The Los Angeles Lakers are currently projected to have the sixth overall pick on draft night, and while that could change on May 20th when the franchise takes part in the lottery, the odds say that the purple and gold will mostly likely be picking at sixth (43.9%) or seventh (30.5%) on June 26th.
If you look at some of the NBA mock drafts out there, that would mean the Lakers would be selecting either Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh or Marcus Smart.
That’s unless one of the higher-ranked prospects falls down the board of course, and according to Mark Heisler from Forbes.com, a certain Australian point guard may find himself in sixth or seventh territory.
“There’s also a guerilla scenario haunting GMs around the NBA: Australian point guard Dante Exum, ranked by some as the second best player in the draft, falls to the Lakers at No. 6 or 7 after agent Rob Pelinka–yes, the one who reps Kobe–keeps him from working out for other teams,” Hesiler writes. “Exum looks like he’s on board, calling the Lakers his ‘best option.’”
As some of you may recall, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard the rumor of Dante Exum’s agent, Rob Pelinka, possibly limiting his client’s workouts in order for him to fall into the lap of the Lakers.
Pelinka tried this stunt before when Dion Waiters entered the draft a couple of years ago, though the Cleveland Cavaliers selected the guard from Syracuse despite not having the chance to see him workout.
Still, with all the big names declaring for this year’s draft, it may not be that far fetched to imagine Exum slipping to the sixth spot, especially if a team hasn’t had a chance to get a good look at the 18-year-old.
Unlike Waiters, Exum didn’t play college basketball. Sure, Waiters came off the bench at Syracuse, but he still ended up playing 24.1 minutes per game in his senior year.
With Exum, there’s a lot of unknowns, and that may scare some teams away from drafting him, especially if they aren’t able to get a hands-on look at what he could bring to their franchise.