Before the 2014 NBA Draft Combine ramps up into the heavy workout portions of the event on Thursday, the Phoenix Suns met with top-5 projected draft pick Dante Exum, according to Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy.
It’s not surprising that general manager Ryan McDonough won’t leave any rock unturned, even if his team might not have the possibility of landing a player like Exum, the highly-regarded Australian guard. The meeting indicates the Suns are doing their due diligence in learning more about any other player, but those who like to read — maybe too much — between the lines would believe it hints the Suns would really consider moving up in the draft, for Exum or anyone else.
It’s intriguing in Exum’s case because at 6’5 and 18 years old, he’s a combo guard that seemingly wouldn’t have a place with Goran Dragic, Archie Goodwin and presumably, Eric Bledsoe, eating up the minutes.
Getting to know Exum is probably on a lot of teams’ lists.
They have tape against most of the combine participants, and that tape has a basis of comparison for most players, who in college are bound to face familiar NBA prospects. That’s not the case for Exum, and this is the first time teams will be able to see how he runs and jumps with the likes of the other top combine participants, although it’s unclear if Exum will participate. It’s also likely teams like the Suns have limited information on Exum from trusted basketball minds — Mike Krzyzewski won’t be able to vouch for his character or work ethic.
Most fascinating combine attendee: Dante Exum. For a lot of execs, Chicago will be the first real look at the projected top-five pick.
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 11, 2014
As of this moment, the Suns own the 14th, 18th and 27th picks in the 2014 NBA Draft. McDonough said they could do anything with those three picks — trade them off for future picks, use them in a blockbuster for a star, use them on draft-and-stash players or trade up in the draft.
Trading up would seem quite a viable option this season — and it’s a lot easier to do than working out a big-time trade.
Could Exum be in McDonough’s sights? Most players are, but the Suns are using what’s become an event diluted in importance to the utmost in making their draft day decisions.
Tags: 2014 NBA Draft