2024 NBA first-round mock draft

    The first edition of the 2024 mock draft will feature the first round, with every pick being compared to a current or recent NBA player. As the season progresses, there will be updates and added analysis based on how the prospects fare the rest of the season.


    1 of 30

    1. Detroit Pistons: Alexandre Sarr

    Paul Kane / Stringer

    NBA Comparison: A wealthy man’s Mark Williams with a whole lot of attitude

    Alex Sarr has risen from a mid-first round project to a potential number-one overall pick in the past few months. The 7-foot-1 French big man exploded off the screen in his two games against the G-League Ignite earlier this fall, dunking on everyone, blocking out the sun (12 blocks in two games), and intimidating opponents with his intensity. He even flashed the ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. Despite having a plethora of raw big men on its roster, Detroit has to go with the best prospect available here regardless of fit.


    2 of 30

    2. San Antonio Spurs: Isaiah Collier

    San Antonio Spurs: Isaiah Collier

    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Tyreke Evans adapted to modern basketball

    USC’s 6-foot-4 power guard is very much in play for the top pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. He’s excellent in the open court and shifty with the ball in his hands, allowing him to attack from creative angles all over the court. Some see a resemblance to another legendary California guard, Baron Davis. I’m not sure he’s as explosive as Davis – he reminds me more of a young Tyreke Evans, but with a more analytically-sound game (Evans’ shortcoming was his shooting). 


    3 of 30

    3. Washington Wizards: Nikola Topić

    Washington Wizards: Nikola Topić

    David Grau / Contributor

    NBA Comparison: A fundamentality-sound LaMelo Ball

    Yes, we have another Nikola coming to the NBA soon. This one is a big point guard who shares some of the elite court vision and creativity as his Serbian brethren, Nikola Jokic. Nikola Topic is another fast-rising prospect who could parlay his success in the Adriatic League into being one of the top picks in the 2024 NBA Draft. Topić’s game reminds me a lot of LaMelo Ball’s in terms of his ability to keep defenders on their heels with no-look passes and hesitation moves (albeit with a lot less swagger than Ball).


    4 of 30

    4. Memphis Grizzlies: Ron Holland

    Memphis Grizzlies: Ron Holland

    Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: A right-handed RJ Barrett

    Ron Holland is going to be a solid NBA player and is worthy of being a high-lottery pick, but I just don’t see a team selecting him with the number one overall pick as some mock drafts are suggesting at this point. He’s excellent in the open court, and ferociously attacks the basket with straight-line drives and rim attacks. His jump shot mechanics are pretty smooth, but it remains to be seen whether he will eventually be able to shoot off the dribble or on the move. Memphis needs another productive wing, so Holland makes sense here at four.


    5 of 30

    5. Portland Trail Blazers: Zaccharie Risacher

    Portland Trail Blazers: Zaccharie Risacher

    Cyril Lestage / Contributor

    NBA Comparison: Michael Porter Jr.

    Zaccharie Risacher is yet another stud Frenchman whose stock is on the rise. The 6-foot-10 wing appears to be an ideal big wing in the modern NBA with his ability to knock down threes, attack closeouts and defend multiple positions. He should be somewhere on the Harrison Barnes-Cameron Johnson-Michael Porter Jr. spectrum, depending on how elite of shooter he develops into. He’s the type of wing the Trail Blazers have spent years trying to acquire. 


    6 of 30

    6. Charlotte Hornets: Ja’Kobe Walter

    Charlotte Hornets: Ja'Kobe Walter

    Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Buddy Hield

    The Hornets are in the midst of a very slow rebuild around LaMelo Ball. They drafted Mark Williams to get him an ideal rim-running big man. They drafted Brandon Miller to get him a do-it-all wing. Now they draft the dead-eye shooter, Ja’Kobe Walter, a 6-foot-5 guard out of Baylor who is lighting it up in his freshman year. Walter has unlimited range and reminds me of Buddy Hield with his ability to score in bunches from anywhere on the court.


    7 of 30

    7. Chicago Bulls: Stephon Castle

    Chicago Bulls: Stephon Castle

    David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (as a draft prospect)

    I fully expect the Bulls roster to look much different by the 2024 NBA Draft. Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Alex Caruso will probably all be on different teams, so Chicago will be drafting entirely for talent instead of fit. UConn’s stud freshman guard, Stephon Castle, has some of the highest upside in this draft with his slithery playmaking and versatility. Though he’s been slowed by an injury this season, his game reminds me of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s when he was in Kentucky. Like SGA, he might be the type of prospect that shocks everyone the more his team puts the ball in his hands.


    8 of 30

    8. Utah Jazz: Matas Buzelis

    Utah Jazz: Matas Buzelis

    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Franz Wagner

    Matas Buzelis is a difficult prospect to peg. On one hand, he is extremely skilled and, at 6-foot-10, plays like he could be another Franz Wagner. On the other hand, he’s be limited by an injury this season and is a European player who is playing for a G-League Ignite team that is routinely getting embarrassed. Is he going to struggle to adapt to the NBA game? Is he athletic enough to have the ball in his hands as much as he has had it as a prospect? He’s got a high ceiling, but lower floor, so he’s the perfect pick here for the Jazz – a team that is in talent-acquisition mode and not in a hurry to compete in the loaded Western Conference.


    9 of 30

    9. Portland Trail Blazers (via Warriors): Cody Williams

    Portland Trail Blazers (via Warriors): Cody Williams

    Chet Strange-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Jalen Williams (his older brother)

    Unlike his older brother, who was an unknown prospect from Santa Clara, Cody Williams is squarely on the NBA’s radar as a freshman. At 6-foot-8, he’s a little taller and thinner than his older brother (who is built like a tank), but he appears to also have the three-and-D wing thing down pat and is averaging 12.8 PPG on 60-50-68 shooting splits. It’ll be interesting to see whether Cody can develop the on-ball abilities that his brother has displayed early in his career. Portland will be happy to take him here and bet on his upside.


    10 of 30

    10. San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors): Kyle Filipowski

    San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors): Kyle Filipowski

    Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Early-career Domantas Sabonis

    After landing their point guard of the future at the top of this draft, the Spurs beef up their frontcourt to further protect franchise player, Victor Wembanyama, by selecting Duke’s Kyle Filipowski. The 7-foot, 230-pound center probably would have been a lottery pick had he gone pro last season, but instead opted to return to Duke for his sophomore year where he’s been excellent, averaging 18.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG and 2.3 APG. While his jumper is still a work in progress (28 percent from three for his career), he has nice touch and enough playmaking chops to adapt to the NBA game.


    11 of 30

    11. OKC Thunder (via Rockets): Donovan Clingan

    OKC Thunder (via Rockets): Donovan Clingan

    David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Walker Kessler

    Donovan Clingan is a literal giant, standing at 7-foot-2 and weighing 265 pounds. And unlike a lot of big men that size, Clingan moves his feet very well and has very good hands – enabling him to run the court for easy fast break dunks and layups. While he’ll have some trouble on the perimeter against the NBA’s best guards, he’ll have a massive impact around the basket and on the boards. He also has pretty solid vision and passing skills for a big man, so expect him to be a mid-to-late lottery pick and play a Walker Kessler-type of role for whichever team selects him. He’d be a perfect fit to play 20-25 minutes alongside Chet Holmgren. 


    12 of 30

    12. Atlanta Hawks: Tyrese Proctor

    Atlanta Hawks: Tyrese Proctor

    Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: A more offensively-inclined Derrick White

    The Hawks are toiling in mediocrity and I sense that the Trae Young era may soon be coming to an end if that trend continues through this season. Thus, don’t be surprised to see them look to add another guard in this draft like Duke’s Tyrese Proctor. Proctor, a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard from Australia, does everything pretty well and seems to have great feel for the game. He seems versatile enough to play alongside a ball-dominant guard if the Hawks do keep Young as well. 


    13 of 30

    13. OKC Thunder (via Clippers): Bobi Klintman

    OKC Thunder (via Clippers): Bobi Klintman

    Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Jalen Johnson

    Bobi Klintman’s path to the NBA is a little abnormal. After showing some promise, but rarely producing like a first round pick at Wake Forest, the 6-foot-10 forward from Sweden flirted with declaring for the draft – and may have gone in the first round – before deciding to go play in the Australian NBL. While in the Land Down Under, Klintman has been given more opportunities to showcase his wide range of skills and reminds me a little of the type of prospect Jalen Johnson was a few years back when he cut his freshman season short at Duke. 


    14 of 30

    14. Houston Rockets (via Nets): Kel’el Ware

    Houston Rockets (via Nets): Kel'el Ware

    Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Jaxson Hayes with better coaching

    Originally expected to be a one-and-done at Oregon, Kel’el Ware fell out of favor with the Ducks and was maddeningly inconsistent. Instead of declaring for the draft, falling to the second round and spending this season in the G-League, he smartly transferred to Indiana where his minutes and production have more than doubled. Ware has some of the most impressive blocked shots you will ever see, plus the ability to be a rim-runner and occasional threat from the three-point line. He’d make for a nice complement to Alperen Sengun in Houston.


    15 of 30

    15. New Orleans Pelicans: Justin Edwards

    New Orleans Pelicans: Justin Edwards

    Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Lefty Cam Reddish

    The Pelicans will have this draft pick and could opt to also take the Lakers draft pick (or defer it to next season). New Orleans is a pretty solid team with surprisingly good depth at most positions, so they can get away with simply picking the player with the highest upside at this pick. Justin Edwards, a 6-foot-7 springy wing from Kentucky, has the perfect body and skill set to excel in the NBA. He should be an All-Star guard when he hits his prime. However, the beginning to his college career has been maddeningly inconsistent (his shooting splits are 46-26-68 through eight games). 


    16 of 30

    16. Miami Heat: D.J. Wagner

    Miami Heat: D.J. Wagner

    Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Collin Sexton

    Once the top player in his high school class, the shine on D.J. Wagner, son of Dajuan Wagner, isn’t quite as bright as it once was. That said, the 6-foot-3 scoring guard from Kentucky, is still a surefire first-rounder. If the Heat decide to make a big trade this season, it’ll likely involve Tyler Herro, which will open up a need for a dynamic score-first guard, which is exactly what Wagner projects to be at the next level.


    17 of 30

    17. Cleveland Cavaliers: Ryan Dunn

    Cleveland Cavaliers: Ryan Dunn

    Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Matisse Thybulle

    Ryan Dunn, a 6-foot-8, uber-athletic sophomore small forward on Virginia, literally jumps off the screen when he goes up for a dunk or block. Like Aaron Gordon, he’ll enter the NBA as one of the top athletes in the league. Dunn has figured out how to utilize his God-given gifts on the defensive end where he is currently averaging a preposterous combination of 2.8 BPG and 2.8 SPG. However, like Matisse Thybulle, he’ll really need to continue to refine his game and become a more efficient and consistent player (9.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 53-21-71 shooting splits). 


    18 of 30

    18. Indiana Pacers: Tidjane Salaun

    Indiana Pacers: Tidjane Salaun

    Anadolu / Contributor

    NBA Comparison: John Collins (the athlete)

    At a bouncy 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, Tidjane Salaun certainly looks the part of an NBA player. Can the French forward actually play? It remains to be seen. He runs the court, cuts and dunks the hell out of the ball like a young John Collins. However, comparing him to Collins, the player, would be an insult to Collins who once averaged over 20 PPG in the NBA. With their uptempo brand of play, the Pacers would be an ideal team for Salaun to make the best use of his athleticism and perhaps expand his game to the point where he can be an NBA contributor on a consistent basis.


    19 of 30

    19. New Orleans Pelicans (via Lakers): Izan Almansa

    New Orleans Pelicans (via Lakers): Izan Almansa

    Ethan Miller / Staff

    NBA Comparison: Luis Scola 

    Izan Almansa, a 6-foot-10 forward who already has a ton of FIBA experience and success, decided to play this season for the G-League Ignite. Though his average athleticism could be a problem for him in the NBA, his advanced feel for the game should get him drafted in the top-20 of this draft. The Pelicans should be in the market for highly intelligent, versatile players to surround Zion Williamson with.  


    20 of 30

    20. New York Knicks (via Mavericks): Robert Dillingham

    New York Knicks (via Mavericks): Robert Dillingham

    John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Jordan Clarkson

    With Immanuel Quickley on the last year of his contract, the Knicks could be in the market for an explosive scorer off the bench. Enter Robert Dillingham, a an absolute bucket who has figured out a way to stand out even amongst all of the other Kentucky guards and is averaging 13.8 PPG and 5.4 APG with 48-50-75 shooting splits. It’ll be interesting to see how Coach Calipari distributes minutes to all of his talented NBA prospects as the season goes on.


    21 of 30

    21. Phoenix Suns: Osa Ighodaro

    Phoenix Suns: Osa Ighodaro

    Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Tristan Thompson

    Marquette’s athletic 6-foot-9 power forward is the rare college senior in this draft class and the even rarer player who doesn’t shoot three-pointers. Literally, he’s never attempted one three-pointer while in college, which hasn’t been a huge problem because he shoots 65.1 percent from the field on an array of dunks, layups and nice little push-shots. It’s very reminiscent of the type of player Tristan Thompson was with the Cavaliers. 


    22 of 30

    22. Atlanta Hawks (via Kings): Aday Mara

    Atlanta Hawks (via Kings): Aday Mara

    Yannick Peterhans-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Skinny Boban Marjanović

    Aday Mara is a narrow, 7-foot-3 center from Spain who is playing at UCLA for his freshman year. He moves alright for his size and clearly has some post skills. That said, like Boban Marjanović, he projects to be a bit player in the NBA and would probably have problems playing more than 15-20 minutes a night given his frame and athletic ability. The Hawks will eventually move on from Clint Capela and hand the reigns over to Onyeka Okongwu, so they’ll be interested in getting a quality backup center here at 22.


    23 of 30

    23. Philadelphia 76ers: Tyler Smith

    Philadelphia 76ers: Tyler Smith

    Ethan Miller / Staff

    NBA Comparison: Terrence Jones

    Tyler Smith is a 6-foot-10, lefty forward, like the rest of his G-League teammates this season, is a bit of a mystery because the team is a bit of a fiasco this season, often losing by substantial amounts. He does, however, have all the tools you need to be a successful stretch forward in the NBA – much like Terrence Jones was coming out of Kentucky. Sometimes the Terrence Joneses turn into stud NBA player; sometimes they flame out of the NBA. The 76ers can afford to take a swing this late in the first round on talent. 


    24 of 30

    24. New York Knicks: Trevon Brazile

    New York Knicks: Trevon Brazile

    Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Obi Toppin

    After missing most of his sophomore season with a torn ACL, the 6-foot-9 explosive forward on Arkansas is really starting to round into form and could more up the draft board if he keeps playing like he did in a recent upset victory over Duke. In that game, he scored 19 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, hit four of seven three-pointers and blocked two shots. His high-arching three-point shot is a thing of beauty and he’s hitting 44.4 percent of them thus far this season. He could be like Obi Toppin with a better shot for the Knicks if everything goes right for him.


    25 of 30

    25. Denver Nuggets: Terrence Shannon Jr.

    Denver Nuggets: Terrence Shannon Jr.

    Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Less athletic Miles Bridges

    As seen by their past few drafts, the Nuggets focus on drafting players who can come in and immediately contribute like Christian Braun and Julian Strawther. They’ll take the same exact approach in this draft by drafting the stout 6-foot-6 wing out of Illinois, Terrence Shannon Jr. Shannon has been on the NBA’s radar for years and is dominating college basketball in his fifth season, averaging 20 PPG with 51-46-72 shooting splits while also playing good defense. He could be a long-term replacement for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in Denver.


    26 of 30

    26. Indiana Pacers (via Thunder): Jared McCain

    Indiana Pacers (via Thunder): Jared McCain

    Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Gabe Vincent

    It’s never a bad thing to have depth at point guard in the NBA. With TJ McConnell (31) getting up there in age and being a trade asset, there’s a good chance the Pacers are looking for a guard to backup and sometimes play alongside Tyrese Haliburton. Duke’s freshman Jaren McCain, like Gabe Vincent, is a tough-nosed point guard who can play on and off the ball and is rising up the ranks. 


    27 of 30

    27. Orlando Magic: Reed Sheppard

    Orlando Magic: Reed Sheppard

    Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Austin Reaves

    The son of a Kentucky legend, Reed Sheppard has exploded onto the scene this season despite having less NBA hype than some of his backcourt mates. Despite only starting one game this season (the most recent one), Sheppard is averaging 13.9 PPG, 3.9 APG and 3 SPG with hilariously efficient 62-61-100 shooting splits. His advanced numbers suggest that he might be the Wildcats’ best player. The Magic can use smart players who can shoot the rock to pair with their versatile frontcourt.


    28 of 30

    28. Milwaukee Bucks: Alex Karaban

    Milwaukee Bucks: Alex Karaban

    David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Duncan Robinson

    The unassuming stretch forward from UConn was a major contributor in the Huskies championship run last season, averaging 9.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG and shooting 40.2 percent from three. While he’s mired in a bit of a slump at the moment, the 6-foot-9 forward’s game is clearly more advanced than it was a year ago and has the type of sweet shot that should translate well to the pro game. Never a bad idea to surround Giannis with shooting.


    29 of 30

    29. Boston Celtics: Carlton Carrington

    Boston Celtics: Carlton Carrington

    Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: Righty D’Angelo Russell

    Carlton “Bub” Carrington is a lesser-known freshman out of Pitt who burst onto the scene with a triple-double in his first career collegiate game. The Baltimore native is a 6-foot-4 combo guard with a crafty game that keeps opponents off-balance with creative hesitations and stop-start dribble moves. The Celtics are thriving with do-it-all guard guards, so why not add another here at the end of the first round?


    30 of 30

    30. Minnesota Timberwolves: Bronny James

    Minnesota Timberwolves: Bronny James

    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    NBA Comparison: De’Anthony Melton

    It’s the last pick of the first round – why not take a flyer on Bronny James and see if LeBron would come sign for a major discount? Before his scary cardiac arrest suffered in a workout this past summer, James was shooting up the draft boards after stellar McDonald’s All-American performance and USA Basketball performances. He’s an excellent athlete, defender and connector on offense who needs to improve his shooting efficiency, but has the mechanics to do so.

    Source link

    Related articles



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Share article

    Latest articles


    Subscribe to stay updated.