By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Before Exum was drafted, Jazz point guard Trey Burke was hoping that he would be paired with the Australian. He is only 18-years-old, and is considered to have a bright future.
“I just want to come in and try to help be a leader of the team,” Exum said during an interview from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. “I know I’m young, but I want to come in and establish that. As a point guard, (I’ll) try and be that guy people can turn to and rely on.”
Exum was ranked as the 4th draft prospect in many Mock Drafts. During the draft process, he refused to work out with the Jazz.
The Jazz were pleasantly surprised that Exum was still there with the fifth overall pick. The team reportedly viewed the Exum move as a “no-brainer.”
After his draft selection, there was speculation that Exum would be dealt. He reportedly did not work out for the Jazz in the pre-draft workouts.
The reason that he did not workout for the Jazz is because he did not want to be paired with Burke. Also, the Australian did not want play in the Utah market.
Burke was the first person to welcome Exum after he was drafted. He is expected to earn more than $3 million a year.
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling,” Exum added. “It still hasn’t sunk in.”
He is the third Australian player to be selected as a “lottery pick” in the NBA Draft. Andrew Bogut in 2005 with the first overall pick, while Kyrie Irving is an Australian-born American, who went first overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Matthew Dellavedova and Aron Baynes are both in the National Basketball Association after being undrafted. Dellavedova is with the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Baynes was also a part of the Spurs Championship team.
As a young point guard, he will have a learning curve. He may also lean on his father, Cecil Exum, who was a former North Carolina Tar Heels player in 1982 that won the National Championship with Michael Jordan.
“Dante’s in store for an NBA introduction on how quick and how fast and how violent NBA basketball will be,” Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey said. “We ‘re confident over time that with his makeup and work ethic, he’ll be a good player.”
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