Earlier this week, Dante Exum to the Lakers rumors were dampened slightly when ESPN’s Chad Ford reported that it wouldn’t be possible for the Australian point guard to “force” his way to the purple and gold.
However, Exum and his agent, Rob Pelinka, could attempt to dissuade teams into selecting the 18-year-old this June.
According to Ric Bucher from Bleacher Report, “a lot of [general managers] believe [Exum to L.A. could happen] depending on where the Lakers fall in the lottery.”
While players may not typically be able to “force” their way to a team by using empty threats such as the possibility of playing overseas, it is possible to discourage teams from drafting a particular player.
Exum is in a unique position seeing as he hasn’t played a lot of competitive basketball compared to the other lottery candidates, and he and Pelinka may be able to use this to their advantage.
“The reason that Pelinka has the opportunity to be able to manipulate where Exum goes is that people haven’t seen a whole lot of him playing and they’re not going to,” Bucher said. “Don’t forget, this is the same Rob Pelinka who was able to orchestrate Dion Waiters going to the Cleveland Cavaliers by limiting the number of teams who could actually workout Waiters. GMs around the league will not be surprised if the same thing happens [with Exum].”
It’s worth remembering that the Lakers are probably not as high on Exum as they are on other more proven prospects such as Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, though it’s possible that the Australian could be left on the board when the purple and gold make their selection in June.
And, it’s also possible that Pelinka may be able to discourage other teams from selecting his client by simply hiding him away in Los Angeles where he’s currently living and training in the lead up to the draft.
However, at the end of the day, if a team really likes what they see in Exum it’s unlikely that threats and a lack of information would prevent a franchise from selecting the much-talked about prospect.