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NBA Mock Draft 2024: Edition 1 (Combine Edition)

Reed Sheppard, Kentucky
 1. Atlanta Hawks

Alexandre Sarr, F/C, France

Atlanta came away as the surprise winners of the 2024 NBA Draft lottery despite having the tenth odds at the top spot, a major win for an organization with an uncertain future. There's no Victor Wembanyama or Zion Williamson waiting for them this year, but French big Alexandre Sarr is in line to hear his name called first. The seven-footer moves incredibly well for his size, which has been on full display at the Combine, and has a chance to be an instant impact defender. The offensive game needs work, but you can imagine him grabbing plenty of lobs from Trae Young and Dejounte Murray - if those two stick around past this offseason.

2. Washington Wizards

Zaccharie Risacher, G/F, France

Zaccharie Risacher is the other big-name French prospect in competition to hear his name called first overall in late June, a 6'8" wing with a game perfectly suited for the modern NBA. He still has to round out his game, but has the necessary physical tools NBA folks are excited about, with the potential to be a real knockdown shooter. There's still plenty of room to grow, but he's worth the risk for a Washington team with no intentions of contending anytime soon.

3. Houston Rockets

Reed Sheppard, G, Kentucky

I've been a huge fan of Reed Sheppard since he arrived in Lexington, and I wouldn't overlook his chances to be the first player off the board this year. He's actually one of the more athletic prospects in this Draft with a well-rounded offensive game and tremendous feel for the game. Sheppard fits in nicely with Houston, setting himself up as the long-term answer to Fred VanVleet at point and providing the perfect counterbalance to Jalen Green in the backcourt.

4. San Antonio Spurs

Nikola Topic, G, Serbia

Who do the Spurs pair with Victor Wembanyama with two selections in the Top 10 this year? Adding a playmaking guard is a great place to start, and Serbian wing Nikola Topic is in line to land somewhere early on. He has a game similar to Goran Dragic, a crafty ball-handler who can create for himself if needed, but who is at his best when setting up his teammates. Now, there may be some caution here for the Spurs - Topic recently hurt his knee in the ABA Finals playing overseas, and the extent of the injury is unknown, throwing a wrench into the pre-Draft process for him and prospective teams.

5. Detroit Pistons

Matas Buzelis, F, Lithuania

Yet another international prospect rounding out the Top 5, NBA teams should be more familiar with Matas Buzelis, as he has been playing with the G League Ignite. He could be a fine consolation prize for a Detroit team that suffered an unfortunate drop at the lottery, gifting them a versatile forward who they can pair with just about anybody and score plenty of points.

6. Charlotte Hornets

Stephon Castle, G, UConn

Stephon Castle came on as a true freshman and was the real deal for a UConn team that rolled to their second consecutive National Title, likely cementing himself as a Top 10 selection in the process. Castle can play either point or off-ball and his ability to impact the game in so many different ways makes him an ideal running mate for the ball dominant La'Melo Ball in this Charlotte backcourt.

7. Portland Trail Blazers

Rob Dillingham, G, Kentucky

As opposed to his former Kentucky teammate Sheppard, Rob Dillingham is a much flashier prospect, and the one-time Wildcat was a proven scorer in the collegiate ranks. He should be able to bring that immediate scoring punch to the next level, and a team like Portland could certainly use it to jolt this offense. It's his size that could threaten to drop Dillingham just a bit, but this feels right for one of the college prospects in this Draft.

8. San Antonio Spurs

Dalton Knecht, G/F, Tennessee

At 23 years of age and after a long and productive career, Dalton Knecht is a rarity in the context of modern college basketball. But, anybody who saw this guy play at Tennessee could tell he had an NBA future, and I suspect he'll end up going higher than most would assume. It's not every day an NBA team can add such a well-rounded wing with proven shooting ability, and he could take some of the offensive load off Victor Wembanyama's shoulders in San Antonio.

9. Memphis Grizzlies

Donovan Clingan, F/C, UConn

It would come as a bit of a surprise if Donovan Clingan were to last until pick No. 9, but you never know how the NBA Draft will shake out. Clingan is the type of prospect that would be a lock for the top overall selection in the early 2000s but even as the game has passed by traditional bigs, he offers ample value. He's an elite shot blocker who has really worked to expand his offensive repertoire, and the Grizzlies could use some help in this frontcourt.

10. Utah Jazz

Ron Holland, G/F, G League Ignite

Once viewed as a potential No. 1 pick candidate, Ron Holland's stock has cratered after disappointing G League season. However, there's still a high likelihood somebody takes a chance on him in the lottery with his blend of dazzling athleticism and finishing ability. It feels like he needs to learn and grow away from the limelight, and there's no better spot than Utah to do just that.

11. Chicago Bulls

Cody Williams, F, Colorado

Don't be surprised if Colorado's Cody Williams is another name that goes higher than expected, as he checks a lot of boxes NBA teams are looking for. At 6'9" with the ability to play and defend multiple positions, his versatility is a major selling point and the offensive tools are all there, including an improved three-point jump shot. Williams will add another piece to a Chicago frontcourt that needs an infusion of young talent.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder

Tidjane Salaun, F, France

Which direction does an Oklahoma City team that earned the No. 1 overall seed in the West and is on the cusp of a conference finals appearance go in the lottery? This roster is so deep and talented, I like Sam Presti taking a swing on a high-upside piece who the Thunder could stash overseas until he's ready, and French forward Tidjane Salaun fits the mold. Just 18 years old, Salaun is incredibly raw, but has the athletic gifts to grow into a skilled combo forward in the NBA ranks.

13. Sacramento Kings

Jared McCain, G, Duke

Although a bit undersized to play the two spot in the NBA, Duke's Jared McCain still has a good chance to land somewhere in the lottery as a tough shot-maker with the confidence to hoist them up from anywhere on the court. For the Kings, he could take over the scoring load that may be vacated by Malik Monk, who is set to be a free agent.

14. Portland Trail Blazers

Kyle Filipowski, F/C, Duke

It will be interesting to see where Kyle Filipowski lands in this NBA Draft. On one hand, he's a legit seven-footer with floor-spacing ability who put together two productive seasons in Durham. On the other, he's not quite the athlete of other bigs in this Draft and in turn, doesn't project to have as high of a ceiling. Still, late lottery to mid-first round feels right for Filipowski, and Portland desperately needs to upgrade this frontcourt beyond Deandre Ayton. 

15. Miami Heat

Devin Carter, G/F, Providence

Providence wing Devin Carter just has the feels of a Miami Heat player. He's always been a tenacious perimeter defender with a knack for getting into passing lanes, but his growth offensively has catapulted him into Top 10 consideration. Carter will still need to grow his overall game, but offers superb value here for Miami, no matter the long-term future of Jimmy Butler in South Beach.

16. Philadelphia 76ers

Kel'el Ware, F/C, Indiana

Kel'el Ware is likely to emerge from the NBA Combine as one of the major winners, a great opportunity to show NBA folks his impressive measurables and world-class athleticism. Now, leveraging those traits on the court is the next step - he was good at Indiana, but didn't impact winning quite the way you might have hoped. But, he's still a great pick in the mid-first for Philadelphia and adds some highlight-reel ability to the frontcourt.

17. New Orleans Pelicans

Yves Missi, C, Baylor

Unsurprisingly, there were major ups-and-downs for Yves Missi during his lone season at Baylor after reclassifying to join the 2023 Class. The seven-footer is a powerful finisher around the rim and looks to have the skills to be a two-way force, although he'll need plenty of work at the next level. New Orleans has developed big men prospects like Missi before, and this could be the right fit for him to succeed.

18. Orlando Magic

Ja'Kobe Walter, G, Baylor

I love Baylor guard Ja'Kobe Walter, and suspect he'll end up going much higher than 18. However, he was frustratingly streaky in the collegiate ranks, which could threaten to drop him slightly. If that's the case, I could certainly see a team like Orlando jumping on the chance to add an elite perimeter defender who will need to improve offensively, but flashed ample potential in his one year with the Bears.

19. Toronto Raptors

Isaiah Collier, G, USC

It was an incredibly disappointing season for USC during their final run in the Pac-12, and guard Isaiah Collier could see that reflected in his draft stock. With that being said, the former blue-chipper put up strong numbers during a lost campaign, and has high upside - he's worth the risk at this point in the Draft for a Toronto team in the midst of a major rebuild.

20. Cleveland Cavaliers

Jaylon Tyson, G/F, California

Quietly, Cal basketball made real progress in Mark Madsen's first season at the helm, finishing near .500 in the Pac-12 despite a rough looking overall record. That was in large part thanks to Jaylon Tyson, a relentless wing who proved he can create his own shot and score in a variety of ways as a 6'7" ball-handler. He could provide nice scoring punch off the bench for Cleveland right away.

21. New Orleans Pelicans

Terrence Shannon Jr., G, Illinois

The legal concerns surrounding Terrence Shannon Jr. are undoubtedly going to come up the closer we get to Draft Night but from a strictly basketball sense, he's one of the most exciting prospects in this cycle. He's an explosive athlete with the ball in his hands, with eye-popping end-to-end speed. He's also really improved his shot since his freshman season at Texas Tech, and some NBA team will find a spot for him at the next level.

22. Phoenix Suns

Tristan da Silva, F, Colorado

The Suns really handicapped the rest of their roster to create a "Big Three" so this selection is much more important than most of the picks set to come off the boards in the 20s. Fortunately, Phoenix has a chance to add an immediate contributor in Tristan da Silva, a well-rounded forward who had a highly productive career at Colorado. There's nothing particularly flashy about him, but he can shoot, defend, and plays hard, all traits Phoenix desperately needs on this roster.

23. Milwaukee Bucks

Tyler Smith, F, G League Ignite

While other G League Ignite prospects have seen their stock take a hit, forward Tyler Smith could continue to ascend boards after an impressive campaign. The versatile forward is 6'11" and looks the part, but showed much better range and a really rock-solid offensive game over this past season. He's certainly worth a flier for a Milwaukee team hoping to turn things around in 2024-25.

24. New York Knicks

Kyshawn George, G/F, Miami (FL)

NBA teams are always searching for "3-and-D" wings that can come in and carve out an immediate role, and Miami's Kyshawn George fits the bill. The 6'8" wing has ideal size to play and defend multiple spots, and he shot over 40% from three-point territory during a lost season for the 'Canes. If he can continue to improve as a defender, the Knicks could use his services right away.

25. New York Knicks

Zach Edey, C, Purdue

Following a legendary career at Purdue, Zach Edey is set to make the jump to the NBA, and it will be fascinating to see how the 7'4" big adjusts to the pro game. His size is his obvious strength, but people tend to underestimate Edey's overall game - he moves remarkably well for that size and has a light touch around the rim. Add in his defensive prowess, and I suspect an NBA team will take a chance on him in the late first, and New York could certainly use another rim protector.

26. Washington Wizards

Tyler Kolek, G, Marquette

The Wizards took a risk with Zaccharie Risacher earlier on, this late first-rounder should be all about adding an immediate difference-maker. Tyler Kolek is just that, a crafty, well-rounded guard who is one of the best distributors you'll ever see coming out of the collegiate ranks. He's never going to be an All-Star in the pros, but should have a long and productive career.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves

Carlton Carrington, G, Pittsburgh

Mike Conley has showcased impressive longevity, still playing at a high level at 36 years old, but it's time for Minnesota to think long-term in the backcourt. Carlton Carrington offers plenty of value in the late first and the combo guard could be the long-term answer to Conley. The 18-year old obviously has plenty to work on, but he has excellent feel for the game and is a gifted passer. He seems like a great complement to Anthony Edwards and if the jump shot materializes, this could be a real steal.

28. Denver Nuggets

Pacome Dadiet, G/F, France

Yet another Frenchman attracting NBA interest, Pacome Dadiet is a gifted wing currently playing in the LNB Pro B. He has real offensive upside, with the ability to create his own looks and the length to make difficult shots in the paint. Of course, he's raw at this point in his development, but if there's one organization I trust to get the most out of him, it would probably be the Denver Nuggets.

29. Utah Jazz

DaRon Holmes II, F/C, Dayton

DaRon Holmes II flirted with going pro last year but instead decided to come back, and ended up putting together a strong season for the Dayton Flyers. He showcased improved range and elite shot-blocking ability, which should cement him as a first-rounder. However, at 6'9", he's too small to play the five in the pros and isn't a true power forward - the Jazz may be able to find a fit, but this is likely his range.

30. Boston Celtics

Johnny Furphy, G/F, Kansas

Johnny Furphy ended up playing a larger role than expected this past season at Kansas and seemed to handle it well, improving throughout the year and gaining real confidence towards its conclusion. As an NBA Draft prospect, he checks a lot of boxes, with ideal size, a nice shooting stroke, and defensive upside. He should find a home somewhere in the first, with the Celtics making the move here.

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