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NBA Mock Draft 2016: Jay Bilas & Chad Ford project lottery

It looks like Jamal Murray is battling the likes of Buddy Hield and Marquese Chriss for spots in the top five of Thursday's NBA Draft.

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We're inching closer to the 2016 NBA Draft kicking off.

But until 7 p.m. Thursday night, we'll continue to look at how various mock drafts and basketball experts continue to project the first round and evaluate the prospects that will be part of it. We already know Jamal Murray will be one of them as he'll be the first Kentucky Wildcats player drafted this year, but how high will he go?

Over at ESPN, Chad Ford and Jay Bilas did an in-depth breakdown on how they think the lottery projects, but also took a look at how it should play out. Ford projected what each team 'will' do with their pick based on intel he's receiving from teams, and then Bilas tells us what those teams 'should' do based on his own personal rankings combined with team needs.

When it came to Murray, Ford thinks the freshman phenom 'should' be drafted by the Phoenix Suns at No. 4.

Bilas: Murray is a combo guard with a knack to score. He is used to having the ball in his hands, but worked well without the ball at Kentucky. He can really shoot it -- hitting 113 3s this season -- and has a quick trigger with terrific range.

He is a good rebounder and finisher for his position, but does not excel pulling up off the dribble. If Murray can play some point guard, he is an excellent pick at No. 4.

As for Ford, he thinks Murray 'will' be taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 5 pick, though also made the case for Providence's Kris Dunn or Cal's Jaylen Brown to go here.

Ford: If they keep it, they seem to have narrowed it down to Dunn, Jaylen Brown and Murray. New head coach and team president Tom Thibodeau loves defense, and Dunn is the best perimeter defender in this draft. If he's on the board, I think he's the pick here. Brown also provides defense, but he's much rawer than Dunn. Murray gives the Wolves a shooter who can play both backcourt positions. He's not a great defender, but his versatility should serve Minnesota well.

As for Skal Labissiere, both Ford and Bilas think the Haitian big man will go No. 11 to the Orlando Magic.

Will pick: Skal Labissiere

Ford: The Magic have two needs right now: rim protection and a big man who can stretch the floor. Labissiere meets both.

His freshman season at Kentucky was a major disappointment and drafting him this high comes with serious risks. But the talent is clearly there, and if the Magic allow him to play to his strengths, he could be a major get for them down the road. The last thing Magic fans want to hear right now is patience, but Skal's talent may make him worth the wait.

Should pick: Skal Labissiere

Bilas: If Orlando wants shot-blocking and a big who can shoot it, Labissiere makes some sense.

He had a rough freshman season at Kentucky, and his workouts have been all one-on-none. Labissiere is not strong in his upper body or his lower base. He blocks shots and can make face-up jumpers, but he does not rebound at a high rate, which is a bit troubling. Still, Labissiere is a good prospect who is worth the risk here.

Here's how Ford and Bilas projected the entire lottery:

1. 76ers: Will Pick: Ben Simmons; Should Pick: Ben Simmons

2. Lakers: Will Pick: Brandon Ingram; Should Pick: Brandon Ingram

3. Celtics: Will pick: Kris Dunn; Should Pick: Kris Dunn

4. Suns: Will Pick: Marquese Chriss; Should pick: Jamal Murray

5. Timberwolves: Will pick: Jamal Murray; Should pick: Buddy Hield

6. Pelicans: Will pick: Jaylen Brown; Should pick: Marquese Chriss

7. Nuggets: Will Pick: Dragan Bender; Should pick: Jaylen Brown

8. Kings: Will Pick: Buddy Hield; Should pick: Dragan Bender

9. Raptors:  Will Pick: Domantas Sabonis; Should pick: Deyonta Davis

10. Bucks: Will Pick: Dejounte Murray; Should pick: Denzel Valentine

11. Magic: Will Pick: Skal Labissiere; Should Pick: Skal Labissiere

12. Jazz: Will Pick: Jakob Poeltl; Should pick: Wade Baldwin IV

13. Suns: Will Pick:  Henry Ellenson; Should pick: Henry Ellenson

14. Bulls: Will pick: Wade Baldwin IV; Should pick: Domantas Sabonis

Notable Omissions: Tyler Ulis, Timothe Luwawu, Demetrius Jackson, Furkan Korkmaz, Juan Hernangomez, Ante Zizic