Dante Exum, a 6’6 point guard from Australia, declared for the 2014 NBA draft this morning. ESPN projects him to be a top 5 pick, right behind Wiggins, Embiid, Parker, and Randle. Now, Dante Exum can either be a huge bust or a steal. I am here to help decide between the two.
Before we get into Dante, let’s talk about Dante Exum’s dad, Cecil Exum, who played for North Carolina in the 80’s with none other then Michael Jordan. After graduating from UNC, Cecil decided to play international ball in Sweden and in Australia. After his career in Australia’s NBL, he decided to raise his kid, Dante, there and teach him the game of basketball.
He is 6’6” with a 6’9” wingspan, which allows him to finish over taller players. This creates many match up problems for his opponents because he is faster than most forwards, and taller than most guards. His size also allows him to have a strong post game. He knows how to push up against his opponent and make a move to score. He also knows how the crash the glass. He is a good rebounder for his position on both sides of the court. His size also gives him an advantage as a defender. His size/length limits vision for his opponents. His size also allows him to defend multiple positions. Even though he is tall, he is very quick laterally which allows him to slide with fast PGs.
Dante carries the Australian offense as a scorer and a distributor. In the FIBA U19 World Tournament he averaged 25 points and 5 assists per 40 minutes. He attacks the rim and gets to the free throw often. He gets very creative in ISO and P/R situations also. He breaks defenders down with dribble moves, and then gets into the paint and makes plays. In transition, he uses his speed to push the ball in transition, which is 16.2% of his offense. During transition plays and ISO situations, his first step is very effective. In almost every sport, having a strong first step gives you a huge advantage. It is very important for wide receivers and point guards to be able to change speeds to draw their defenders off their tail. Along with his speed, his crossover allows him to get past defenders.
For the age of 18, he has a very high IQ and level of development. He knows how to make moves off the ball such as back cuts. He is also unselfish offensively, as he will make the extra pass sees the floor well, gets his teammates involved. His extra pass, makes him a great playmaker, as well as improves his IQ. His court vision is impeccable, especially on fast breaks.
He has potential to become a good perimeter shooter, but he is inconsistent as he shoots a terrible 61% from the line. He also struggles of the dribble shooting only 17%. He needs to get more arc on his shot, and needs to have more balance when he shoots the rock. Also, when he shoots the ball there are times when he releases the ball way too late
Dante Exum needs to find his point guard skills because he still averages 3 turnovers per 40 minutes, and this isn’t even collage level. He has a tendency to loose control and is loose with the basketball. He is very unselfish which is awesome, but sometimes his extra pass turns into a turnover.
There are times that he settles for tough contested jumpers. This is an often problem for young players. He needs to a better job picking spots, and using his speed. He often just throws up the ball, when there are many other options he can turn too.
Dante Exum is only 188 pounds. He is gaining weight, but he would benefit from more muscle. He doesn’t shy away from contact, but with added weight it will improve his rebounding skills. With more weight added, it can expand on his defense, allowing him to guard some small forwards, and shooting guards.
Dante Exum will join the NBA this summer but will he make his mark on history? Comment your opinion on Dante Exum below, and stay tuned for my article next week.
Twitter Handle: icapell98