‘Mystery man’ finally gets a team and an identity as he emerges from the shadows.
He was touted as the biggest unknown of all players who had the the potential to land inside the top five in this year’s packed NBA draft.
And the Utah Jazz saw enough of Dante Exum to pick him with the fifth pick as they look to the young Aussie to lead their exciting and young backcourt which also features Trey Burke.
Having just been seen a handful of times inside of the United States along with some tempting but hardly substantial footage of him carving up at the Under 19 World Championships, there was not a lot of mail on Exum.
However, his physical gifts, standing 6’6″ and close to 200lbs for a point guard and with the ability to get to the rim almost at will had Jazz fans excited when his name was read out.
“I’m just a kid from Melbourne, Australia, looking to come into a program and work hard,” Exum said.
“I’m here for a reason. I’m ready to get a job done, and I’m here to win. I look forward to getting to know the team and getting a feel for what the other players are thinking and how they fit into the system.”
Jazz boss Randy Rigby said knows Exum is not the complete package yet, but said his up-side was massive and the team had high hopes for what he could bring to Utah as they seek to become a fixture in the playoffs again.
“Danté’s young and he’s got great abilities, and he’s going to need to have some continued development,” Rigby said.
“But he’s got a great personality. He’s a young man who thrives on being a leader and taking on additional responsibilities. I think our fans are going to really like how this young man is going to develop.”
Exum joins other Australian’s Kyrie Irving, Andrew Bogut and Luc Longley to be drafted in the top 10 for the NBA.