Trusting the process finally worked.

The ping pong balls went the Sixers' way -- and now the franchise that has famously spent the past few years tanking is in a position to draft anybody it wants. They already have Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embid and Dario Saric. So now Philadelphia will add either Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons to a talented young core. Needless to say, that doesn't mean NBA titles are in its future -- or even 50-win seasons. But it does suggest that the losing paid off. And that was always the point.

Duke's Brandon Ingram could be headed to Philadelphia. USATSI

NBA Mock Draft

1. Philadelphia 76ers
Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke: Ingram didn't enter college with the same level of hype as Simmons. But he averaged 17.3 points and 6.8 rebounds while helping a limited roster win 25 games and advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. As I've written before, I could argue for Ingram or Simmons. I like them both. And both are reasonable options to go first overall. But I personally prefer Ingram, who would fit nicely next to Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel -- not to mention Joel Embid -- in Philadelphia.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Ben Simmons, SF, LSU: It's known in basketball circles that Simmons would rather be in Los Angeles as the No. 2 overall pick than in Philadelphia as the No. 1 overall pick. So will he even meet with, or workout for, Philadelphia? Maybe not. Consequently, he could get exactly what he wants. And the Lakers could get exactly what they want, which is a unique talent who projects as a future All-Star.
3. Boston Celtics
Jamal Murray, SG, Kentucky: Murray did things this season that no other Kentucky freshman who has played under John Calipari -- John Wall, Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, etc., -- had ever done, and he'll be the latest one-and-done star to bounce from Lexington to the lottery. He's a terrific combo guard whose game will translate perfectly to the NBA, and he could be a big scorer for many years while helping fix Boston's 3-point-shooting issues.
4. Phoenix Suns
Jaylen Brown, SG, California: The Suns need help on the wing -- and Brown would be the best wing available here. He didn't close strong at Cal. But the 19-year-old athlete was mostly terrific in Pac-12 play. And he's a great upside pick who should be capable of guarding three, and maybe even four, positions in the NBA.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
Dragan Bender, PF, Israel: Bender is widely regarded as the top draft-eligible prospect who didn't play college basketball this season, and there's little doubt he'll be selected in the top half of the lottery. He's an 18-year-old forward who would fit nicely between Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. And, man, how good is Minnesota going to be in a few years?
6. New Orleans Pelicans
Kris Dunn, PG, Providence: The Pelicans don't need to waste another year of Anthony Davis' career, point being they should select somebody who is ready to play immediately. Dunn is that somebody. The 6-4 point guard is probably the most ready-to-play prospect in this draft. And I won't be surprised if he's the NBA's Rookie of the Year. He and Davis could develop into the type of inside-outside duo that turns New Orleans into an annual contender. And it could happen quickly because, again, Dunn is capable of playing on opening night.
7. Denver Nuggets
Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma: Any team that finishes 25th in 3-point shooting could use a 3-point shooter, and there's no better one in this draft than Hield. The CBS Sports National Player of the Year shot 46.4 percent from 3-point range during his senior season while leading Oklahoma to the Final Four. Simply put, Hield should be a really good NBA player -- because he can create and shoot, and because he has a great work ethic and no red flags.
8. Sacramento Kings
Denzel Valentine, SG, Michigan State: What Valentine lacks in athleticism he makes up for with a high basketball IQ that allows him to make great decisions on the court and create opportunities for himself and his teammates. He's a playmaker. And playmakers who can dribble, pass and shoot have tremendous value in today's NBA. Dave Joerger didn't have enough of them in Memphis. So adding one in Sacramento would be ideal.
9. Toronto Raptors
Henry Ellenson, PF-C, Marquette: Toronto has a need at PF, which makes Ellenson an obvious option. The talented one-and-done prospect is only 19. And though he didn't shoot a good percentage from beyond the arc at Marquette, he has the tools to be a stretch-four. Combine that with his polished low-post game, and Ellenson has one of the highest ceilings in this draft.
10. Milwaukee Bucks
Jakob Poeltl, PF, Utah: One of the many reasons Poeltl returned to Utah for his sophomore season was to improve as a player and prospect, and he undeniably benefitted from it. He's better in every way after taking Utah to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season. Last year, he would've likely gone in the 20s. Now he'll go in the lottery.
11. Orlando Magic
Skal Labissiere, PF, Kentucky: Labissiere held a workout in Chicago during the week of the combine and moved and shot well enough to remind scouts why they fell in love with him in the first place. That doesn't mean his disappointing season at UK should be disregarded. It's a concern. But his talent and potential remain intriguing. He'll be a lottery pick.
12. Utah Jazz
Timothe Luwawu, SG, France: Luwawu is a wing with good size who is an above-average athlete and defender. Those things alone would get him selected, probably. But the fact that he also shoots about 40 percent from 3-point range makes him a possible lottery pick and nice option for Quin Snyder's Jazz.
13. Phoenix Suns
Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington: Chriss is a rarity in that he's a lottery pick after one year of college even though he wasn't ranked in the top 50 of his high school class. The 6-10 forward tested as one of the most athletic bigs at the combine, and executives are in love with what he could become. The Suns have three first-round picks. So they can afford to swing big here.
14. Chicago Bulls
Tyler Ulis, PG, Kentucky: The Bulls need to start preparing for Life-After-Derrick-Rose, which makes taking a point guard in the lottery sensible. And I've come around on Ulis. Yes, he's small. And that's not ideal. But I no longer struggle to see him becoming a starting point guard in the NBA because he's so exceptional at lots of the things that tend to matter.
15. Denver Nuggets
Furkan Korkmaz, SG, Turkey: Korkmaz has negotiated a buyout of his contract that will allow him to come to the NBA next season. So that's one less thing executives have to worry about. Still, it's worth noting the 6-6 guard hasn't had a great season with Anadolu Efes. He's only averaging 8.8 minutes per game. But that won't stop the 18-year-old shooter from going in the top 20.
16. Boston Celtics
Domantas Sabonis, PF, Gonzaga: Sabonis skipped the combine completely, which has caused some to conclude he might've received a promise from somebody. Whether that's true or not is unclear. But a top-20 promise from a franchise with three first-round picks -- like the Celtics -- would make sense, and it's not like Boston has inspiring power forwards on the roster already.
17. Memphis Grizzlies
Wade Baldwin IV, SG, Vanderbilt: The Grizzlies need help at point guard -- preferably in the form of somebody who A) is big enough to sometimes play next to Mike Conley, and B) can shoot from the perimeter. Baldwin checks both boxes. And the fact that he measured and tested well at the combine basically guarantees some franchise will take him in the first round.
18. Detroit Pistons
Demetrius Jackson, PG, Notre Dame: Jackson tested and interviewed well at the combine and will be the second straight Notre Dame guard to go in the first round. His ability to flourish in the pick-and-roll while being a respectable shooter -- he shot better than 41 percent form 3-point range in his freshman and sophomore years -- should allow him to become an NBA starter.
19. Denver Nuggets
Deyonta Davis, PF, Michigan State: Davis declined to test athletically at the combine and will likely need to perform well in private workouts to ensure a place in the top 20. He showed himself as a high-level rebounder in limited minutes during his one season at Michigan State, and the 6-11 forward was also one of the nation's best shot-blockers. So, at worst, Davis should be a difference-maker on the defensive end at the NBA level.
20. Indiana Pacers
Brice Johnson, PF, North Carolina: Johnson was a monster this season while averaging 16.6 points and 10.6 rebounds and leading the Tar Heels to the national championship game. The quick-leaper improved his stock enough to where going in the top 20 of this draft isn't out of the question. And, for the Pacers, he would provide needed depth in the frontcourt.
21. Atlanta Hawks
Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor: Prince is a 6-8 wing who can make 3-pointers, and his wingspan and athleticism are such that guarding multiple positions at the NBA level should not be an issue. It's also worth noting that he's an 82 percent free-throw shooter. And Prince is an above-average rebounder for his position, too. So he can do a lot of different things to contribute.
22. Charlotte Hornets
Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State: Beasley is a guard with decent size who is a tremendous athlete and good-enough shooter -- evidence being that he made 37.8 percent of his 3-point attempts at Florida State. He's a reasonable option for a Charlotte franchise that could use a playmaker next to Kemba Walker.
23. Boston Celtics
Cheick Diallo, C, Kansas: Diallo measured and tested well at the combine -- then played well in the five-on-five games. He was active. He rebounded. He guarded. Bottom line, the 6-9 forward genuinely helped himself by reminding scouts why he was once a projected lottery pick. And now it looks like that subpar season at Kansas won't cost Diallo too much money.
24. Philadelphia 76ers
Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse: Richardson has parlayed a nice performance in the NCAA Tournament into a likely guaranteed NBA contract, which is something few saw coming in, say, February. The 6-6 guard is a good athlete who measured and tested well at the combine. Not everybody likes him. But he has enough fans in franchises to secure a spot in the first round.
25. Los Angeles Clippers
DeAndre' Bembry, SF, Saint Joseph's: Bembry was, by all accounts, terrific at the combine. He tested well and played magnificently in the five-on-five games. His ability to guard multiple positions at the NBA level should prove useful, and the way Bembry sees the floor and passes could allow him to, at times, play the role of point-forward.
26. Philadelphia 76ers
Thon Maker, C, Australia: Maker is still mostly an unknown in the sense that he's never played consistently against high-level competition. But he measured, tested and interviewed well at the combine, where he gained fans. And now it seems more likely than not that Maker will go in the first round based on the idea that his ceiling is higher than most prospects' ceilings.
27. Toronto Raptors
Stephen Zimmerman Jr., C, UNLV: Zimmerman's freshman season was limited by injury. But he still nearly averaged a double-double in the MWC, and he remains a skilled 7-footer who was a consensus top-10 high school recruit. So, late in the first round, he's worth a flyer.
28. Phoenix Suns
Juan Hernangomez, PF, Spain: The Suns do not need three rookies on contracts. So they might, and likely should, go with a draft-and-stash prospect here. Hernangomez qualifies as an option. He's a 6-9 20-year-old stretch-4 who is shooting roughly 40 percent from 3-point range in Spain.
29. San Antonio Spurs
Jarrod Uthoff, SF, Iowa: A skilled forward who can shoot from the perimeter and rebound sounds like something the Spurs might be interested in, and Uthoff is exactly that. He averaged 18.9 points and 6.3 boards while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range this season. The more scouts see him, the more they tend to like him. His so-called upside might not be the same as some younger prospects. But Uthoff definitely has the tools to play in the NBA.
30. Golden State Warriors
Ben Bentil, PF, Providence: Bentil is a long and athletic forward who can score from multiple spots -- around the rim or all the way out to the 3-point line. He was terrific this season at Providence, and he played well in the five-on-five games at the combine. Given how much Golden State asks players to be versatile - and how much Steve Kerr likes his team to shoot from the perimeter from four positions - Bentil would make a lot of sense in a Warriors uniform.