He’s become a mystery man of sorts. Unless you are a diehard recruiting fan, follow international basketball or regularly frequent the NBA mock draft sites, Dante Exum is just a cool name.
But in the last few months, the long and athletic 6-foot-6, 190-pound Aussie has become the most talked-about NBA prospect not named Andrew Wiggins. ESPN’s Chad Ford has Exum behind only Wiggins and Kentucky freshman power forward Julius Randle in his Top 100 draft rankings for 2014.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Exum was a fringe high-major college basketball prospect. That was prior to his performance at the Nike Hoop Summit, and before he dominated at the U-19 Championships.
Back then, there was no doubt that Exum would be headed this way to play college basketball. But as I reported Wednesday, Exum told ESPN.com that if he does opt to play college hoops, he won't enroll in December and would instead wait until the 2014-15 season. He says he’s still 50-50 whether to go the college or pro route, but most college coaches and NBA guys anticipate him entering the draft.
“It’s crazy,” Exum told ESPN earlier this week. “Before the U-19s, I didn’t even know I could enter the draft. They were talking about it on TV, and I had no idea.”
What kind of player is Exum, and what level of impact could he have if he did opt to play college ball next season? Let's take a look.