Take Your Time Dante Exum

Dante Exum has a little bit more to prove if he is to match Andrew Bogut’s feat of becoming the first Australian to be picked number one at an NBA Draft and the 18-year-old is prepared to make the world wait as he makes the biggest decision of his life.

Exum is tossing up between joining the NBA as a probable top five draft pick next June or spend a year in the US college system further developing his game.

Despite being eligible to play college basketball in December once he finishes high school in Australia this October, Exum told ESPN earlier this week that he has ruled out enrolling in college for the coming season and is instead deciding between college in 2014-15 or bypassing the system altogether and jumping straight to the pros.

“Schools have been saying I can start in early December and play this season,” Exum told ESPN. “But if college is the option, I’ll stay in Australia, do workouts with the national team and then go to college next August. Playing this season in college is not an option.”

ESPN has Exum projected as the No.3 pick in the 2014 draft behind Canadian Andrew Wiggins and Kentucky’s Julius Randle. DraftExpress also has the Aussie currently third.

Exum saw his stock dramatically rise after dominating for Australia at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in June and July and has since collected his first international experience, playing for Australia in the two-game FIBA Oceania Championship against New Zealand.

Melbourne Tigers coach Chris Anstey offered some advice for Exum in an interview with News Limited.

“Go to the NBA,” Anstey said. “The reason you’re going to go to college, where there is obviously the basketball component, is the education. That’s the selling point – so you’re only going to go to college for one year and not get your degree anyway.”

“He has a guaranteed lottery pick in the draft and you just don’t know what will happen at college,” Anstey said.

 “You could blow your knee out in your first year there or have a bad year.

“There are a lot more variables if you don’t plan on getting your degree anyway. If the opinion on him is that high now, I would go (to the NBA).”

Exum told ESPN his college choice will come down to a choice between Indiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan and Oregon.

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Stefan Postles, Getty Images.