With the fifth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft the Utah Jazz have selected point guard Dante Exum of Australia.
At 6’6, Exum is has the size and skill set to play either position in the NBA. Considered a mediocre shooter at best, Exum will need to continue to develop his NBA range and become more consistent from distance. Exum’s natural point guard instincts and ability to score make him the perfect player to place alongside last year’s lottery pick Trey Burke.
Many were hesitant about the level of competition he may have faced while playing internationally, but it is clear between the tournaments he did play in and the pre-draft workouts, GM Dennis Lindsey and the Jazz were more than satisfied with his potential. Drawing comparisons that ranged anywhere from a “young Michael Jordan” (ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla), to Kobe Bryant and even Russell Westbrook, it is apparent anyone that has seen him play expects great things from this young man.
“I’m just a kid from Melbourne, Australia..always rep my country,” Exum said. ” But I guess right now I just got drafted, so I guess I’m not a mystery anymore.”
Although Utah’s offense ranked near the bottom of the league in 2013-14, Exum doesn’t seem worried about his new team continuing to struggle.
“They got a new coach now, so I’m sure it’s going to be a different system,” Exum said when asked about their previous difficulties. “I like to play up and down and kind of find my guys in transition.”
At just 18-years-old, Exum joins Burke to form perhaps the most dynamic, young backcourt in the league and offer newly-hired head coach Quinn Snyder some impressive firepower to work with along the perimeter. Snyder is expected to capitalize on the youth and athleticism on his roster by running an uptempo style, and Burke/Exum each possess the type of interchangeable skills that lend to a two-headed guard attack similar to that of the 2013-14 Suns with Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic.
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