Now that the order of the top 14 selections has been established with the 2016 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday, organizations can begin planning for who they will take on June 23 in Brooklyn, New York.
This might not be the deepest draft the league has seen, but a pair of can't-miss prospects in LSU's Ben Simmons and Duke's Brandon Ingram are projected to go off the board first and second.
After my latest first-round mock draft, I will try to shed some light on what the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers could be thinking at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively:
|2016 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft|
|1||Philadelphia 76ers||Ben Simmons||F||LSU|
|2||Los Angeles Lakers||Brandon Ingram||SF||Duke|
|3||Boston Celtics||Dragan Bender||PF||Croatia|
|4||Phoenix Suns||Jaylen Brown||SF||California|
|5||Minnesota Timberwolves||Buddy Hield||SG||Oklahoma|
|6||New Orleans Pelicans||Kris Dunn||PG||Providence|
|7||Denver Nuggets||Jamal Murray||PG/SG||Kentucky|
|8||Sacramento Kings||Domantas Sabonis||PF/C||Gonzaga|
|9||Toronto Raptors||Jakob Poeltl||C||Utah|
|10||Milwaukee Bucks||Deyonta Davis||PF/C||Michigan State|
|11||Orlando Magic||Marquese Chriss||PF||Washington|
|12||Utah Jazz||Furkan Korkmaz||SG||Turkey|
|13||Phoenix Suns||Henry Ellenson||C||Marquette|
|14||Chicago Bulls||Denzel Valentine||SG||Michigan State|
|15||Denver Nuggets||Malik Beasley||SG||Florida State|
|16||Boston Celtics||Taurean Prince||SF||Baylor|
|17||Memphis Grizzlies||Skal Labissiere||PF/C||Kentucky|
|18||Detroit Pistons||Brice Johnson||PF||North Carolina|
|19||Denver Nuggets||Dejounte Murray||PG/SG||Washington|
|20||Indiana Pacers||Stephen Zimmerman||PF/C||UNLV|
|21||Atlanta Hawks||Diamond Stone||C||Maryland|
|22||Charlotte Hornets||Timiothe Luwawu||SF||France|
|23||Boston Celtics||Damian Jones||C||Vanderbilt|
|24||Philadelphia 76ers||Tyler Ulis||PG||Kentucky|
|25||Los Angeles Clippers||Malachi Richardson||SG||Syracuse|
|26||Philadelphia 76ers||Wade Baldwin||G||Vanderbilt|
|27||Toronto Raptors||Cheick Diallo||C||Kansas|
|28||Phoenix Suns||Thon Maker||C||Australia|
|29||San Antonio Spurs||Petr Cornelie||PF||France|
|30||Golden State Warriors||Caris LeVert||SG||Michigan|
The Lakers might find it more beneficial to draft Ingram instead of Simmons because they have their point guard of the future with D'Angelo Russell.
Drafting Simmons, who despite his 6'10" frame could play almost like a point forward, could inhibit the growth of Russell, along with young power forward Julius Randle and shooting guard Jordan Clarkson.
His 41.0 percent mark from three would add another dimension to the Lakers offense that was dead last in three-point shooting in the league at 31.7.
Meanwhile, Simmons would be a perfect fit for the 76ers, who are looking for that big-time player who can do it all. They already have a young core in the frontcourt with Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, but no one on the current roster has the versatility of Simmons.
He is the kind of player who can stretch the floor in a 76ers offense that needs everything. Philly was second-to-last in the league with 97.4 points per game along with a field-goal percentage of 43.1 in 2015-16.
His acquisition could also give the 76ers some wiggle room in terms of finding a legitimate point guard. Philadelphia wouldn't need to acquire the biggest name or the best-scoring one; all it would need is a facilitator who could take hold of the offense when Simmons is not on the court or unavailable.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.