The one player in the upcoming NBA draft that has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers more than any other is Dante Exum.
The Australian product has talked about the possibility of playing for the storied franchise and alongside superstar Kobe Bryant more than once. Exum has also been seen at Lakers games on numerous occasions this season while sitting next to his agent Rob Pelinka.
Although most believe Exum hopes to be drafted by the Lakers, the Australian phenom thinks the media has twisted his words, according to Bill Oram of the OC Register:
Exum said "media twisted" his thoughts on playing for LA, "a great organization but I’m in this draft to go to someplace where I feel best"
— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) May 15, 2014
Exum blaming the media for his connection to the Lakers is interesting. The Australian has been linked to the Lakers for months with the promising youngster often talking about Kobe and how he’d love to learn from the superstar.
With the Lakers having a slim chance of landing the number one overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft or even a pick in the top three, the team may not be able to select top tier talent. Exum is considered to be among the elite in this year’s draft class along with Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker.
Exum may share an agent with Kobe and seems to have a fondness for Los Angeles and the Lakers, but the combo guard may have come to the realization that his chances wearing purple and gold next season are remote.
Although anything can happen on June 26 that could lead to the Lakers landing Exum, the chances are not in the team’s favor. Exum could simply be saying all the right things from here on out in an effort not to hurt his draft status next month.
MY NBA DRAFT.COM PROFILE: DANTE EXUM