As the Cleveland Cavaliers struggle through their schedule many have started turning their eye to yet another draft day. No not the upcoming movie about the Cleveland Browns but the upcoming, highly touted 2014 NBA draft. SI today took a look at Dante Exum, the young 18 year old star currently playing in Australia. Exum has already made his intentions known that he will be entering the NBA draft, unlike any of the current high ranked college stars who could choose to come back to school.
Unfortunately, Exum has the same issue as another elite point guard in this draft, Marcus Smart: the mechanics on his shot are not consistent, and as a result, neither is his jump shot. The good news for Exum is that NBA teams love to take chances on ultra-talented guards with his size, even with questionable jumpers. The success of the similarly built and talented Michael Carter-Williams in Philadelphia only enhances Exum’s case.
For the Cavaliers the comparison to MCW is very interesting. Looking back at last year’s draft MCW is often pointed to as the player the Cavs should of selected, very retrospective. Both Exum and MCW are tall for the point guard position and can play off the ball and guard most shooting guards in the NBA. Had MCW been drafted this year, or if the Cavs draft Exum in next years draft, playing with Kyrie Irving would make for a dynamic pairing. On offense Irving can play more of the two guard position while on defense guarding the smaller or less athletic guard from the other team. Irving has the jump shot that Exum doesn’t. Exum has the athleticism and size that Irving doesn’t.
Exum’s attitude and passion also is intriguing for a team that has struggled to push through this season:
But Exum appears to think he’s ready to play. The prospect recently told the Canberra Times in Australia, ”I want to go to a place that needs me, I don’t want to go somewhere like the [L.A.] Clippers who have Chris Paul and be stuck behind him,” he said. ”I want to go to a team which is going to want and need me, and hopefully get minutes in my first season.”
While looking at Irving with the Cavaliers Exum may have similar concerns their fit together on both ends of the floor should alleviate any hesitance to work out for the Cavs before the draft. While adding another young player to the team may not be the best bet for a return to prominence bringing in Exum to play with Irving, maybe a better fit then Dion Waiters, could give the team their backcourt of the future. His comparison to Giannis Antetokounmpo, the small forward “Freak” that many Cavs fans hoped fell to #19 before being selected by the Bucks also creates intrigue of Exum.
Where does Exum fit in your top 5/10 for this upcoming NBA draft for the Cavaliers? Does he fit with Irving? Is he too much of a risk? Would you look to move him for a veteran? And if so, who would you hope to get? Tell us more below.