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Jazz draft Australian PG Exum and F Hood
Question of the Day
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - One year after drafting their point guard of the future, the Utah Jazz have selected another player at the one position.
The Jazz took Australian guard Dante Exum with the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft Thursday night after having traded for eventual starter Trey Burke in the 2013 draft.
It is hoped that Exum, who led his high school to the 2013 Australian School Championship, will play alongside Burke at shooting guard, or play the point.
The 6-foot-6 teenager burst onto the scene at the U19 FIBA World Championship in Prague as his team advanced to the semifinals. He averaged 18.2 points during the tournament and decided to enter the draft instead of playing collegiately in the United States.
“I’m just a kid from Melbourne, Australia and I won’t be a mystery anymore,” Exum told ESPN. “I’m looking forward to playing with another great guard. It will be a good experience and I’m looking to go into this system and learn.”
In April 2013, Exum participated in the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit for the World Select Team where he recorded 16 points in a 112-98 win over the U.S. junior team.
Exum, 18, had limited exposure until that event and did not work out for the Jazz in the weeks leading up to the draft. His father, Cecil, won a national championship at North Carolina in 1982 with Michael Jordan and James Worthy.
Burke spoke with Exum and welcomed him to the team.
“He told me he was happy they drafted me. That means a lot when it’s coming from him as a point guard and that he’s open to us playing alongside each other,” Exum said.
The Jazz also added Duke forward Rodney Hood with the No. 23 pick of the NBA draft.
“You want to hear your name called as quick as possible but at the same time, I landed with a really good team with great fans,” Hood said.
Hood, 21, played one year at Mississippi State and then sat out a season before averaging 16.1 points and shooting 42 percent from behind the 3-point line as a team captain at Duke.
The 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward was named to the 2014 All-ACC second team and is the first Duke player ever drafted by the Jazz.
The left-handed sharpshooter gives Utah some insurance in case the team is not able to retain restricted free agent Gordon Hayward. Hood can score off the dribble and is regarded as a good defender.
“I’m a guy who can shoot, can score the ball. I add some depth on the wing and I’m a guy who wants to win and prove himself,” Hood said.
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