The sports world went crazy when LeBron James opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat Tuesday.
But can you blame the four-time MVP after the annihilation he suffered in the Finals? Is James staying in South Beach for the long-haul the way Pat Riley expects him to?
It’s more than fair to say that nobody knows. But there’s an Australian point guard available that could ensure James’ home for at least three more years.
Dante Exum is listed at 6’6 210 pounds and despite the lack of scouting information has been compared to a past Florida great, Penny Hardaway.
Maybe it’s a stretch to match the state with the last name of the last great Heat point guard (Tim Hardaway) but is it really out of the question?
Four years ago heading into the draft who knew Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and James would become teammates?
Exum is a long point guard with great ball-handling skills and playmaking ability something the former champs lacked during this entire season outside of James. His size will give every point guard in the league fits.
Translation LeBron won’t have to guard Derrick Rose or Tony Parker all while being the leading scorer and facilitator.
Exum is a player that’s high-risk high-reward because it’s no definite that he will be anything close to either Hardaway. Many general managers have discussed a lot of different scenarios in hopes to sell their organizations to James.
Anything is possible and with this draft class being compared to the classes of 2003 and 1984 blockbuster moves will be made. There are reports about Miami trying to move up in the draft to select Shabazz Napier.
James believes Napier is the best point guard in the draft. But according to all the scouts and NBA Draft gurus Exum is much higher on the board.
Riley can draft a player ready to play in the spotlight and give a talented rookie point guard the options of a two-time Finals MVP, the aging 2006 Finals MVP and arguably the most versatile scoring big man in the game.
Drafting Exum, signing a rim-protector and adding a few mid-level exception veteran shooters could bring Miami back to the Finals for a fifth straight year and make LeBron’s job a lot less stressful as he bides his time to return back to Cleveland.
The Heat should take a page out of the San Antonio Spurs championship book and get James’ Tony Parker in Exum.