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NBA Mock Draft 2024: Edition 2

Rob Dillingham, Kentucky
 1. Atlanta Hawks

Alexandre Sarr, F/C, France

There are certainly no locks in the 2024 NBA Draft but with just under a month until the event, French big man Alexandre Sarr is the clear favorite to go No. 1 overall. A legit seven-footer who moves incredibly well for his size, Sarr is going to be a force on the defensive end from Day One, but it's his offense he'll look to grow as he makes the jump to the NBA. Fortunately, Atlanta won't likely have to lean on that offense too much early on, even with this roster in flux as they look ahead to the offseason.

2. Washington Wizards

Zaccharie Risacher, G/F, France

In the midst of a horrific season in the nation's capitol, forward Kyle Kuzma was a lone bright spot, averaging over 22 points per game on 46% shooting. With Kuzma's timeline not matching up with that of Washington, one would assume the Wizards will look to trade the 28-year old and instead open up a potential spot for Zaccharie Risacher, a talented French forward with real flair in his game. It will be a jump for Risacher as he moves from the LNB Pro A in France to the NBA, but he has loads of talent and is worth the risk with the top of this Draft being so weak.

3. Houston Rockets

Reed Sheppard, G, Kentucky

Trade rumors have been swirling around this pick but if the Rockets do indeed hold on to this spot, one would assume fortifying the backcourt is on their priority list. Sheppard likely isn't going to be a 20 point a night scorer in the NBA, but he does so many things well, from his three-point shooting to pesky perimeter defense. He's such a nice fit alongside Jalen Green in this backcourt, giving the Rockets plenty to build around for the future.

4. San Antonio Spurs

Rob Dillingham, G, Kentucky

I previously had San Antonio picking Serbian guard Nikola Topic here, which would be a very Spurs move but the closer we get to the Draft, the more I suspect they may be enticed by the explosiveness of Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham. Although slightly undersized for the pros, Dillingham makes up for it with his fearlessness, looking to attack at every opportunity. Continuing to hone his shot and making better decisions with the ball are the next steps for him, but he'd be a fascinating contrast next to Victor Wembanyama on this roster.

5. Detroit Pistons

Nikola Topic, G, Serbia

As crazy as it sounds fresh off a 68 loss campaign, I actually like the young core Detroit is building. Jaden Ivey and Cade Cunningham could one day be a fearsome backcourt duo if they continue to develop, while big man Jalen Duren is a force underneath. Of course there's plenty of work to be done, but the Pistons need to start bringing together all these young pieces into a cohesive team. Enter Nikola Topic, a skilled Serbian guard with the playmaking, ball-handling, and passing ability to instantly upgrade this entire roster.

6. Charlotte Hornets

Stephon Castle, G, UConn

LaMelo Ball hasn't quite been able to build on his 2021 Rookie of the Year honors the way Charlotte would have hoped, with two injury-shortened seasons harming his development. Getting healthy is the key, but I also believe Ball could benefit from having a better fit next to him in the backcourt. Stephon Castle could be just that, a combo guard whose energy and movement will keep defenders focused on him and open up further opportunities for Ball and budding youngster Brandon Miller.

7. Portland Trail Blazers

Ron Holland, F, G League Ignite

It's frankly shocking how atrocious Portland is at the forward position with the exception of Jerami Grant, who could be trending down as he hits 30 years of age. Portland needs to bolster the position, and may be willing to take a swing on a player like Ron Holland, a former blue-chipper who went through his ups-and-downs with the G League Ignite this past season. Holland is a freakish athlete with all the tools to be a force, but he needs time. Perhaps learning from Grant and company could unlock his vast potential.

8. San Antonio Spurs

Matas Buzelis, F, Lithuania

You really thought San Antonio was going to get out of this Draft, a draft defined by its international flair, without snatching someone from overseas? This time it's forward Matas Buzelis, a versatile playmaker who can play and defend multiple spots. His offensive game needs ample work and he hasn't shot the ball well, but the Spurs will be able to find a use for him in this offense.

9. Memphis Grizzlies

Donovan Clingan, F/C, UConn

Steven Adams and Brendon Clarke may both be working their way back to 100 percent, but the Grizzlies could still use more frontcourt reinforcements if they want to push themselves back into the postseason in 2024-25. Donovan Clingan gives them a proven post presence who will be swatting away shots right away, and would fit nicely next to Jaren Jackson Jr. in this lineup.

10. Utah Jazz

Cody Williams, F, Colorado

The "3-and-D" wing remains a hot commodity in the NBA and in the late lottery, it wouldn't be shocking if we see a run on them, starting here. At 6'8", Williams can realistically play either forward spot at a high level and while his shot needs refinement, the fundamentals are there. Utah could be a great spot for him to further develop in a low-pressure situation.

11. Chicago Bulls

Dalton Knecht, G/F, Tennessee

Sometimes with both the NBA and NFL Drafts, it feels like teams overthink this process, resulting in gems like Dalton Knecht falling far lower than they should. Knecht is still likely to land in the lottery, but the high-scoring wing is one of the prospects in this Draft I'm most confident will have a productive run in the NBA. He's got ideal size, can score in a variety of ways, has great feel for the game, and perhaps most importantly, has a bit of a chip on his shoulder after beginning his career in the junior college ranks.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder

Tidjane Salaun, F, France

This selection would be so Sam Presti, scooping up a talented, albeint unproven, forward from Europe with loads of upside. Salaun looks the part defensively already and there's hope his offensive game can take off if his shot continues to improve. He could be a player the Thunder are fine stashing overseas, or in the G League, for a year or two until he's ready to make the jump to the NBA.

13. Sacramento Kings

Ja'Kobe Walter, G, Baylor

Ja'Kobe Walter went through a rollercoaster of a freshman season with Baylor but when he was on, he was one of the top freshman anywhere in the nation this past winter. And, as an NBA prospect, he checks plenty of boxes as a relentless defender with versatility and a nice jump shot. If he can develop more consistency, the Kings get a steal here in the late lottery.

14. Portland Trail Blazers

Kyle Filipowski, F/C, Duke

Portland went with the boom-or-bust pick earlier at seven, this feels like a spot where they add a prospect with a high floor who can help them right away. Kyle Filipowski had two strong seasons at Duke and is a seven-footer that can play both ends at a high level. I'm not sure how high his ceiling is, but the Blazers get significant value with this selection.

15. Miami Heat

Devin Carter, G/F, Providence

As mentioned in my last mock draft, I think Devin Carter offers tremendous value in the mid-first round, and he just feels like a Heat player to me. The Providence product is a bit on the smaller side for his position when it comes to NBA standards, but he plays much larger and is an incredibly hard-worker. Just consider, at 6'3", Carter managed nearly nine rebounds per game for the Friars en route to earning Big East Player of the Year honors.

16. Philadelphia 76ers

Tyler Smith, F, G League Ignite

Don't be surprised if Tyler Smith is a name that creeps up draft boards late in the process and potentially even works his way into lottery consideration. While other G League Ignite names like Ron Holland struggled this past season, Smith impressed, and at 6'10" with a nice shooting stroke, he could have a bright future. He could be a replacement for Tobias Harris in Philly, with his time with the Sixers almost sure to be complete after this past season.

17. Los Angeles Lakers

Jared McCain, G, Duke

J.J. Redick is officially the new Laker head man, and something tells me the one-time Duke star is going to go back to his alma mater and add a playmaker like Jared McCain in short order. McCain may not have Redick's shooting stroke, few have, but the combo guard can still score in a hurry and gives this LA offense a much-needed spark.

18. Orlando Magic

Tristan da Silva, F, Colorado

Orlando was a pleasant surprise this past season and could be a long-term threat in the Eastern Conference with their young core. I suspect they'll look to add an immediate contributor that can help them win right away, and Colorado's Tristan da Silva fits the bill. A well-rounded offensive piece with smooth touch around the rim, the former Buffalo will carve out a role immediately in the NBA.

19. Toronto Raptors

Isaiah Collier, G, USC

Much of the attention paid to former USC Trojans in this Draft is focused on Bronny James, but Isaiah Collier is an interesting character. He was a big-name recruit who put up strong numbers on a bad USC team, but didn't seem to do enough to cement himself as a lottery pick. With that being said, Collier is a steal at this point, and strengthens a thin Toronto backcourt.

20. Cleveland Cavaliers

Terrence Shannon Jr., G/F, Illinois

It's hard to know what Donovan Mitchell's future looks like in Cleveland. I'd still bet on him being a Cav for at least one more year, but trade rumors are likely to persist with him throughout the summer. If he does get traded, Cleveland could take a chance on his heir apparent in Terrence Shannon Jr., a player with a similar skillset and explosive scorer mentality, albeit with off-the-court concerns that could threaten his stock.

21. New Orleans Pelicans

Kel'el Ware, F/C, Indiana

With Zion Williamson and Jaxson Hayes, it was clear New Orleans was looking to feature a high-flying frontcourt reminiscent of the prime "Lob City" LA Clippers. Instead entering 2024-25, Zion is likely to enter under immense pressure, while Hayes is now a Laker. Perhaps Indiana's Kel'el Ware could deliver the Pelicans what they thought they were getting with Hayes, and Ware's ability to space the floor is a bonus.

22. Phoenix Suns

Yves Missi, C, Baylor

If the Suns want to be considered a true Western Conference contender, Jusuf Nurkic and Drew Eubanks isn't going to cut it at center. Both can be at least serviceable, but Phoenix really needs an athlete at the position, and could get that with Yves Missi out of Baylor. Missi is still raw after reclassifying and joining the Bears a year early and it showed at times this past winter, but the raw physical gifts are off the charts.

23. Milwaukee Bucks

Zach Edey, C, Purdue

Brook Lopez has had a nice little career renaissance in Milwaukee, but the big man is 36 years old. It's time for the Bucks to invest in the position and why not do so with the two-time reigning National Player of the Year? The jury is still out on whether Zach Edey's game will translate to the pros, but he's well worth the risk at this point in the first round.

24. New York Knicks

Tyler Kolek, PG, Marquette

It's not been often over the last several decades that the Knicks have had a true game-changing point guard, the type of player that makes everyone else around him better. That will change if they draft Tyler Kolek, a crafty lead guard who is one of the best passers I've ever seen at the collegiate level. He'll need time to adjust to Tom Thibodeau, but will instantly give Jalen Brunson much-needed support.

25. New York Knicks

Jaylon Tyson, G, California

If the Knicks want to overtake the other power players out in the Eastern Conference, they need more shooting and playmaking on the perimeter. Jaylon Tyson fits the mold, and at 6'7" with long arms, he should be a stout perimeter defender, too.

26. Washington Wizards

Johnny Furphy, G/F, Kansas

Johnny Furphy could be a name that goes a lot higher than most would assume after his lone season at Kansas but with how unpredictable things can be, there's also a chance he could slide into the late first. That would be a gain for Washington, allowing them to add a talented, 6'9" wing with clean shooting mechanics.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves

Kyshawn George, G/F, Miami (FL)

Although the Timberwolves should feel satisfied with their run to the Western Conference Finals, there were several huge moments throughout the postseason where their offense disappeared for long stretches. Anthony Edwards growing and maturing will certainly help, but you also get the sense Minnesota could use another wing with some scoring potential, such as Miami's Kyshawn George. Although still so young, George has significant offensive upside and could realistically use 2024-25 as a "redshirt" year to learn and develop.

28. Denver Nuggets

DaRon Holmes II, F/C, Dayton

For as amazing as Nikola Jokic is, Denver needs a better backup than DeAndre Jordan at center if they want to rebound from the Western Conference semis defeat. DaRon Holmes II flirted with going pro last year but instead stayed back for Dayton and showcased an improved all-around game, with the possibility to end up going much higher than this spot.

29. Utah Jazz

Pacome Dadiet, G/F, France

Yet another French player who could sneak into the first round, Pacome Dadiet going to Utah would be a great situation for him. He'd have the chance to grow in a low-pressure situation and even with the logjam the Jazz have on the wing, his versatility could allow him to contribute in a multitude of ways. Dadiet has elite offensive potential but like so many at this point in the Draft, he's so raw in so many areas of his game.

30. Boston Celtics

Carlton Carrington, G, Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's Carlton Carrington is too good of a prospect to last until the second round, as the talented combo guard could help out a number of teams immediately. I've seen comparisons to Shaun Livingston, and Carrington's long, 6'5" frame and slithery scoring style does remind you of the former No. 4 overall pick two decades ago.

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