Could 76ers pick a point guard? They might

Dante Exum, a 6-foot-6 point guard, could become a viable option for the Sixers if Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins are no longer on the board.
Dante Exum, a 6-foot-6 point guard, could become a viable option for the Sixers if Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins are no longer on the board. (AP)
Posted: May 17, 2014

CHICAGO - One would assume that the 76ers wouldn't use their first draft pick on another point guard to play alongside Michael Carter-Williams.

But that just might happen.

The Sixers arrived Wednesday at the NBA draft combine and met with several draft prospects. One of them was Dante Exum, a 6-foot-6 point guard from Australia.

"Most teams that look at me, they are trying to kind of look at a two-point-guard setup," Exum, 18, said Thursday.

It would be similar to what the Phoenix Suns are doing with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe. The Sixers also tried it at times, with backup point guard Tony Wroten playing alongside Carter-Williams.

But the Sixers' two first-round selections in the June 26 draft ultimately will depend on where they are picking.

They have a 19.9 percent chance of winning Tuesday's draft lottery after finishing with the league's second-worst record at 19-63. In the worst-case scenario, they would slide to fifth.

Right now, the Sixers are expected to use their first pick on former Duke swingman Jabari Parker or former Kansas swingman Andrew Wiggins. But if they are not available, Exum and former Kentucky power forward Julius Randle could be options.

If the Sixers chose Exum, he and coach Brett Brown could have a reunion of sorts.

Brown formerly coached the Australian national team. Three years ago, he invited Exum, then 15, to the Boomers' training camp. And while Brown was an assistant with the Melbourne Tigers, he coached Cecil Exum, Dante's father.

"Yeah, I've known Brett," Exum said. "So it would be a cool position to put myself into. . . . So we have to see what happens."

Exum impressed NBA scouts at the Under-17 and Under-19 FIBA World Championships and as a member of the World Select Team at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit. He's been training for the draft in Los Angeles since February.

"I have been going twice a day [in Los Angeles], shooting in the morning, strength and conditioning after that and a skills workout with some trainers," said Exum, who did not participate in Thursday's on-court workouts at the combine. "It's been a good process for me and I guess just fine-tuning everything that I need to work on."

The Sixers also will receive the Pelicans' first-round draft pick unless New Orleans finishes in the top five in the lottery. That's highly unlikely considering that the Pelicans finished with the 10th-worst record. New Orleans has a 4 percent chance of moving into the top three and cannot finish in slots four through nine.

The Sixers also will have five second-round picks: Nos. 32, 39, 47, 52, and 54.

Randle was scheduled to meet with the Sixers on Thursday. Former Creighton forward Doug McDermott said he had an interview planned with the team. The Sixers also met with power forward Aaron Gordon (formerly of Arizona), point guard Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), and shooting guard Gary Harris (Michigan State), among others.


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.inquirer.com/deepsixer

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