Australian phenom Dante Exum has made it clear that he is a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. Exum had also made it known that he is a fan of the great Kobe Bryant, and even signed with Kobe’s agent, Rob Pelinka. With the 2014 NBA Draft only a mere three months away, teams are starting to take notice of Exum’s clear favoritism toward the Laker organization.
Much like how Kobe forced himself to the Lakers in 1996, Sean Deveney of Sporting News is reporting that some executives are fearing that Exum could do the same:
But would Exum go so far as to try to angle his way onto the Lakers, who currently have the fifth-worst record in the NBA? That’s the concern among some front-office executives around the league.
The Lakers are positioning themselves for a top five pick in the upcoming draft, and with players like Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins possibly available, it will be interesting to see what direction the team chooses to go in. As much as Exum would like to play for the Lakers, there is no guarantee that he will end up in the city of Angels.
As Deveney points out, players have tried to control their destiny before and failed:
When Ricky Rubio attempted to land himself with the Thunder, Clippers or Kings in ’09, all three teams passed on him and he wound up going to Minnesota.
The Lakers will most likely select a pick that fits in with their upcoming plans for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 off-seasons, when they will go after the likes of Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook. Should they feel that Exum does not fit into their plans, the team will pass on him in hopes of drafting a player who fits into their long term plans.
Exum is a phenomenal player, but if the Lakers end up with a top one or two pick, it would be hard for them to pick a player who skipped college, over the likes of Joel Embiid, Parker, and Wiggins.
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