CHICAGO—The rumors have been floating for months now, going back to when Australian guard Dante Exum first signed with agent Rob Pelinka, whose most famous client is Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

Pelinka, the chatter went, would find a way to angle Exum onto the Lakers, where he could be groomed by—and eventually take over for—Bryant as a Lakers icon.

Exum, No. 4 in our latest mock draft, didn’t exactly deny that he would like to play for the Lakers, but understands that he might not have control over his destination.

“It is a thing that the media twisted from what I said,” Exum said. “Obviously, the Lakers are a great organization. But I am in this draft to go to a place where I feel best at, that is a good fit for me and whatever that team is, is the best place for me. There is no one place I want to go to.”

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There have been examples in the past, especially when it comes to internationals, of players who tried to avoid certain teams by not working out for them and refusing to meet with the team’s front office.

That was the case in 2007 when Yi Jianlian only worked out for select teams, and in 2009 when Ricky Rubio did the same. It did not work out for either player, as Rubio went to Minnesota and Yi went to Milwaukee—both were destinations the players were trying to avoid.

Exum said he does not plan to do that, though he said that he will probably have a workout to which teams will be invited.

“I guess, looking at teams—if a team really wants me and we don’t see it as the right fit, that’s when we would want a team not to take me,” Exum said. “But just looking at the teams and what teams want to take me, I don’t see a moment that there’s a team that doesn’t look like the right fit.

“But I guess when we look at how the lottery plays out, if there are any trades, we can see where I fit best and that’s where I would want to go.”

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Since declaring for the NBA draft, Exum has been working out in Los Angeles, and has had the opportunity to be on the floor with Bryant, who is still recovering from the knee injury that ended his season after just six games.

“I have talked to Kobe, I have seen him workout a couple of times,” Exum said. “He is just getting back and stuff. But I am definitely planning on talking to him because I am in a similar positio

n as he was when he was getting drafted. …

“He is just getting back into the swing of things. It was just really light shooting, but it was pretty cool to watch.”

Exum has not hid the fact that he is a Bryant fan. That has gone a long way toward fueling his desire to be a Laker. Short of that, he doesn’t see any teams he would object to joining.

“I want to go to a team where there’s a good team chemistry, somewhere I could fit right into,” Exum said. “Point guard or no point guard, it doesn’t really matter. I’m willing to go into a role where I can learn or learn from experience. I guess there are really no bad situations, but there are better situations.”

And if he lands in a situation which is more bad than better?

“I guess there’s nothing I could do,” Exum said.