- Chad Ford, ESPN Senior Writer
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Australian phenom Dante Exum has decided to declare for the 2014 NBA draft, his family and agent told ESPN.com on Tuesday.
"We are excited to be working with Landmark Sports," Exum and his parents, Cecil and Desiree, said in a statement to ESPN. "Our family felt The Landmark Team represented our style and manner of treating people, and in doing businesses. We also all shared a common commitment to achieving excellence in all things. The fit is just great and we are really pleased to now begin the work."
Exum and his family met eight different agents in Melbourne during the past month before making their choice Tuesday morning.
"We are thrilled and honored to be working with Dante and his family," Pelinka said in a statement to ESPN. "As the NBA continues to expand its brand around the world, we feel like Dante's international story comes at a perfect time. We also believe that, with continued hard work and focus, Dante is destined to be a 'franchise' point guard in this next generation of great NBA players."
Exum, 18, is widely regarded as a top-five draft pick by NBA scouts and general managers. He is currently ranked No. 4 in ESPN's Top 100, and is ranked as the No. 1 point guard on ESPN.com's Big Board.
Exum's star rose with a terrific Nike Hoop Summit performance in April followed by a big performance last summer at the FIBA U-19 championships, where he averaged 18 points and nearly four assists per game. He had a 33-point game against Spain in the quarterfinals and a 28-point game vs. Lithuania in the bronze-medal game.
Exum returned to Australia this fall to finish his high school career and led his team, Lake Ginninderra, to the national schools basketball title last week. Exum had 15 assists in the championship game.
Exum can play both guard positions and has the ideal blend of athleticism and skill. However, scouts believe that ultimately he'll be an NBA point guard with elite size (6-foot-6, 188 pounds) as he is very quick with the ball and gets to the rim almost effortlessly.
His jump shot is still a work in progress -- the primary weakness in his game. If he were playing college ball in the U.S., many NBA scouts believe he would be a serious contender for the No. 1 overall pick.
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