Having finished school at the Australian Institute of Sport, Dante Exum “is setting up meetings with several prominent agents over the next month in Australia to discuss representation for the 2014 NBA Draft,” sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The reports says the 6-foot-6 Exum is expected to come to the U.S. in February to begin training for the Draft.
“I want to make a decision by February,” Exum told the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday. “It shouldn’t be too hard [a decision] to make.”
Exum has previously indicated he may take some visits to American colleges in the coming months, with Indiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan and Oregon making his list of finalists.
One source close to the situation told SNY.tv that Exum will meet, but not necessarily sign, with an agent at this time and that he’s in the “information-gathering” stage.
Still, a coach from one of those schools told SNY.tv that it will be “hard to turn down that type of money.”
Exum’s stock is sky-high now and he is projected as the No. 4 pick behind Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker by DraftExpress.com.
One NBA executive told ESPN.com’s Chad Ford that he would actually take Exum No. 1 overall — ahead of Wiggins, Randle and Jabari Parker.
“I know everyone is so excited to see Jabari and those guys dominate,” one GM told ESPN. “I know the old guard is going to play it safe. But maybe I’m young and foolish, but I think Exum ends up being the guy everyone wishes they took in a few years. All of them are going to be great, but when you watch Exum, you see the ability to be a generational talent. My owner might kill me, but I think you take Exum, regardless of what the other guys do this year. Exum’s already proved it to me.”
Still, several other NBA executives disagreed, with one telling SNY.tv it would take some “big stones” for a GM to draft Exum, an Australian with limited experience, over American studs like Wiggins, Randle, Parker and Aaron Gordon, whose highlights are being showcased daily on SportsCenter.
“I do not know him well enough but it will be difficult for any GM to take a guy who is a foreigner and will probably not play anywhere this year,” one NBA executive told SNY.tv. “It would take big stones to take a kid [like that] with Wiggins, Parker, Randle, [Marcus] Smart and Gordon getting a lot of play all year. It’s a big-time gamble with Exum unless he ends up playing somewhere to get footage and traction from the media.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.