Australian starlet working out in L.A. preparing for the draft.
According to an unnamed NBA general manager, draft prospect Dante Exum could force his way into playing for the Los Angeles Lakers next season.
The 18-year-old is expected to be one of the most sought after prospects in the upcoming draft this year, with concerns being raised that he may well push for a move to the Staples Center.
Much like how Kobe Bryant forced himself to the Lakers back in 1996, there is a fear that Exum could do the same given that he has publicly revealed he is a fan of the franchise and would ideally like to play alongside his idol in his rookie year.
Furthermore, the Australian ‘phenom’ is also signed with Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, which has all led to a league general manager admitting his fears over what could happen in just over three months time.
“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,” Sean Deveney of Sporting News reports.
“When you hear some of what he says, it does make you wonder how the process is going to go as far as workouts and that sort of thing,” one general manager told Sporting News. “We have seen this story before, of course. I am not sure a player can have that kind of control, though.”
The Lakers are positioning themselves for a top five pick in the upcoming draft given their struggles this season, but with the likes of Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins making up a talented class that has great depth, it remains to be seen as to whether or not Exum’s dream becomes a reality.
In addition, it would also have to fit into the franchise’s long-term plans for the next three years, as they will reportedly look to target Kevin Love and Kevin Durant when they hit free agency.
While there are no doubts over Exum’s ability with several experts tipping him for a high overall pick in the draft, it may be difficult for the Lakers to pass on the other options that could be available when they make their decision on draft night.