By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Former Ohio State Buckeyes guard D’Angelo Russell has set the record straight about what caused him to cancel a workout for the Philadelphia 76ers during his visit to ESPN this morning while appearing on First Take. Russell said that his traveling to teams for pre-draft workouts was a factor in him missing the first scheduled workout.
“I was sick,” he said. “I’m 19, and I’m traveling like crazy. I think I had a fever, and I didn’t want to go in there at half of my full potential.”
The 76ers are considered the favorite to draft Russell on Thursday night. After missing his first workout in the City of Brotherly Love, he came back and reportedly “killed it” during his workout with the team.
“I’ll play for any team,” he added when pressed about playing for the 76ers.
There, of course, is a chance that the 76ers pass on Russell, as anything is possible on draft night, which is this Thursday night on ESPN at 7 pm from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Foreign 7-footer Kristaps Porziņģis is also being linked to the Sixers, which if he’s drafted by them, it would mean General Manager Sam Hinkie would use back-to-back Top 5 picks on big man.
However, as Porziņģis’ stock is rising, Russell is considered the best guard in the draft and the third-best prospect after big man Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor. Russell is listed as a point guard, but can also play point guard.
Last year, the Sixers traded Michael-Carter Williams away to the Milwaukee Bucks at the trade deadline. The former Rookie of the Year winner was considered one of the team’s building blocks, before the shocking trade.
ProBasketballTalk on NBC reported that Russell doesn’t want to play for the Sixers, but teams are always putting out false information around the draft. Plus, the team got word this morning that Dario Šarić, the 12th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, will not play in Philadelphia next season.
That would allow Russell to fall to the New York Knicks with the fourth overall pick. Russell has said that he would love to play in the triangle.
“Honestly, I didn’t know anything about the triangle,” Russell admitted. “I know Kobe (Bryant) and other players have had success in the triangle. During my visit, I watched a lot of film in the triangle. If I landed up there, I’m going to make the best of it.”
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