Lakers audition guard D'Angelo Russell for No. 2 draft pick

Lakers audition guard D'Angelo Russell for No. 2 draft pick
Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell walks toward the bench during the Buckeyes' 73-58 loss to Arizona in the NCAA tournament on March 21. (Craig Mitchelldyer / Associated Press)

The Lakers auditioned Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell on Monday afternoon at the team's practice facility in El Segundo.

"Great first workout. It's a great opportunity and it's an honor to be here," said Russell, who said he has something scheduled soon with the New York Knicks (fourth overall pick).

Russell, 19, is a candidate to be drafted by the Lakers with their second overall pick.

While Russell is enthusiastic about possibly being a teammate of Kobe Bryant, that's not necessarily how he envisioned his future.

"Playing with him, it would definitely be an honor," said Russell.  "[But] I always dreamed of playing against him."

The 6-foot-5 freshman averaged 19.3 points and 5.0 assists a game while shooting 44.9% from the field and 44.1% from three-point range for the Buckeyes.

On Sunday night, Russell went out to dinner with the Lakers' basketball operations staff, including General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

"I got a great vibe from them," said Russell.  "We watched the [NBA Finals] and most of the attention was on the game, the bad calls, the focus really wasn't on me."

He also noted that Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star LeBron James was indeed fouled late in the game, referring to a controversial non-call, but the officials swallowed their whistles for good reason.

"He traveled first," said Russell.  "I guess they let him get away with that by not calling [the foul]."

Russell sees similarities between his game and Golden State Warriors All-Star guard Stephen Curry.

"I just try to really model my game after Steph Curry. With his success, he didn't come into the league playing the way he's playing now," said Russell. "It took some time and the player that he's developed to be. I see a great resemblance."

Russell is anxious to learn his fate, but he'll wait until the draft on June 25.

"I'm just ready to know, this is the most devastating time," he said.  "The fun starts when you know what team you're on and what city you're going to."

In the meantime, he's enjoying his relative anonymity.

"I honestly love it when people don't really pay as much attention to me, I thrive with it," said Russell. "That gives me an edge because I know where I came from and I know the hard work I put in.  I have the confidence of my work ethic."

Once he's drafted by an NBA team, Russell is likely to find he's not quite an unknown anymore.

The Lakers will work out Duke center Jahlil Okafor on Tuesday, along with a second solo workout with Murray State point guard Cameron Payne.  The franchise worked out point guard Emmanuel Mudiay on Saturday, another option for the second pick.

The team is also expected to bring in Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns.  The Lakers also have the 27th and 34th picks in the draft.

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