Australian teen ager Dante Exum is reportedly interested to join Kobe Bryant and play with the Los Angeles Lakers. He appears to be bound to hit the lottery this summer.
Exum, the 6-foot-6 crafty guard from the Land Down Under, said in a recent interview with Bleacher Report that playing with the purple-and-gold is definitely one of his options heading into this year's NBA Draft.
"Definitely L.A. is one option," Exum told Bleacher Report. "I've been to L.A. many times and I love the city, and it is a great city. If I get the opportunity to go to L.A. and play for the Lakers, I know I'll have love for the city. And their fans are loyal and they have the rivalry with the Clippers," he added.
Exum said the primary reason why he wants to play with the 16-time NBA champion is because of the opportunity to play and learn alongside his childhood basketball idol in Bryant.
"But just to be in an environment where you have a great player like Kobe, where you have a mentor in a way as a rookie, I think that would be the best option," the Aussie playmaker added.
Exum announced his decision to enter the 2014 NBA Draft last January, making him one of the most highly touted youngsters in the class alongside Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Joel Embid and Jabbari Parker. He hired veteran NBA agent Rob Pelinka, who happens to also represent superstars such as Bryant, James Harden, Carlos Boozer, Eric Gordon and Andre Iguodala.
"I just want to know his work ethic, what he's done to be where he is at the moment, because he's definitely in the talk of one of the greatest of all-time," Exum said of Bryant via Bleacher Report. "So I want to just pick his brain, what he's done, how he's adapted over the years and still been able to average over 20 points in the league."
Conspiracy Theory Part II
According to Basketball Insiders Jabari Davis, Exum signing with Pelinka is seen as a significant step for him to join the Lakers next season. Pelinka has formed a very strong relationship with Bryant through the years, and it won't be a stretch to see that Exum could force his way to become a Laker at draft night, just like Kobe allegedly did two decades ago.
"There were plenty of paralleling stories surrounding Lakers' eventual draft-day acquisition of the then-17-year-old Bryant, but the most intriguing storylines include reports of Bryant's representatives essentially warning other teams they would regret drafting him if they chose to, and the rumor of former Lakers GM Jerry West reportedly telling select people he felt Bryant could end up being the 'best player to ever play' the game based upon his pre-draft workout," Davis stated.