It seems everyday basketball fans are talking and debating about Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, which is understandable, both players are great and have bright futures. However, they aren’t the only ones with bright future, there are plenty of great players at the college level such as freshman Wayne Seldan Jr (Kansas), sophomore Marcus Smart (Oklahoma St), senior Shabazz Napier (Connecticut) and that’s just to name a few.
While many fans will claim they are aware of these other players, there is one elite player that people are quick to forget, mainly because he isn’t from here and isn’t currently playing college basketball. If you don’t know who I am talking about be prepared to do your homework because the player I am referring to is 6-foot-6 guard Dante Exum.
Exum is an Australian basketball player, who currently plays at the Australian Institute of Sport. Many forget that he is considered to be one of the best prospects for the 2014 NBA Draft, if he does decided to declare after this season. Nonetheless it’s time for people to wake up and remember this young man.
Plenty of scouts love him already and for good reason. Exum is an incredible guard, he has amazing speed and handles for his height. He has the ability change direction like lightning but at the same time he is always under control. He can create for others seeing that he is a willing passer and is very unselfish. When it comes to scoring, he is able to slash to the rim with amazing quickness and finish at the rim and draw fouls. He may be 6-foot-6 but his wing span is around 6-foot-9 which gives him the ability to play both the point or shooting guard.
While he is able to score efficiently, don’t get it twisted, defensively he can guard both positions and is a willing defender. I consider him to be good on-ball defender, very discipline, moves his feet and doesn’t reach. Overall what I love most about this young man is his character, according to multiple scouts he is very hard-working, humble and coach-able. From the interviews I have seen, he seems to be a good character young man, which is always a plus in my book.
Just like any prospect he isn’t perfect, he definitely has flaws. After watching his film, the main flaw that standouts is his jump shot. While has a great slashing game, he still needs to improve his jump shot, starting with the mid-range. It would be smart for him to work on catch and shoot situations and his dribble pull up game. As he gets more comfortable with that, he can expand his range to the three-point line. As always, when you’re talking about a young man of this length, you worry about his strength. While I don’t feel he needs to get as big as LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, it would be nice for him to add some more weight which will benefit him both offensively and defensively.
This young man is only 18 years old but he is just talented as the other big name freshman and other NBA Draft prospects. Obviously it’s still early and we’re nowhere near the 2014 NBA Draft but in the meantime, I would encourage many of you to look out for this young man. Remember, there is more to the future of the NBA than the ones the media blow up. There is great talent in college basketball and the world, you just have to pay attention.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
Listen to LBeasley’s Radio Show, “Sports Talk with L-Beasley” every Mon, Wed & Fri from 6-8pm (ET) on LBeasley.com