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Dante Exum stars in NBA Draft related commercials

Man in demand: Dante Exum/

Man in demand: Dante Exum/ Photo: AP

Australian teenager Dante Exum is yet to bounce or shoot a ball in the NBA, but he is the star of a major new ad campaign in the US.

The 18-year-old basketballer appears in four comedic ads by global athletic retailer Foot Locker and shoe giant adidas.

The ads, titled "Life Changes After the Draft", poke fun at Exum's Australian accent and lack of celebrity status in the US.

While Exum will still have his Australian accent, on Thursday (Friday 9am AEST), his celebrity profile in the US will skyrocket when he's expected to be a top three pick in the NBA Draft held in Brooklyn, New York.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have the top selection, but if they pass on the 198cm tall Melbourne-born point guard, the Milwaukee Bucks or the Philadelphia 76ers, with the second and third picks respectively, are expected to snap up Exum.

"Hey, what do they call sneakers in England?" an American guy, who bumps into Exum on a residential Los Angeles street asks in one of the ads.

"I'm actually Australian," Exum replies.

"So, what do they call sneakers in Australia?" the guy asks.

"Runners," Exum says.

"So you're a runner. Me too," the guy says before running off, leaving a dejected Exum alone on the street.

"No, I play basketball. I'm a point guard," the Australian Institute of Sport graduate says with a bowed head.

In the other ads, Exum is caught by a friend practising his autograph; is mocked by two mates when he tells them he can't go to a Foot Locker store because he fears the paparazzi will be there; and struggles with his Aussie accent to make a restaurant reservation over the phone.

Exum is expected to sign a two-year contract with his NBA team worth about $A4 million a year, with the team holding options for third and fourth years, but it's off the court with his adidas and other endorsement deals where he'll hit pay dirt.

"The NBA Draft will certainly be a life-changing moment, and it was fun to be featured in these commercials that are going to help people see my personality," Exum said.

AAP

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