Already one of the most talked about prospects heading into this year’s NBA Draft, the amount of Exum talk has gone into another stratosphere in the past week, following the NBA Draft Combine and the way the balls fell for the lottery.
The NBA Draft Lottery sees the 14 teams who finished outside the playoff positions have balls placed in a lotto-style machine, with a ball picked out at random. The system is weighted, so the teams with the poorer records receive a higher percentage of balls – increasing their likelihood of receiving a higher pick (in theory).
CLICK HERE for a detailed explanation of the NBA Draft Lottery system.
The result of the lottery goes a long way to deciphering which player the teams will select based on their needs and the talent available at their pick.
For the third time in four years, the Cleveland Cavaliers have landed the first overall selection of the draft, with the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz rounding out the top five.
Sporting 33 NBA Championships between them, the Boston Celtics (sixth) and the Los Angeles Lakers (seven) would have hoped for higher selections, but will be hoping talent of the calibre of Exum can slip through the top five and into their grasps.
The big question now is – what does this all mean for Dante Exum?
According to reports from US sports websites ESPN and Bleacher Report, the Cavs and Bucks are unlikely to take Exum at one or two, identifying their needs in different positions.
The interest begins to grow for Exum at the number three spot, with ESPN NBA Draft expert Chad Ford noting the 76ers would take the 18-year-old into serious consideration.
“Look for Dante Exum to be a real possibility here, too. They could end up shopping Carter-Williams or just pairing the two together in the backcourt,” Ford said in his latest NBA Mock Draft.
This would see a reunion between Exum and the man that gave him his first Boomers call-up, 76ers Head Coach Brett Brown.
Selection four appears to be the expected destination for Exum, with the Orlando Magic set to team the Australian with fellow guard and number two overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft, Victor Oladipo.
Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman believes Exum to Orlando would be a perfect match.
“There shouldn't be much thought here—the Orlando Magic need a point guard and Dante Exum looks like the top prospect on the board,” Wasserman said.
Those thoughts were echoed by Ford.
“The Magic want a point guard and I think Exum would be a good long-term fit next to Victor Oladipo,” Ford said.
The Utah Jazz could be ready to pounce at pick five, with Boston and Los Angeles hoping the Australian falls out of the top five into their hands.
Exum interviewed with the Celtics at the combine and it was reported by A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com the team is “really big” on the Boomers star.
The Lakers have made no secret of their admiration of Exum, with the man himself excited by the opportunity that Los Angeles presents, according to Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling.
“Definitely L.A. is one option. If I get the opportunity to go to L.A. and play for the Lakers, I know I’ll have love for the city. And their fans are loyal and they have the rivalry with the Clippers. But just to be in an environment where you have a great player like Kobe (Bryant), where you have a mentor in a way as a rookie, I think that would be the best option,” Exum told Bleacher Report.
Exum isn’t expected to fall beyond pick seven, with many experts expecting him not to fall out of the top five.
The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery Order
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Orlando Magic
- Utah Jazz
- Boston Celtics
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Sacramento Kings
- Charlotte Hornets*
- Philadelphia 76ers*
- Denver Nuggets
- Orlando Magic*
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Phoenix Suns
*Acquired via trade