Now that the draft lottery has come and gone, we can really start to project how the 2016 NBA Draft will play out.
Amazingly, the draft order ended up very close to what the odds dictated each pick should be at. That included the Philadelphia 76ers getting the top pick, which everyone expects will be used on LSU forward Ben Simmons.
The second pick went to the Los Angeles Lakers, which most assume will be used on Duke's Brandon Ingram. After the first two picks is when the draft gets really interested.
Over at ESPN, Chad Ford's 7.0 Mock Draft has the Boston Celtics using the third-overall pick on Kentucky Wildcats guard Jamal Murray, which seems like the likeliest outcome with Boston seeking backcourt help and Murray being arguably the top guard prospect in this draft.
3. Boston Celtics (via Nets): Jamal Murray, Kentucky
Staying at No. 3 was a tough outcome for the Celtics, because the top two players seem to tower over the rest of the draft. Celtics GM Danny Ainge has been searching for a superstar and got so, so close.
I think the Celtics will seriously explore trading this pick along with other assets, parlaying them into a veteran who can help right now.
If it's not traded, I think the pick will be between Murray, Kris Dunn and Buddy Hield. The Celtics really like Dunn, and he might eventually be better than the point guards they already have, but Murray's shooting ability and versatility might make him a more valuable player (or trade chip) for the Celtics.
The next Wildcat to come off the board is forward Skal Labissiere, who goes 11th overall to the Orlando Magic:
11. Orlando Magic: Skal Labissiere, Kentucky
Labissiere gives the Magic something they've lacked for a while -- a rim protector. He is a terrific shot-blocker and has the ability to stretch the floor.
He would be perfect next to Nikola Vucevic, but the Magic are going to have to be patient with him.
The final Cat to land in Round one is none other than point guard Tyler Ulis, who goes to the Denver Nuggets with the 15th pick:
15. Denver Nuggets (via Rockets): Tyler Ulis, Kentucky
The Nuggets drafted a point guard last year in Emmanuel Mudiay, but he's really more of a combo guard and could use some help.
Ulis may be the best pure passing PG in the draft. He's little, but should be a great complement to Mudiay, even allowing him to swing over to the 2 at times.
At this point, it won't be a complete shocker to see either Ulis or Skal climb into the top 10, but those aren't bad landing spots for them either. It also would be great to see Murray go in the top three and still land with a playoff contender.
Here's how Ford projected the top 15:
1. Sixers: Ben Simmons
2. Lakers: Brandon Ingram
3. Celtics: Jamal Murray
4. Suns: Dragan Bender
5. Timberwolves: Kris Dunn
6. Pelicans: Buddy Hield
7. Nuggets: Henry Ellenson
8. Kings: Jaylen Brown
9. Raptors: Marquese Chriss
10. Bucks: Jakob Poeltl
11. Magic: Skal Labissiere
12. Jazz: Furkan Korkmaz
13. Suns: Denzel Valentine
14. Bulls: Deyonta Davis
15. Denver Nuggets (via Rockets): Tyler Ulis