For almost half of the NBA, the next big event on the schedule is June 23's draft from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
One of sports' most exclusive drafts features just 60 picks, which makes a player's selection all the more special.
Here is my latest first-round mock draft. The top half of the draft order will not be set until May 17's lottery drawing, so the order of picks is based on regular-season records.
|2016 NBA Mock Draft: 1st Round|
|1||Philadelphia 76ers||Ben Simmons||F||LSU|
|2||Los Angeles Lakers||Brandon Ingram||SF||Duke|
|3||Boston Celtics||Jamal Murray||SG||Kentucky|
|4||Phoenix Suns||Dragan Bender||PF||Croatia|
|5||Minnesota Timberwolves||Buddy Hield||SG||Oklahoma|
|6||New Orleans Pelicans||Kris Dunn||PG||Providence|
|7||Denver Nuggets||Henry Ellenson||PF/C||Marquette|
|8||Sacramento Kings||Jaylen Brown||SG/SF||California|
|9||Toronto Raptors||Jakob Poeltl||C||Utah|
|10||Milwaukee Bucks||Ivan Rabb||PF||California|
|11||Orlando Magic||Skal Labissiere||PF/C||Kentucky|
|12||Utah Jazz||Furkan Korkmaz||SG||Turkey|
|13||Phoenix Suns||Marquese Chriss||SF||Washington|
|14||Chicago Bulls||Denzel Valentine||SG||Michigan State|
|15||Denver Nuggets||Timothe Luwawu||SG||France|
|16||Boston Celtics||Domantas Sabonis||PF/C||Gonzaga|
|17||Memphis Grizzlies||Caris LeVert||SG||Michigan|
|18||Detroit Pistons||Malik Beasley||SG||Florida State|
|19||Denver Nuggets||Dejounte Murray||SG||Washington|
|20||Indiana Pacers||Demetrius Jackson||PG||Notre Dame|
|21||Atlanta Hawks||Brice Johnson||PF||North Carolina|
|22||Charlotte Hornets||Malachi Richardson||SG||Syracuse|
|23||Boston Celtics||Cheick Diallo||PF||Kansas|
|24||Philadelphia 76ers||Tyler Ulis||PG||Kentucky|
|25||Los Angeles Clippers||Diamond Stone||C||Maryland|
|26||Philadelphia 76ers||Wade Baldwin IV||SG||Vanderbilt|
|27||Toronto Raptors||Deyonta Davis||PF||Michigan State|
|28||Phoenix Suns||Melo Trimble||PG||Maryland|
|29||San Antonio Spurs||Damian Jones||PF||Vanderbilt|
|30||Golden State Warriors||Stephen Zimmerman||PF/C||UNLV|
The 76ers Could Have the Best Draft
This statement has been made annually over the past three or four years. The problem is injuries and a subpar supporting cast has kept Philadelphia rooted to the bottom of the league standings.
If the pingpong balls fall in the right way, the Sixers will have the No. 1 overall pick along with another two picks in the 20s that they received from the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, per NBADraft.net.
Speaking hypothetically, if the 76ers get the No. 1 pick, there shouldn't be much deliberation, as Ben Simmons is the best all-around athlete in this year's draft.
In his lone season at LSU, Simmons averaged a double-double of 19.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.
At 6'10", he can run the floor, shoot from mid-range and provide a low-post game, something that could stretch Philadelphia's frontcourt.
Teaming up with Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and, if he's healthy, Joel Embiid, the 76ers could have a young, talented and explosive combination at the 4 and 5.
Outside of the big men, Philadelphia's roster might as well be a blank canvas, as anyone acquired in the draft provides the possibility of being an upgrade at each position.
Kentucky's Tyler Ulis could be available toward the end of the first round, and he could be a point guard of the future. Despite his 5'9" frame, Ulis can score and facilitate, having averaged 17.3 points and 7.0 assists per game last season with the Wildcats.
Having a true floor general could give the 76ers structure and provide a supplier for those promising big men.
With one more pick in the round coming from the Thunder, which will likely be one of the final five picks of the round, the 76ers could look for a shooter who can stretch the floor and provide a solid wing presence.
That could come in the form of Vanderbilt's Wade Baldwin IV, who shot almost 41 percent from downtown last season.
Developing a deep shooter like that would give opposing defenses something else to contend with other than Okafor, Noel, Embiid and possibly Simmons.
If they have a successful draft like this, the 76ers could flirt with the chance of being a lower lottery pick instead of contending for a top-two pick like they have lately.
Stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com.