Boomers Exum and Bairstow selected in NBA Draft

Boomers Exum and Bairstow selected in NBA Draft

It has been a momentous day for Australian basketball, with Australian Boomers Dante Exum and Cameron Bairstow joining the premier professional basketball league in today’s 2014 NBA Draft.

The highly-coveted Exum went at pick five to the Utah Jazz, while Bairstow was taken in the second round at pick 49 overall by the Chicago Bulls, capping off a memorable day for the two Australian stars.

After much build-up and fanfare, Exum was expected by many draft experts to land at either Philadelphia (3rd overall) or Orlando (4th), but managed to slip through to fifth, with the delighted Utah Jazz more than happy to capture a player they had long admired.

It was a different story for Bairstow, who after an amazing 12 months with the Boomers and the University of New Mexico, had to endure nearly three hours of drafting before his name was called out – eventually joining the perennial playoff outfit in Chicago.

Entering one of the biggest days of his life, Exum was the focus of much attention of the draft telecast, but appeared to be enjoying the moment with his family around him before tweeting the nerves he was feeling under his cool exterior.

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The slide to fifth overall and the Utah Jazz came as somewhat of a surprise after the Philadelphia 76ers gambled on selecting injured big man Joel Embiid with the third pick and the Magic, arguably the longest-standing admirer of Exum, selected Aaron Gordon fourth overall.

This saw the 18-year-old Australian fall right into the lap of the Jazz, which will see him join the backcourt of 2013 draftee Trey Burke and Gordon Haywood in Salt Lake City.

After having a 2013 to remember in the national team program, Bairstow has capped off any amazing 18 months, landing in Chicago, following in the footsteps of Boomers greats Luc Longley and Chris Anstey in playing for the famous franchise.

Pre-draft talk had Bairstow considered a nice fit for the Bulls roster as they look to create salary cap space for a tilt at high profile free agents Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love.

Social media went into meltdown with both players drawing plenty of notes of congratulations from fans, experts, future teams and teammates, along with their Boomers brethren.

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