D'Angelo Russell has canceled his meeting and workout with the Philadelphia 76ers that was scheduled for this weekend, according to Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer. The Ohio State point guard is widely considered to be one of the top-three players in the 2015 NBA Draft, along with Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor. Many mock drafts are predicting Russell eventually ends up being drafted by the 76ers with the third overall pick, so this is an interesting move from the guard's camp.
Russell, who averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and five assists per game during his freshman campaign with the Buckeyes, worked out for Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers front office on Monday after dining with team brass on Sunday night. Russell is reportedly also scheduled to work out for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have the first overall pick, sometime next week.
As the June 25th draft draws closer, players and their agents should be expected to make leverage plays like cancelling workouts and the like, and Russell aborting his workout with the team picking third overall does not necessarily mean that one of the top-two teams have "promised" him anything. Russell and his agent could have decided that they do not like his fit in Philadelphia, or maybe the guard is feeling under the weather. There could also be little benefit for him to workout for a team that will ultimately draft him one way or the other as well.
The only thing that is certain is the swirling rumors around the top of the draft are unlikely to settle down until the official picks finally come in. Buckle your seat belts.
UPDATE, 6/12 11:30 a.m. PT: A "source" close to Russell indicated that the guard is "real sick," hence he cancelled his workout, reports Pompey. The report also notes that the 76ers could line up another workout for Russell.