Not that it’s going to help him, but D’Angelo Russell doesn’t want to play for the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s most likely not alone in that sentiment, knowing that you can be moved and traded at anytime by an organization that has lost its way of rebuilding despite the arrogance and confidence shown by the general manager.
Loyalty matters in the NBA. It matters to veterans, who see a team like the Los Angeles Lakers “take care” of Kobe Bryant with a huge contract despite his age, injuries and decline and think about what it’s going to be like when they get that age. They see teams like the 76ers trading away players like a pair of socks just to have a few more draft picks. That’s not the kind of team a player wants to be with.
If anyone thought the 76ers had a plan with Sam Hinkie in charge, the Michael Carter-Williams trade in the middle of last season scrapped that notion. This is a team gambling on luck, nothing else. They’re simply stockpiling on draft picks, waiting for luck to give them the right player, in the right draft class, at the right pick. Everything else? Just shuffling chairs until there’s someone good enough to sit down in them.
D’Angelo Russell is going to be a top 5 pick. Some think even a number 3, which means the Sixers. The Ohio State point guard who has size, range and excellent vision to make him a splendid passer worked out for them and impressed. He doesn’t actually have a say in where he gets drafted; those days are long gone. But if it’s true about him and other players, it means just how much the 76ers brand has been diminished (not that it had such a high starting point to begin with) over the last couple of years for putting on D-League teams to play basketball and abysmal tanking.