Deciphering D’Angelo Russell’s Social Media Activity As it (maybe) Relates to the Sixers Lottery Position


Barring any freak injuries in the weeks leading up to the draft, it seems as if the Sixers have dodged the proverbial bullet that comes along with their ‘tanking’ strategy. Unlike the Knicks, who fell out of the top-three despite having the NBA’s second worst record, the Sixers spot in the upcoming draft fell as-slotted given their win-loss total for 2014-2015. For the second straight year, Philadelphia will pick 3rd overall barring any trades that might dictate otherwise.

Given the make-up of the top of the draft class and the Sixers logjam of lottery talent in the front court, many pundits have already slotted a guard to go 3rd overall to Philadelphia. In almost every case one could come across the day after the lottery, Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell is the player most have penciled in for the Sixers. There has been speculation for weeks now that the Sixers covet the former Buckeye and have already identified him as their top target. Any speculation over what’s going through Sam Hinkie’s head can be taken with a gigantic grain of salt, but that’s not to say Russell in Philadelphia wouldn’t make sense.

Though he isn’t perceived as a ‘pure’ point guard, Russell does appear to be the draft’s top combo guard and some (including himself) argue him as the top talent in the class, regardless of position. With the NBA gravitating towards backcourt players capable of running the offense and scoring, Russell is an intriguing talent anywhere in the lottery.

Though a lot could change in the next few weeks, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor are almost universally slotted as the first and second picks in the draft to Minnesota and Los Angeles in some order. Though the Sixers did not win the lottery, the fates may have prevented Sam Hinkie from moving one of his front court lottery picks in order to take Towns or Okafor. Though many adhere to the ‘best player available’ mantra when it comes to drafting, Russell may just end up being the top talent in the draft but plays a position where top-end quality comes along more often. The match between him and the Sixers at 3rd overall almost makes too much sense.

Between both the NBA Draft Combine and build-up to Tuesday’s lottery, Russell hasn’t shied away from discussing any of his numerous future destinations. On multiple occasions, Russell has mentioned what playing for the Sixers would be like to start his professional career.

"“If I end up there it would be a blessing…I know I would make the best of the situation. So I am ready for it.”"

The previous quote came courtesy of a story by Keith Pompey of the Inquirer.

In addition to verbally addressing the possibility of landing in Philadelphia, Russell may have been dropping some subtle hints at his excitement level of the Sixers possibly taking him 3rd overall.

That tweet occurred roughly 10 minutes after the draft order was determined. Though there isn’t much to grasp on to with that, Russell’s continued activity on social media throughout the night may have painted a clearer picture.

Drew Corrigan of, our Fansided affiliate dedicated to the Sixers, was helpful enough to take a screen shot of some of Russell’s Instagram activity. I’m not particularly well-versed in that medium, but it seems as if the future lottery pick wasn’t shy about showing some gratitude for the Sixers faithful doctoring up images of him in a uniform.

A lot of love towards Russell is going around following the lottery euphoria. It’s important to take into account how scrupulous Sam Hinkie is throughout the evaluation process and it’d be irresponsible to try to lock in any player to the team’s 3rd overall pick. It may very well end up being Russell. If it isn’t, it’s important to note that Hinkie almost certainly put in the necessary work and realized he may not be the perfect fit for what the team is trying to do. Having said all that, it does seem to be a potential marriage with mutual interest, to some degree.

Next: Sam Hinkie Critics Continue to Look Foolish

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