Where is the former Buckeye going to land?
The 2015 NBA Draft Lottery is over and in less than a month the NBA Draft will be here. The Minnesota Timberwolves won the lottery with the best odds, a 25% chance.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks and Orlando Magic close out the top five. Now as we wait till the draft gets here, the question is where is D’Angelo Russell likely to be draft to?
The case could be made for him to go number one, but for that to happen, Russell would likely have to go to another team via trade. In the pre lottery version, I discussed the top five teams needs including the T’Wolves guard situation and needs elsewhere. I would expect to have their preference elsewhere.
Is Russell the best player in the draft? No, but it is close. Could he be the best player from this draft three, four years from now? Most definitely.
Who wouldn’t want to go number one? His confidence in himself is great and he is not shy expressing it.
Likelihood of being selected with the first pick- 10%, likely would need a trade up.
Nothing has changed regarding the potential of Russell going to the Lakers or the 76ers. Both teams could definitely use him, but both could also go a number of different ways, with the latter being the more logical choice based off of the current rosters.
The Lakers needs a center, but Kobe Bryant is not getting any younger and there are questions as to who will start at SF and PG for the team long term. Teaming up a Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns with Julius Randle would be a solid front court, but Russell gives someone the team can hopefully lead them after the Kobe days are over.
Philadelphia has gone big the last couple of drafts, including trading PG Elfrid Payton after they drafted to him for big man Dario Saric. It is almost an ideal fit for Russell to end up in Philly.
However, after drafting Nerlens Noel, it was surprising they drafted Joel Embiid two drafts ago, so there is uncertainty. Russell may not even be Philly’s top preference in the back court. According to Bleacher Report’s NBA Senior Writer Jared Zwerling, their GM Sam Hinkie was the only GM to watch Emmanuel Mudiay in China.
Dunking with Wolves
Likelyhood to be drafted by Lakers: 35% and drafted by the 76ers: 45%
It is tough to imagine with Russell’s skill set, but with at least five players who could go in the top three, Russell could slip out of one of the top picks.
With Shane Larkin and Tim Hardaway Jr. already in place for the New York Knicks, if Russell fell to the fourth pick, does Phil Jackson believe he is a better option? That would be an interesting situation to watch if he was given the opportunity.
If Russell were to be drafted by New York, he easily should be taking a starting role and be the second option behind Carmelo Anthony.
Likelyhood Russell ends up a Knick-5% and 5% Russell drops out of top five.
Where do you hope Russell lands?
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