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The Downbeat #1351: Dante Exum Edition

A Dante Exum-centric Downbeat

Dante's Inferno Coming To Utah?
Dante's Inferno Coming To Utah?
Michael Dodge

Hey all, I'm back from my sabbatical from SLCDunk.  It's good to be back.  The NBA Draft Combine is around the corner.  Since Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and Joel Embiid have other plans more important than their first direct interaction with their future employers we are going to focus today on Dante Exum.  First, let's learn about him and what better way to learn about him then from Wikipedia.

Exum was born in Melbourne, Australia to American parents. His father, Cecil, played college basketball at the University of North Carolina and won an NCAA championship in 1982, a team which incidentally featured Michael Jordan and James Worthy. His mother also attended North Carolina. Cecil was drafted in 1984 by the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, and later settled in Australia where he played in the National Basketball League for the North Melbourne Giants, Melbourne Tigers and Geelong Supercats.Exum played for the Keilor Basketball Association as a junior and attended Lake Ginninderra Secondary College in Canberra where, in conjunction with, also attended the Australian Institute of Sport.

In April 2013, Exum participated in the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit for the World Select Team where he recorded 16 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in a 112-98 win over the USA Junior Select Team. In October 2013, he graduated from Lake Ginninderra and had the option to enroll in college and play college basketball during the 2013-14 season, but he decided against it.

Exum competed in the Australian National High School Basketball Championships held between December 2013 and January 2014, going on to lead his team to the eventual title.

Dante Exum is a do everything combo guard.  He took it upon himself to learn how to play better off the ball.  Contrary to the Parker and Wiggins' hype machine, he actually could be the perfect fit for the Jazz's core and eventually be the best player from this draft class.  He's a risky pick but could be one that pays big dividends.  This is what Matt Kamulsky of said about him.

A 6'6 guard with 6'9 wingspan who appears to have added some 10 pounds of muscle to his frame since last summer, Exum stood out immediately with his speed, fluidity and ball-handling ability. Accustomed to playing the point guard position at the junior level, the strong play of floor general Dennis Schroder required Exum to adapt playing off the ball this week -a challenge he accepted without a second thought in an effort to put his team in the best position to win.

A consummate team player who can do a little bit of everything, Exum still managed to be very effective for stretches in practice and score 16 points on game day despite the significant adjustment he had to make. Perhaps the most impressive thing Exum did throughout the week was get to the rim off the dribble. Without the ball in his hands constantly, Exum wasn't able to create as much on the offensive as we saw last summer, but still managed to make his presence felt attacking from the wing. Showing a very low dribble, an exceptional burst and the ability to finish above the rim, Exum is a very smooth finisher, but is not afraid to elevate in a crowd and draw contact either.


But getting in the way of the Utah Jazz possibly drafting Dante is the Philadelphia 76ers.  They are very intent on dumping on Rookie of the Year for possibly another one.

What are some questions you would like SLCDunk to ask Dante Exum?  These have already been taken.