Draft Profile: Dante Exum


If I could sum up the buzz around Dante Exum leading up to the draft in one word, it would be mystery. He’s an unproven player coming from Australia, which doesn’t strike many people as a huge basketball mecca. Patty Mills is working to change that after his performance in the NBA Finals, but the point still stands. There aren’t many Aussies in the NBA. So why should the Magic even entertain the notion of Exum if he’s that much of an unknown? In this draft profile, I’m going to take you on a trip down undah and unravel this mystery man that I think could be a perfect fit for the Magic. Just watch out for kangaroos.


Normally, a very comprehensive stats page will go here, but I’m working with what I have and we’re going to just use his FIBA under-19 stats. MYSTERY!

Points Per GameAssists Per GameRebounds Per GameField Goal % Per GameFree Throw % Per Game

This is an incredibly small sample size, as Exum played just nine games in the U19 competition, but it can show us a bit about what he’s capable of and what he can work on to become a better overall player.

Measurements (Combine stats!)

Height With ShoesWeightWingspanStanding ReachMax Vertical

So as you can see, Exum is a freak with his height, wingspan and standing reach. If he can translate these to the point guard position, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see Exum have similar successes of tall point guards like Michael Carter-Williams last season, Shaun Livingston before his injury, or maybe, just maybe, Penny Hardaway. I’m sure the Magic would not complain about that last comparison.


  • Height

When you see Exum play, the most obvious thing that you notice is how tall he is for the point guard position. At 6’6″, he is a matchup nightmare for defenders. He has the potential to see over the top of most point guards or use his speed to get past shooting guards. With his height and wingspan, he can be a terror on the defensive end, using his size to stifle opposing point guards. He has to work on his defense a bit, but if he can, he has the tools to become a top-flight defender. Because of his height, he can contribute in other areas, proving to be a capable rebounder and low-post scorer. Much like Australian wildlife, he’s dangerous in many ways.

  • Basketball IQ

Another strength that Exum possesses is a high basketball IQ. Exum has an ability to make the best play that he can, only turning the ball over 2.3 times a game in Australia’s under-19 play. Though he looks to drive to the basket and score, Exum is willing to make the extra pass to find open teammates and possesses excellent point guard vision. Even though there is an entire section based on his height, being 6’6″ definitely helps facilitate his ability to see the floor well.


  • Shooting

The most glaring weakness in Exum’s game is his perimeter shooting. I know right? Plot twist. Bet you didn’t see that coming from the subheading. But here we are. This shortcoming is one that he shares with Marcus Smart, another top point guard prospect in the draft. Exum’s mechanics are not the most fundamentally sound and it shows in his shooting percentage. Exum shot only 33.3% from three-point range in his FIBA under-19 play. This is something that Exum has recognized as a weakness and will continue to work on as he becomes entrenched in an NBA team, whether that team is Orlando or otherwise.


Exum is a mystery, as I stated, yes, but he is ultimately a mystery worth solving. The Australian’s potential is through the roof and he has the physical tools to become an absolute force at point guard. Couple those tools with excellent play-making and it’s easy to see why teams have been paying just as much attention to him as Dory did with P Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney. Even though shooting is a hole in his game, every young player has something they need to work on. This shortcoming should not be seen as a red flag in the least. Besides, the last time the Magic took a tall point guard with a top-five pick worked out kind of well. Some name like Penny Hardaway ring any bells?