The 76ers' reasoning makes sense.

It's hard to build around a cornerstone if you're not completely certain he's the cornerstone you want to build around.

That's the reason they'll prefer the best player available over need in the June 25 NBA draft.

They probably won't have to worry about making a tough decision if things go as expected. Kentucky post player Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke center Jahlil Okafor should be off the board when the Sixers select third.

If that happens, Ohio State standout D'Angelo Russell would be the best player available. The point guard would also fill one of the Sixers' many needs. As a result, the Sixers could hit the jackpot as he fulfills both criteria.

Things could change if the Los Angeles Lakers shock people by selecting Russell or point guard Emmanuel Mudiay with the second pick. That would leave Towns or Okafor available for the Sixers.

But all preliminary indications are the two post players will go first and second to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lakers.

So the belief is that Russell will join power forward Nerlens Noel and center Joel Embiid, the current cornerstones of the Sixers.

The thought is that his ability to shoot and pass would complement the two Sixers post players. Russell's long-range shooting could provide spacing to allow Embiid to operate in the low post. His passes could set up Noel for spectacular alley-oop dunks.

But despite their high praise for Noel and Embiid, the Sixers are still figuring out whether they can actually build around the two.

There are some unanswered questions.

Embiid sat out his entire rookie season to rehabilitate his right foot after surgery last summer. And don't forget the back problems he had in his lone season at Kansas or his less-than-stellar work ethic at times with the Sixers.

Meanwhile, Noel had a solid rookie campaign after sitting out the 2013-14 season to rehab his left knee.

He led all rookies in rebounds (8.1 per game), blocks (1.89), and steals (1.77). The 6-foot-11, 220-pounder also averaged 9.9 points and was the league's only player ranked in the top 10 in both steals (10th) and blocks (seventh). The first-team all-rookie selection also joined Hall of Famer David Robinson as the only rookies to average at least 1.50 steals and 1.50 blocks. Robinson did it for the San Antonio Spurs in the 1989-90 season.

However, most of Noel's success came while playing center, where Embiid will play next season. Noel struggled defensively against speedy power forwards after switching there late in the season.

While he was effective at the center spot, the Sixers believe Noel has more of an upside at power forward. They also believe that Embiid could become a beast at center if he remains healthy.

But there are no guarantees.

That's why their approach for now is selecting the best player available. It's the best insurance in case their current cornerstones fall short.

@PompeyOnSixers