D'Angelo Russell's presence or lack thereof in Philadelphia this weekend is currently the talk of the 76ers world. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey, in a now deleted tweet, stated earlier this morning that the Ohio State guard would be in town this weekend for a workout with the Sixers. He followed that up shortly after with a tweet that reported just the opposite:
D'Angelo Russell canceled this weekend's visit and workout for the #Sixers, according to multiple sources.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) June 12, 2015
With big boards and mock drafts galore presuming that Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor would be the draft's first two picks, going to the Timberwolves and Lakers, respectively, one would think that Russell would very much be in-play for the Sixers with the third pick, or at least available to them.
No reason was reported for the cancellation.
For those wishing for Sam Hinkie to grab "Voodoo" Russell on June 25th, it isn't time to panic just yet. Russell's workout with the team could simply be rescheduled for some point in the next two weeks. Russell and the team could possibly already have some sort of understanding that the two big men will be off the board when the Sixers are on the clock and that the two parties know enough about each other at this point that Russell will be a Sixer. The team did interview him at the NBA Combine, per our own Derek Bodner.
Coming to such a decision almost two weeks away from the draft doesn't necessarily work with Hinkie's philosophy of optionality though, especially with Emmanuel Mudiay scheduled to workout for the team in a few days, according to SNY.TV's Adam Zagoria.
Russell could have a draft promise from one of the two teams picking above the Sixers, though that would be contradictory to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix's report that the Lakers are "locked in" on Okafor with the second pick, as well as Forbes' Mark Heisler saying that there is "no doubt" that the T-Wolves are selecting Towns at the top of the draft.
As seen throughout this week so far with Draft Express' new mock that has the Sixers selecting Kristaps Porzingis and our own Jake Pavorsky's report that the team is "intrigued" by Mudiay, reports are floating around regarding teams and players at the moment, a shrouded blitz of information that will only increase in volume and murkiness as we move towards the draft.
UPDATE: Pompey tweeted once more regarding Russell's cancellation, saying that the guard "got real sick."