Report: Sixers Locked In on D’Angelo Russell?

But would they really trade assets to guarantee they get their man?

Basketball writer Derek Bodner is covering the NBA draft for Philadelphia magazine at Sixers Draftland

The Sixers have long been linked to D’Angelo Russell, a dynamic point guard out of Ohio State. The link has mostly been a result of the general consensus about Russell’s ability as a player along with speculation about the Sixers team needs, as few reports have come out to confirm which way the Sixers front office may be leaning.

The strongest confirmation of that preference may have come from Ken Berger of CBS Sports yesterday afternoon in what was mostly a throwaway comment toward the bottom of a report about a possible DeMarcus Cousins trade.

“Shakeup at the top? League sources say the Sixers want D’Angelo Russell and are willing to trade up from the No. 3 spot to get him. It would create an interesting opportunity for the Lakers, who could still get Jahlil Okafor and extract a future pick in the process. Among others, the Sixers control the Lakers’ 2016 first-round pick, which is top-3 protected.”

Ken Berger, CBS Sports

The need to trade up one spot with the Lakers would come as a little bit of a surprise, as Chad Ford of ESPN reported a couple of days ago that the Lakers are settling in on Jahlil Okafor.

There’s a chance that the Lakers are just posturing, trying to convince the Sixers that they would take Russell in an attempt to trade down with Philadelphia, get an asset or two in return, and still walk away with the guy they wanted all along. Depending on how Sam Hinkie and the Sixers read the situation, they may elect to just call the Lakers’ bluff.

The real interesting part of this report, however, is the suggestion that the Sixers are locked in on Russell as the target, to the point where they’d consider giving up a future asset to make sure they get him rather than the other options that would be available, such as Jahlil Okafor or Kristaps Porzingis.

Follow @DerekBodnerNBA on Twitter.

Previously in Sixers Draftland:

Rumor Mill: Sixers Reportedly in Discussions to Acquire Another First-Round Pick
Justise Winslow: A Defensive Maverick With Big “O” Questions
Dario Saric Not Coming Over This Season
Mario Hezonja: Is Elite Shooter Confident… or Cocky?
Emmanuel Mudiay: The Point Guard With a Shooting Problem
• Kristaps Porzingis: International Man of Mystery
• NBA Mock Draft Roundup: Who the Experts Think the Sixers Will Take
D’Angelo Russell: The Guy Everyone Thinks the Sixers Are Drafting
Jahlil Okafor: One of the Best Low-Post Scorers We’ve Seen

D’Angelo Russell to Work Out for the Sixers After All
• Karl-Anthony Towns: The Big Man the Sixers Probably Want — and Likely Can’t Get
Does Joel Embiid’s Setback Change Sixers’ Draft Plans?
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