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Draft Profile: Dante Exum

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the individual author and don't represent the opinions of the Celtics front office.

Combine Measurements

Pros/Cons

Why You Might Know Him

Dante Exum has been a mystery to American basketball fans for years. The 6-foot-6 guard is from Australia, meaning Americans have seen nothing more than his short YouTube highlights. Exum did come to the US in 2013 to participate in the Nike Hoop Summit, but other than that, he has been all hype and no live action. That will change next season when he’s playing for an NBA team.

Scouting Report

Film of Exum is extremely limited, but he looks to deserve all of the hype based off of what I’ve seen. He is an incredible athlete who has a game-changing first step. There are not many NBA defenders who would keep this guy in front of them in an isolation situation. His quickness reminds me a lot of Russell Westbrook or a healthy Derrick Rose. At 6-foot-6 with shoes on and with a wingspan greater than 6-foot-9, he possesses imposing size and length for his position. But that size does not slow him down. He is lightning-quick, very slippery and has fantastic body control. He uses his size to his advantage when it comes to surveying the court, including from the post. Exum is extremely agile at both ends of the court; he put up the second-best lane agility time (10.75 seconds) at the Draft Combine. He is intelligent and has great character. He’s wise beyond his years, thanks to a great family and a father who has professional basketball experience. If you knew nothing about Exum and struck up a conversation on the street, you’d be shocked to learn that he is only 18 years old. His jumper will need to improve in the NBA, much like what was required from Westbrook and Rose, to become a star. He does, however, have promising form. He must also add a lot of strength over the next couple of years. As he currently stands, the slightest amount of contact affects him greatly. Nearly any player could knock him off course. Teams will want him to absorb that contact and finish through it rather than get knocked off course.

Biography

Exum may be from Australia, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some American in him. He is the son of Cecil Exum, who was a teammate of Michael Jordan and James Worthy on the 1982 UNC national championship team. Cecil’s professional basketball career in Australia led to his family settling there for the long term. Dante was born on July 13, 1995 in Melbourne, Australia, joining three older siblings. He played his high school basketball career at the Australian Institute of Sport. In 2013, Exum was invited to play for the World Select Team at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore. His performance, which consisted of an impressive 16 points, propelled him into the hype machine and NBA teams have been salivating over him ever since. Exum also excelled for the Australian Under-19 team at the 2013 FIBA World Championships. He averaged 18.2 points per game and 3.8 assists per game during the tournament, including a 33-point game and a 28-point game. He signed with Landmark Sports in February and subsequently declared for the 2014 NBA Draft.