D'Angelo Russell is considered far and away the best point guard in the draft (just ask NBA scout Elan Vinokurov), and many feel his most likely destination is in Philadelphia. But according to one report, the former Ohio State star is hoping a different team selects him.
After that it gets interesting, because Philadelphia is picking third, and no one in the NBA knows what the 76ers are doing and have been doing in recent years under secretive General Manager Sam Hinkie.
After trading point guard Michael Carter-Williams, the 2014 rookie of the year, to Milwaukee this past season, it would appear that the 76ers need a point guard.
But the buzz around the NBA is that D'Angelo Russell, a 6-5 point guard from Ohio State whom many see as a lesser Stephen Curry-type, doesn't want to play for the unpredictable 76ers. Russell did work out for the 76ers last week.
On the periphery this may look like an issue, but let's talk about a couple things.
1) *The Rock voice* IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK, D'ANGELO! If Sam Hinkie and the Sixers do end up selecting Russell, it's not like he has the option of holding out here. He's going to show up, put a smile on his face, and pretend to like things until he realizes the Sixers aren't a nuclear wasteland like so many players think it is before they actually join the organization. Thomas Robinson and Ish Smith make for pretty good references. Also, this information is probably on the bottom of the list of things that would deter Hinkie from selecting him. Whether this is coming from someone in Russell's camp or from another team trying to scare away the Sixers (much more likely), unfortunately it won't work. Philadelphia could very reasonably select somebody else, but this won't be one of the reasons.
2) This new report does not seem to be in tune with information we've heard over the past week. Not only did Russell workout for the team Wednesday after originally having to cancel due to sickness, he was apparently pretty happy about his stopover in Philadelphia. The Inqurier's Keith Pompey spoke to a source close to Russell, who made it clear that the 19-year-old "really loves Philly". Not to mention, it seems like he and Nerlens Noel might be pretty tight.
You can put stock in whatever report you'd like to believe, but this new notion that Russell doesn't want to play in Philadelphia seems unreasonable.