I've been wary of him since there isn't ant good samples. I've read that he's improved his perimeter shooting.
It looks like Orlando will take him at #4. Which means Utah will likely trade the pick since they need scoring wings. (Charlotte is the most likely candidate with the #9 and #24 picks). They would love to have Vonleh, based on their need for a big to pair with Jefferson.
Kevin Pelton: There's no conversion for Australian high school stats, so I focused the U-19 world championships. Ten of the 12 American players who won gold in the U-19 games played NCAA basketball last season (incoming freshmen Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow being the exceptions), and six players from Canada played in the NCAA.
I was able to compare their performance in the U-19 championships with their translated NCAA stats (using those instead of raw NCAA stats to account for strength of schedule) and come up with U-19 translations. In general, the level of competition appears to be slightly worse than major-conference NCAA basketball.
From then on, I treated Exum's translated stats like any other college prospect. Because the tournament was so short (nine games, or about one-quarter of a typical NCAA season), they get regressed heavily to the mean. Still, Exum projects as an above-replacement player in the NBA next season. In conjunction with his age, that would give Exum the second-best WARP projection in the draft after Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart -- and make Kyrie Irving the only player in my college database with a similarity score of greater than 90 at the same age.
Pelton: Conveniently, the top two other point guards in this year's draft, Smart and Tyler Ennis, also played in the U-19 championships. So let's compare their stats:
U-19 POINT GUARD COMPARISON
Player Country 2P% 3P% FTA% TS% Usg Reb% Ast% Stl% TO%
Tyler Ennis Canada .496 .222 .109 .518 .309 .065 .038 .016 .117
Dante Exum Australia .529 .333 .165 .550 .300 .060 .060 .025 .123
Marcus Smart USA .605 .286 .125 .573 .257 .091 .058 .072 .148
Smart's athleticism is apparent. He rebounded best from the guard spot and was a terror in the passing lanes as part of Team USA's pressure defense while shooting a high percentage around the rim. When translated, Smart rated as the best player in Prague. Ennis, by contrast, struggled with his outside shot and generated few assists in a shoot-first role.
Exum more than held his own. In particular, his ability to get to the free throw line stood out. He averaged more than seven free throw attempts per game. That ability to create off the dribble figures to translate very well to the NBA. Additionally, Exum took good care of the ball given his role as playmaker. His 1.62 assist-to-turnover ratio was better than those of Smart (1.54), Ennis (1.02) and the other point guard at the U-19 games who might get drafted this year, Serbian Vasilije Micic (1.19).
But the biggest factor in Exum's favor is his age. Although these games were for players 19 and under, Exum wasn't yet 18 years old during the competition. He's 16 months younger than Smart and 13 months younger than Ennis, giving him plenty of room to develop.
...the King of the Rumba Beat...