One player that continues to get mentioned as a possible target for the Los Angeles Lakers in the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft is Australia’s Dante Exum. Although Exum competes against inferior talent, compared to prospects in the United States, the consensus seems to be that he’ll be a high draft pick and potentially on his way to Los Angeles.
According to Fran Fraschilla of ESPN, Exum continues to turn heads around the league with the promising young draft prospect being compared to a young Michael Jordan via Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders:
“He reminds me of a young, 1982 circa North Carolina Michael Jordan,” Fraschilla said of Exum. “He’s not going to be as great, obviously, unless I’m wrong… but he kind of reminds you of a young colt that’s just about to run his first claimer race, and you’re looking at him (thinking), ‘This guy could win the Kentucky Derby someday.’”
As stated in the quote from Fraschilla, Exum isn’t getting the comparison to Jordan in his prime, but rather the much younger version that played alongside Laker legend James Worthy at North Carolina.
Despite not being compared to the six-time NBA champion version of Jordan that dominated the league throughout the ’90s, Exum receiving a comparison to a young Jordan is definitely promising sign.
With more than 20 games left to be played in the 2013-14 NBA season, there’s still no clear indication where the Lakers will end up in terms of draft position. The consensus is that the storied franchise will be somewhere in the top five, but that could still change with the team potentially starting to figure things out after two straight wins.
The squad has started to get healthy with young players like Kent Bazemore, MarShon Brooks and Kendall Marshall helping this team get on the right track. Jordan Farmar has also been solid as well as fellow veteran Pau Gasol.
So even though the Lakers have been rumored to be targeting Exum in the upcoming draft, there’s no telling whether or not they’ll be in the right position to grab him. Only time will tell if the Australian phenom is destined to land in Los Angeles.
NBA Draft Profile: Dante Exum