Australian Basketball Star Declares for NBA Draft
Australian basketball star Dante Exum has decided to declare for the 2014 NBA draft.
According to ESPN, Exum has agreed to hire agents Rob Pelinka and Brandon Rosenthal of Landmark Sports Agency. Pelinka's clients include Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Andre Iguodala and Andre Drummond.
"We are excited to be working with Landmark Sports," Exum and his parents, Cecil and Desiree, said in a statement to ESPN. "Our family felt The Landmark Team represented our style and manner of treating people, and in doing businesses. We also all shared a common commitment to achieving excellence in all things. The fit is just great and we are really pleased to now begin the work."
Exum and his family met eight different agents in Melbourne during the past month before making their choice Tuesday morning.
"We are thrilled and honored to be working with Dante and his family," Pelinka said in a statement to ESPN. "As the NBA continues to expand its brand around the world, we feel like Dante's international story comes at a perfect time. We also believe that, with continued hard work and focus, Dante is destined to be a 'franchise' point guard in this next generation of great NBA players."
Exum, 18, is widely regarded as a top-five draft pick by NBA scouts and general managers. He is currently ranked No. 4 in ESPN's Top 100, and is ranked as the No. 1 point guard on ESPN.com's Big Board.
Exum returned to Australia this fall to finish his high school career and led his team, Lake Ginninderra, to the national schools basketball title last week. Exum had 15 assists in the championship game.
Exum can play both guard positions and has the ideal blend of athleticism and skill. However, scouts believe that ultimately he'll be an NBA point guard with elite size (6-foot-6, 188 pounds) as he is very quick with the ball and gets to the rim almost effortlessly.
His jump shot is still a work in progress -- the primary weakness in his game. If he were playing college ball in the U.S., many NBA scouts believe he would be a serious contender for the No. 1 overall pick.
For more on this story visit: Chad Ford, ESPN