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NBA Mock Draft 4.0: Simmons-Ingram debate begins for 76ers

The 2016 NBA draft order is set. Will the 76ers take Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram at No. 1? SI offers full projections for the first round.

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Whether you credit The Process, Dikembe Mutombo's psychic powers, a conspiracy at the league office to reward the Sixers for cleansing themselves of Sam Hinkie, or simply the magic of ping pong balls, the Sixers are picking No. 1. The draft order is officially set.

Now we can get ready for a month's worth of arguments over who the Sixers should take, whether the Lakers and Celtics want to trade their pick, and whether Dragan Bender is playing against middle schoolers in this highlight video.

Draft season is real now. Are you ready? Let's dive in to Mock Draft 4.0.

• MORE NBA: Case for Brandon Ingram at No. 1 | Winners, losers from lottery

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1. Ben Simmons, LSU

RECORD: F | 6'10", 240 | FR.

There will be plenty of room for the Simmons vs. Ingram debate over the next month, but for now ... Will Simmons even want to go No. 1? This is less about the Sixers and more about the pull of the Lakers. He's friends with D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles is Los Angeles, and Simmons's agents were reportedly holding off on signing a shoe deal in hopes that he'd go to L.A. and improve his market value. Absent a Klutch Sports power play, though, Simmons makes sense in Philadelphia. The Sixers would be betting on upside more than fit, and that's what most teams should do with the No. 1 pick. I like Ingram more, and he's probably the safer pick to turn into an All-Star—more natural scorer, better shooter, better defender—but Simmons has a combination of size and ability that give him the chance of being revolutionary. For a team that just spent three years going through hell to get this pick, it may make sense to bet big. 

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2. Brandon Ingram, Duke

RECORD: F | 6'9", 195 | FR.

Read Luke Winn's in-depth scouting report to understand how Ingram got here, and why teams love him so much coming into the modern NBA. The short version: He shoots well from all over the floor, he's got a perfect frame to turn into a great defender, he plays hard, and he improved as the year unfolded. All of this helps explain why the Lakers were the biggest winners Tuesday night. Not only did they keep a pick they would've lost if they'd fallen out of the top 3, but by landing in the top two, they now have the choice between trading this pick if the right deal emerges—Paul George? DeMarcus Cousins?—or adding Ingram or Simmons to a fun young nucleus that already has D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance, Jr., and Julius Randle. Meanwhile, Luke Walton is in charge of all this at 36 years old. Next year's Lakers will basically be a college team, or possibly a six–month fraternity party thrown by Walton. I already love them so much more than everything that happened under Byron Scott.​

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3. Jamal Murray, Kentucky

RECORD: G | 6'4", 205 | FR.

If the Lakers were the biggest winners, the Celtics were the biggest losers on Tuesday. A top–two pick in this draft would've put them in a much better position to trade for a star or draft someone they can plan the future around. Now ... there's still a chance Danny Ainge will spend the next month cold-calling the Bulls, Pacers, Kings, and anyone else with a superstar. But if the Celtics keep this pick, Murray may have the most upside of anyone left in the lottery. His biggest question mark is athleticism on both ends, but a lot of the same questions were asked about Steph Curry, James Harden, CJ McCollum, and Devin Booker. If he can manage to hold his own against NBA athletes, he's a great shooter and a natural scorer. He's barely 19 years old with plenty of room to grow, and he could provide the Celtics with spacing help in the short term that turns into explosive offense a few years from now. Also, who wouldn't want to watch him teach Evan Turner to mediate?​

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4. Dragan Bender, Croatia

RECORD: F | 7'0", 220 | AGE 18

"You know, I don't have muscles like these guys," Dragan Bender said at 16 years old, "but I think I play good." He's 18 now, and he doesn't have many more muscles, but he still plays good. It's always hard to judge highlight videos, but he moves fluidly, he can attack off the dribble, and he's got great touch around the rim. And as a 7-foot power forward with three point range, Bender fits exactly where the league is going. Meanwhile, the Suns have three excellent guards, two centers, and their previous power forward of the future was last seen attacking Archie Goodwin on the bench. If Bender falls to No. 4, Phoenix will be ecstatic.​

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5. Henry Ellenson, Marquette

RECORD: F/C | 6'10", 245 | FR.

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6. Buddy Hield, Oklahoma

RECORD: G | 6'4", 215 | SR.

The Pelicans need shooting, and Buddy can shoot. He is old for the draft—22 years old—but if that works against him, it should be noted that his shooting percentages improved dramatically over the course of his career at Oklahoma. Half the players on the board here will be drafted on the assumption that they can improve some glaring weakness, but Buddy has shown he can actually do it. There are other players New Orleans could gamble on here, but with Anthony Davis about to hit his prime and create an endless stream of open looks, it might make the most sense to grab the Bahamian J.J. Redick while they have the chance.​

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7. SKAL LABISSIERE, KENTUCKY

RECORD: F/C | 6'11", 220 | FR.

The polar opposite of Buddy Hield. Skal looked overwhelmed all year at Kentucky. He was pushed around last season, he disappeared, and Kentucky fizzled. However ... It's not truly draft season until you're mesmerized by a 19-year-old sinking threes in a empty gym. There are a lot of skills with Skal, and as a power forward who can block shots, run the floor, and shoot threes, the potential will be tough to ignore. It's possible that he's not fatally flawed as some scouts and/or Kentucky internet commenters would argue. He might just have been fatally young. For a Nuggets team that has already made their choice at point guard (Mudiay) and has two great young centers (Nurkic, Jokic), this is a chance to gamble and hope that three years from now they are rolling out one of the most unfair starting fives in the league.​

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8. Kris Dunn, Providence

RECORD: G | 6'4", 220 | SR.

Sacramento hired Dave Joeger, they may keep Boogie for an extra year as they open their new arena... Things are looking up! This destination is a lot less depressing than it was a few weeks ago. As for Dunn, my favorite description is still the scout who told me, "He's John Wall with B+ athleticism instead of A+." That may not be an All-Star, but for a Kings team that just spent the year depending on Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison, Dunn would make a lot of sense as a long-term solution. He'd also be a steal if he falls this low.​

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9. Jaylen Brown, Cal

RECORD: G/F | 6'7", 225 | FR.

Jaylen Brown is probably going to be the most polarizing player in the draft. My dream is still for him to go to Draymond camp and embrace life as stretch four, but that's probably a longshot. As a three, he was inconsistent all year at Cal. He looked as overwhelmed as Skal, but without the same kind of skill-level. Still, there's enough size and athleticism to make him worth the gamble as a long-term two-way weapon, especially for a good team that can afford to be patient. And while we're here, at the NBA Combine the Hawks gave him this riddle: "There's five machines that produce five things in five minutes. Now there's a 100 machines that produce 100 things. How long does it take?" Think about it.​

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10. Jakob Poeltl, Utah

RECORD: C | 7'1", 240 | SO.

It's shocking that Poeltl could actually be drafted behind Jaylen Brown and Skal Labissiere, but most of the teams in the top 10 don't need centers. Milwaukee is one team that definitely needs a pivot and spent large parts of last season getting torched with Greg Monroe filling in for the departed Zaza Pachulia. The Bucks could get more ambitious with this pick and let Poeltl slide to Orlando, but for now, let's assume they keep it simple and grab someone who can slide in next year and help right away.​

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11. MARQUESE CHRISS, WASHINGTON

RECORD: F | 6'9", 225 | FR.

Chriss came out of nowhere, and he may end up in the top 10 by June. He wasn't a McDonald's All American, and he didn't even crack the top 50 of ESPN's recruiting rankings. But he averaged 13 and 5 in 24 minutes per game for Washington, with 53% shooting and 35% from three. His frame makes him perfect as a rangy power forward, and he's only been playing basketball for five years, so there's a chance he could get much better as he learns the game. The Magic could opt for Deyonta Davis here as well, but if they're going to take a project who will take a few years, Chriss has the highest upside.  

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12. DENZEL VALENTINE, MICHIGAN STATE

RECORD: G/F | 6'6", 220 | SR.

It's only a matter of time before Denzel Valentine becomes everyone's favorite player in the draft. There are so many projects in the lottery and so many stretch fours who never actually did anything in college, eventually people will fall in love with the player who's just GOOD. He was extremely skilled at Michigan State—19.2 ppg, 7.5 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 46% shooting, 44% from three—and he's destined to be a valuable role player somewhere. His weakness is defense, but that's why we're putting him in front of Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors for the next 10 years. 

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13. TIMOTHE LUWAWU, FRANCE

RECORD: G/F | 6'7", 205 | AGE 20

The Suns have enough talent across their roster to have some fun with this pick. Luwawu is 21 years old, he's 6'7 with a 6'11 wingspan, he's got three-point range, and he was last seen dunking all over this team from Zagreb. Luwawu is fun. 

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