  Helped his team to a victory over a US squad led by Jabari Parker and Julius Randle, with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and one block …  Displayed his speed, quickness, and agility at the NBA Combine in the lane agility (2nd overall), shuttle (6th overall), and sprint (8th overall) drills.
Outlook:  We have seen enough of Exum to know that he is one of the best under-20 players in the world, but he still has quite a ways to go before becoming a star in the NBA…  The areas that he needs to focus on are his ball-handling, decision-making, and outside shooting, especially if he wants to reach his goal of being a Derek Rose-like point guard…  The potential is there, so much so, that he will likely be drafted ahead of a number of players who are more NBA-ready.

Richard Harris 6/1/14

Strengths: Lightning quick combo guard with a deadly first step … Plays an incredibly controlled and smooth game, especially considering he is routinely the quickest guy on the court … Gets where he wants to off the dribble at will; has good ability to change direction … Very positive reports about his leadership ability, strong character, and work ethic … An unselfish and heady player … Has an uncanny ability to draw fouls, both in the open- and half-court…At 6’6" is more than capable of playing both guard positions; "natural" position may actually be PG… A good and willing passer… Has great length … Can score in a variety of ways around the basket … Has good finishing ability … Good overall feel for the game … One of the top prospects not just in Australia, but in the world … Strong character kid, with strong desire to win and improve his game …

Weaknesses: An inconsistent, but improving, shooter. Shot tends to be flat and needs more arch  … Slight build, will need to work on absorbing contact on both ends of the floor … Although a strong on-ball defender, strength may be an issue, as he does not fight through screens effectively … Does not currently have much of a mid range game to speak of, although it is easy to make the argument he has no opportunity to show one given how easily he gets to the rack …

Notes: Had a dominant performance for Australia at 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague … Has the option to declare for the 2014 NBA draft, but is likely to play NCAA ball first; Indiana University is currently thought to be atop his list … His father, Cecil Exum, grew up in North Carolina; after winning a NCAA championship alongside Michael Jordan at UNC, Cecil moved to Australia to play professional basketball … Currently attends the Australian Institute of Sport, where he will graduate in November, 2013. This is the same institution that produced fellow Aussies Luc Longley, Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, and Matthew Dellavedova …

Drew Wolin 7/27/13

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