The 76ers hold the No. 3 pick in June’s NBA Draft and are in need of a scoring combo-guard.
Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell fits the bill, and is rated by many as the third-best prospect in the draft after big men Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor.
One of those two will almost definitely go No. 1 to the Timberwolves, but the Lakers could be a thorn in Philly’s side. They invited the three aforementioned prospects to L.A. and have made it clear they are considering taking the guard. This would leave the 76ers with a killer decision over whether to add yet another seven-footer or take a different player, perhaps Emmanuel Mudiay.
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The issue, of course, is that Philly already boasts Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. Each are expected to be 100 percent next season and will be the building blocks for a defensively minded team with great size.
Mudiay, who spent last season playing overseas in China rather than college, is turnover prone, a lackluster free throw shooter and all together rather raw.
In contrast, the former Buckeye Russell averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5 assists in the Big 10 last year. He was the fifth-leading vote-getter for the John Wooden award.
“Obviously in this draft, you got two great bigs and you got a great point guard in Russell as well,” Lakers coach Byron Scott told Jim Rome this week. “We got to wait and see what Minnesota does. So we are going to do our due diligence to bring them in and work them out and go from there.”