Report: Boston Celtics Are 'Really Big' on Australian Point Guard Dante Exum

Stephen Babb@@StephenBabbFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2014

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 14:  Young Australian basketball player Dante Exum marks the ball after being presented a jumper by Joe Daniher of the Bombers during an Essendon Bombers AFL media session at True Value Solar Centre on February 14, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Rajon Rondo's presence apparently isn't deterring the Boston Celtics from looking to acquire another ball-handler for the backcourt.

According to's A. Sherrod Blakely, the C's are interested in point guard Dante Exum.

Exum is expected to be a top-10 pick, with the potential to go among the top five selections. He's easily one of the most versatile players in the draft, boasting 6'6" size with a point guard's handle and mentality. If that sounds a little bit like Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, it probably should.

Therein lies one of the principal reasons for excitement surrounding the Australian. Floor generals like that just don't come around very often. The combination of frame and skill set makes him an attractive option who could serve as a full-time floor general or as a combo guard.

The first question this raises, though, is: What are the Celtics' plans for Rondo? Could a backcourt of Rondo and Exum coexist? Does interest in Exum signal that the organization is seriously looking to move Rondo? These are questions that only president Danny Ainge can answer with any certainty at the moment, and he's going to remain tight-lipped until the appropriate time comes.

At the moment, Exum's game is every bit as intriguing as Boston's plans.'s Michael Kaskey-Blomain runs down what little we know about the 18-year-old:

By all accounts, Exum is a long, explosive, athletic guard, reminiscent of Penny Hardaway, who can be a nightmare to contain in the open court. He is credited as being excellent in transition and at attacking the rim, and his length is something that coaches love at the point guard position.

The issue is, very few people have had the opportunity to watch him play in full basketball games (internet video clips don’t count). For those that have been privileged enough to watch him play, the sample size is small.

According to's Kurt Helin, "The book on Exum is that he can create shots and has great athleticism, there’s a lot of potential, but his jump shot needs considerable work. He’s a bit of a project."

A project maybe, but one in which Adidas already has enough faith to ink to an endorsement deal.

The Celtics may have similar faith. Though the team could use help at virtually every position, a difference-maker with top-shelf potential may be at the top of its wish list. Even if Rondo sticks around, you make room for that kind of talent.

Of course, the fact that Boston likes Exum doesn't necessarily mean it will draft him. The draft isn't until June 26, so there will be plenty of assessments and conversations before any decisions are made.

For Exum's part, there's no telling how he'd respond to becoming a Celtic. However, he did tell Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling that he fancies the idea of joining to the Los Angeles Lakers:

Definitely L.A. is one option. 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. 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.

It may be the best option in Exum's mind, but it's certainly not the only option as far as the rest of the league's concerned. Celtics or otherwise, Exum will be in high demand.