NBA mock Draft 2014: Magic projected to pick Dante Exum, analyst says

Dante Exum - Graham Denholm

In this mock, Orlando adds the dynamic Australian guard to its young core.

In his third mock 2014 NBA Draft, ESPN Insider Chad Ford projects the Orlando Magic to select Dante Exum with the third overall pick, just after the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers choose Kansas teammates Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, respectively. In taking Exum, the Magic would have left several highly touted NCAA prospects--including Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart, and Julius Randle word--on the board.

Exum averaged 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game for the Australian team at the FIBA U19 Championships for Men in 2013. His performance there wowed scouts and inflated his Draft stock. He has since hired the agents Rob Pelinka and Brandon Rosenthal to represent him in the Draft process, a choice which rules him out of playing in the NCAA.

Ford believes Exum "would be the perfect complement to Victor Oladipo," whom Orlando selected second overall in 2013, because both have outstanding athletic ability on the wings.

With Orlando's second pick in the first round, via the Denver Nuggets, Ford projects the team to select Croatian small forward Dario Šarić. Ford raises questions about the versatile wing player's "mercurial personality," but touts his excellent floor vision as one of the 19-year-old's best traits.

In 22 games for KK Cibona of the Adriatic League, Šarić has averaged 16.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.5 steals on 57.2 percent shooting from the floor. Those scoring, rebounding, and steal numbers lead his team. On February 22nd, he scored 20 points and snared 14 boards in Cibona's 92-70 win over BC Krka. He recorded a season-high 29 points in a 64-63 victory against Szolnoki Olaj KK on January 10th.

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