When projected first-rounder Australian guard Dante Exum told an Australian paper that he planned to speak with Lakers star Kobe Bryant about the transition to the NBA and signed with Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, there was a degree of concern that this could be foreshadowing. There were rumors, after all, later denied by Bryant and some executives, that as a high school phenom Bryant had threatened to play in Europe if anyone but the Lakers tried to draft him.
Now the Sporting News reports that some personnel are concerned about the same thing with Exum.
But would Exum go so far as to try to angle his way onto the Lakers, who currently have the fifth-worst record in the NBA? That's the concern among some front-office executives around the league.
“When you hear some of what he says, it does make you wonder how the process is going to go as far as workouts and that sort of thing,” one general manager told Sporting News. “We have seen this story before, of course. I am not sure a player can have that kind of control, though.”
via NBA Draft: Is Dante Exum destined to be a Laker? - NBA - Sporting News.
Pulling that kind of stunt now as opposed to when Bryant did it in the late-90's is a different deal, now. Not only is there more reporting and more scrutiny with the internet and social media, but Adam Silver played a huge hand in the CBA negotiations towards leveling the playing field for small markets to prevent exactly this kind of thing.
Odds are that Exum will be happy no matter where he's drafted and this is a non-factor. But it's interesting that some league personnel have a concern about a possible demand from the youngster.