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Brandon Ingram's versatility makes him the ideal No. 1 pick for the Boston Celtics

Brandon Ingram should be the choice if the Boston Celtics are fortunate enough to land the No. 1 pick. When you consider what the Celtics value -- positional versatility and role elasticity -- and what they need -- three-point shooting and go-to scoring -- Ingram quickly becomes the more appealing choice than Ben Simmons.

CLICK HERE to see my full profile of Ingram from my 2016 NBA Draft Guide. The image will allow you to zoom in on the player, like you'll be able to do in the guide.

Ingram has been my top prospect since early January because he has an impressive mix of those flexible attributes. He's a 41.4 percent shooter from three, so he's capable of playing off-ball as a floor spacer in the half court. Though teams don't usually draft for need, the Celtics rank 29th in three-point shooting percentage since 2013 (they rank 26th this season).

Simmons would do nothing to help Boston's floor spacing. If anything, he'd hurt it even more. He might even be shooting with the wrong hand. At this stage of his career he's a player that needs the ball in his hands, otherwise he's a virtual non-factor in half court situations. Simmons is lauded for his playmaking abilities, and rightfully so because he's a supremely dynamic player. But Ingram is also a solid playmaker in his own right.

The Celtics like playing with multiple ball handlers, so being able to play both on-ball and off-ball is an important skill. Ingram not only can play off-ball, but he can run pick-and-roll too.

Here, Ingram runs a 4-5 pick-and-roll with center Marshall Plumlee -- yes, another Plumlee! -- which is a headache for defenses to contain. It's rare for lengthy 6-foot-9 forwards to have the ability to facilitate at this level, but Ingram has very good vision and passing ability for his age. He's gotten better at driving over the course of the season, as that quick spin move shows.

With Ingram's height and length, he's capable of making smaller defenders pay with his ability to shoot over the top, and if he's defended by larger players he can drive by using his speed.

The Celtics love to get out and run in transition, so Simmons has major appeal because he's a highlight reel waiting to happen in the open floor.

But it's not like transition is a weakness for Ingram, because he's also capable of making dynamic plays going coast-to-coast. In the clip above it takes Ingram only two dribbles from half court to get to the rim because of his long strides.

Ingram and Simmons are both theoretically highly versatile defensive players. But one player tries on defense and the other does not. Ingram puts forth consistent effort, but suffers occasional lapses in fundamentals and he often gets overpowered due to his lanky frame. But both areas are something that can be improved upon, whereas Simmons' effort may be something that always wanes over the course of a full season.

Once Ingram's technique and body improve, he projects as a player that can comfortably defend multiple positions. This could be an incredibly value skill for the Celtics, since switching on defense is preferable in screen actions. That's one reason players like Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart (and even Jonas Jerebko) are so valuable to their success.

Brandon Ingram projects as the type of player the Celtics could switch on defense, but it'll be hard for opponents to do the same on the other end since he's capable of scoring in diverse ways against different types of defenders. For more on Ingram please check out my profile of him:

CLICK HERE to see my full profile of Ingram from my 2016 NBA Draft Guide. The image will allow you to zoom in on the player, like you'll be able to do in the guide.

My 2016 NBA Draft Guide is available for pre-order now. The eBook/PDF includes full page profiles of my top prospects, team-by-team draft previews, mock drafts, and more of my own analysis. It cost only $10, though you can pay what you want. Both PayPal and all credit cards are accepted through the secure form below. You can also pre-order by clicking here.

The first edition of the guide will be released in late March or early April, then you'll receive emails with updated versions leading up to June's NBA Draft. The March edition won't include a full top 100, but it will get you started early on your own draft studies. The updated versions in April and May versions will be more complete leading up to the final version in June.

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