Thursday 24th April 2014,
The Hoop Doctors

Dante Exum Doesn’t Want to play for Clippers

dfavale February 4, 2014 Dan Favale 9 Comments

exumDon’t worry, Dante. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have your back.

The NBA sphere has been abuzz with anticipation since Dante Exum, a 6’6″ guard out of Australia, declared for this summer’s draft. He’s expected to go in the top five, and scouts value him for all sorts of reasons—his improving jumper, athleticism, first step, etc.

Exum, to his credit, wants the opportunity to showcase those reasons. As such, he’s already naming teams that would be a perfect fit. He told Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling the Los Angeles Lakers were an intriguing destination, which surprised no one. Kobe Bryant is one of his idols, so playing alongside him would likely be a dream come true.

Who doesn’t he want to play for? The Los Angeles Clippers.

“I don’t want to go to a team, somewhere like the (Los Angeles) Clippers, that have Chris Paul and I’ll be kind of stuck behind him,” Exum said, per The West Australian‘s David Barbeler.

Totally understandable. And luckily for Exum, he has no chance of going to the Clippers.

The Clippers currently have the sixth-best record in the league, and fourth-best record in the Western Conference. They aren’t going to finish in the lottery, let alone land a top-five selection. Exum has nothing to worry about so long as Griffin and Paul (when healthy) don’t allow Los Angeles to, you know, lose every one of its remaining games.

But the actual issue here is playing time. Exum doesn’t want to be buried on the bench, which is again understandable. It’s also unlikely.

A player like Exum typically starts right away. Teams that land in the top five or seven draft for immediate need. It’s unlikely a team, such as the Boston Celtics for instance, select him when they already have a point guard. It could happen, obviously, because of Exum’s size; some team might want to make him into a pure shooting guard or use him as part of a dual-point guard lineup. That could certainly happen.

Bury him on the bench, though? No. No way. Which projected lottery team would be that stupid? Maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers, but unless they trade Kyrie Irving (and take part in another lottery miracle), they’re not a viable destination.

Exum’s position is an interesting one, though, if he’s hoping to play point guard at the NBA level. Six of the league’s bottom-seven teams already have their point guards of the future. The Philadelphia 76ers have Michael Carter-Williams; Orlando Magic have Victor Oladipo; Sacramento Kings have Isaiah Thomas; Utah Jazz have Trey Burke; Celtics have Rondo; and Cavs have Irving.

In Orlando’s case, Oladipo doesn’t necessarily have to be a point guard. Rondo’s future in Boston is up in the air as well. And once again, we cannot rule out an attempt to pair him in the backcourt with a more proportionate floor general. But it will be interesting to see how teams approach draft-day decisions.

Oh, and by the way, while we cannot guarantee Exum he’ll land with the Lakers, they do have the league’s eighth-worst record and are in need of some youth and playmaking, so they are a possibility.

More importantly, we know with absolute certainty that Exum won’t be forced to play for the Clippers.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com.

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  • Ali

    Why in the world would you make such a remark if you haven’t played a single second in the nba. It shows how much he lacks knowledge for the game how would you be concerned about getting drafted to a team that has a winning record and isn’t even in the talk for the lottery picks this just highlights his ignorance. If I was a prospect I could care less where I get drafted let alone pick and choose where I’d like to play when you haven’t made a name for yourself in the nba. O well I guess he isn’t fully matured yet.

    • Rudolph

      The Clippers were an example. He wasn’t implying that they have a shot to land him; just that they have an elite PG and Exum wouldn’t start.

    • Zay

      Why in the world did you just waste time writing nonsense. Like Rudolph down there said, the guy is just giving an example to say he wants playing time right away.

    • Dan

      I think he was just trying to say he wants to play, and named Clippers as an example because, like noted above, he knows he won’t be going there. Would have been different if he named, say, the Celtics or Bucks, or team that could actually be in play for his services.

    • Shaka Saphir

      How ignorant are you? What the hell does basketball knowledge have to do with a kid with super star type talent,expressing where he would prefer not to play,based on the makeup of certain team. If you knew anything about sports history,you’d know that Eli Manning, coming out of Mississippi, said he didn’t want to play for the San Diego Chargers. Even Magic,after learning that the Lakers had positioned themselves in a position to make him their #1 pick,decided to apply for the NBA draft that year to insure that he’d go to the Lakers and play with Kareem. Thus in essence,you’re the ignorant one for trying trash a 18 year old kid for expressing what situation would be best for him,that to me,shows that he possesses more knowledge,maturity and intelligence than you could ever muster up.

  • Marty Susman

    Sounds like another “Arch Manning” thing when he said his son would not play for the Chargers & demanded a trade before his son even threw the ball. This kid is making it clear, he wants to be a Laker…

    • Dan

      Sure seems that way, at least. It’s happening way earlier than most situations, though. Lakers don’t even know where they’ll be drafting yet.

  • Boekie

    Misleading title. He just gave the clips as an example.

  • Bob Merrihew

    Well, he would be “stuck” behind a lot of PG’s in the NBA. There is no doubt that he has all the tools, but most rookies are not turn key All Stars.