We are still a long way from the NBA draft—just about four months, in fact—but already, questions have arisen about the intentions of star Australian guard Dante Exum. Already, Exum has acknowledged that he is a fan of Kobe Bryant, and signed with agent Rob Pelinka, who also represents Bryant. And Exum has said he’d love to play in Los Angeles.

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.”

And, in recent times, at least, the story has not exactly worked out the way the player hoped. When Ricky Rubio attempted to land himself with the Thunder, Clippers or Kings in ’09, all three teams passed on him and he wound up going to Minnesota.

In 2007, when Yi Jianlian was trying to select his market, he only worked out in front of the Hawks, Celtics, Bulls, Lakers, Clippers, Kings, Warriors and Sixers. Three teams with Top 7 picks—Milwaukee, Memphis and Minnesota—were not invited to watch him. The Bucks drafted Yi anyway.

If Exum wanted to go old-school, he could threaten to play overseas if anyone except the Lakers were to draft him. Already playing in Australia, that would not come across as an idle threat. That’s not a common path, but back in 1989, forward Danny Ferry refused to play for the Clippers after they used the No. 2 pick on him, signing on in Italy until his rights were traded later that year.

It could be moot speculation, of course, because the woebegone Lakers are positioned to be in the Top 5 as things stand, and could bump up depending on how the lottery shakes out. Exum is slated to be in the Top 5, but not likely to go with one of the top two or three picks.