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Russell: 'I can definitely thrive' in triangle

Arizona's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson gave D'Angelo Russell fits in the NCAA tourney. Godofredo Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

D'Angelo Russell didn't know much about the triangle a few weeks ago.

But he got a good look at the New York Knicks offense during a film session with team president Phil Jackson and other members of the organization earlier this month.

"Now that I look at it, Kobe had great success in it. The shots that he took, the shots that he made were in the same areas, all from the offense. So I think I can definitely thrive there," Russell said in a phone interview on Friday.

Those words may excite a Knicks fan base that is looking for the organization to hit a home run with the fourth pick in the NBA draft.

The Knicks would probably jump at the opportunity to draft Russell, the sharp-shooting lefty point guard from Ohio State, on Thursday night.

But it seems unlikely that Russell will be available when New York makes its selection. The Knicks brought Russell in for a workout last week to get a closer look at the 19-year-old in case he falls to the fourth pick.

Russell discussed the interview in a phone interview in conjunction with the American Express Home Court Advantage Rookie Draft Desk Series, a video look at his career.

"It was great, just to be in the mecca," Russell said of the Knicks workout. "It was my second workout. Just being in New York was a great feeling and getting the opportunity to work out for one of most well-known teams in the NBA was just a blessing."

Russell said he met with Jackson and Knicks coach Derek Fisher during the workout.

"They did a great job of opening the doors for me and letting me ask anything I needed," Russell said. "I asked them what’s one thing I can do to separate myself and they gave me some great knowledge on that. They’ve seen the greatest of the greats come through this league. So they know what it takes."

The Knicks are considering all of their options with the draft pick, including the possibility of trading it for a package that includes a lower pick.

Jackson said in an interview with The New York Times on Thursday that New York would likely draft a guard or a wing and pursue big men in free agency.

Given that mindset, players such as Russell, Emmanuel Mudiay and Justise Winslow would seem to fit the Knicks' draft plans.

Russell is widely projected to be selected within the top three picks on Thursday. But European big man Kristaps Porzingis has drawn interest and, according to reports, is being considered by Philadelphia as a candidate for the third pick.

If the Sixers take Porzingis, Russell could fall into the Knicks' lap.

For his part, it seems like Russell is looking forward simply to getting to Thursday night. The individual workouts have been a daunting process.

"It’s the hardest thing ever -- not being able to play in 5-on-5 settings or competitive settings," Russell said. "Going city to city trying to impress teams is tough because you never know what they think about you. So that’s probably the toughest part."

Phil, Kevin Love witness A-Rod's 3,000th: Jackson was on hand for Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th hit on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. He watched the game in a suite. Potential free agent Kevin Love also attended the game.

It's unlikely that the two men crossed paths in the Bronx.

Since Love is still under contract with Cleveland, any discussions between the two about Love joining the Knicks would be considered tampering.