Australian Dante Exum has completed meetings with eight powerhouse player representation agencies and left them a strong impression that he plans to enter the June NBA draft, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Several of the agents who traveled to Sydney to meet with Exum, 18, and his family over recent weeks believe it's inevitable that the gifted young forward will bypass college basketball and enter the talent-rich 2014 NBA draft class.
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"I would be shocked if he doesn't enter the draft," one agent who recently met with Exum's family told Yahoo Sports. "He knows he's a lottery pick, and knows several teams have him very high on their boards. His family knows that this is an opportunity that may not come again."
Another agent who traveled to Australia told Yahoo: "This is a bright, thoughtful kid – a great family – and they're taking their time to think all this through. But in the end, I didn't sense anything that would hold him back from [the draft]. … I can't imagine him not coming out." Exum has left open the possibility of college, but that's become increasingly described as a remote possibility. Nevertheless, the family has been careful to preserve his college eligibility and leave open the option for Dante to pursue college basketball. He's made one campus visit – Indiana – and has considered the possibility of visiting other schools this winter.
Draftexpress.com has Exum rated as the fifth-best potential prospect in the 2014 draft class, behind only Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, Kentucky's Julius Randle, Duke's Jabari Parker and Kansas' Joel Embiid.
Exum's father, Cecil, played at the University of North Carolina and had a long career in the National Basketball League of Australia.
Exum is a student at the Australian Institute of Sport. Many NBA executives scouted Exum at the FIBA Under-19 Championships and the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland over the past year, and came away impressed with his savvy and explosiveness on the court.
Once Exum decides to turn pro and chooses an agent, he's expected to move to the United States and start working on pre-draft preparation.