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Brett Brown ‘Doesn’t Think’ 76ers Would Avoid Lonzo Ball

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There are numerous draft lottery scenarios that could take place on Tuesday night, leaving the Sixers with plenty exciting possibilities.

Related: 3 Things About 76ers’ Lottery Odds

But one scenario in particular would be if the 76ers were on the clock and the top player on their board was UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, the son of the outspoken and controversial LaVar Ball.

Related: LaVar Ball: ‘Prefer Lonzo To Lakers, But He’ll Play On The Moon’

Head coach Brett Brown doesn’t believe LaVar’s presence would hinder the team’s decision.

“I don’t think so,” Brown told the 94WIP Carlin & Reese Show when asked if the Sixers would avoid Lonzo.

Listen: Brett Brown on the 94WIP Carlin & Reese Show

 

“It’s interesting and it’s a fair question. We interviewed one of the UCLA players in Chicago and we asked a lot of tough question and he was a great sounding board. The players felt like it wasn’t any distraction and they talked lots about Lonzo just being a hell of a teammate and very, sort of, quiet. And when you start studying Lonzo’s game and hearing reactions from his teammates it sort of waters down some of the anxiety we read about.

“We’ve navigated so many situations. With all of these one and done 20-year-old’s, in a twisted way, it’s just another challenge.”

Brown is entering his 5th season in Philadelphia and the franchise is finally starting to see some growth and potential. With pieces like Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Dario Saric in place, Brown admits the 2017 NBA Draft will be more about fit than the traditional best player available approach.

“I think we’re now at a stage where we’re starting to feel comfortable about some of the pieces we have in place,” Brown said. “In general, to your question, we don’t feel at all as much of a prisoner — categorically saying, ‘We’re just gonna take the best player.’ There is an element now where we need some fit.”

Replacing Brown at Tuesday night’s lottery — where the Sixers have a 39.5-percent chance to receive two top-five selections — is fan favorite Joel Embiid. Embiid averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in limited minutes, in just 31 games last season — the first and only 31 games of his NBA career after two straight foot injuries and a slight meniscus tear.

Health permitting, Brown says the Sixers are confident they found something special.

“We did see enough of a sample size to recognize that Joel Embiid is extraordinarily special,” Brown said. “Nobody can deny that. And what I get most excited about is I think he’s just scratching the surface.”

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