Breaking news, rankings, predictions and analysis all in one place.

NBA Mock Draft 2024: Edition 3 (Final Edition)

Zaccharie Risacher, France

1. Atlanta Hawks

Zaccharie Risacher, G/F, France

This late in the pre-Draft process, it can be hard to distinguish between truth and rumor when it comes to movement at the top of the boards, but Zaccharie Risacher's ascent to the No. 1 overall pick certainly seems more than a mirage. The French forward is now the overwhelming betting favorite to be Atlanta's selection on Wednesday night, coming in ahead of two bigs, Alex Sarr and Donovan Clingan. You can understand why the Hawks would want to go in his direction, adding a skilled 6'9" combo forward with enough versatility to excel in just about any role.

2. Washington Wizards

Alexandre Sarr, F/C, France

I had Alexandre Sarr mocked at No. 1 for a long time but the closer we've gotten to draft night, the more apparent it has become it's Washington where he'll likely end up when it's all said and done. The Wizards are enamored with the seven-footer, whose defensive abilities should make him an impact piece right away one of the NBA's worst rosters.

3. Houston Rockets

Reed Sheppard, G, Kentucky

Trade rumors have circulated around the No. 3 pick throughout the pre-Draft process but as things stand today, it will still be Houston moving forward with this selection. If that indeed holds, I absolutely love the fit of Reed Sheppard and the Rockets. He's a high IQ, well-rounded lead guard who looks to be the perfect complement to Amen Thompson and Jalen Green in this Houston backcourt, and learning from Fred VanVleet to begin his NBA career will only benefit him.

4. San Antonio Spurs

Stephon Castle, G, UConn

Finding the right piece to pair with Victor Wembanyama and become a cornerstone of San Antonio's long-term core has proved to be a difficult process for the Spurs, but UConn's Stephon Castle seems to be trending as the guy as we inch towards draft night. Castle played off-ball often during his lone season in Storrs, but has a skillset to imagine he could become the San Antonio lead guard and with his two-way potential, the possibilities for his career are endless in the right spot.

5. Detroit Pistons

Matas Buzelis, F, Lithuania

With Troy Weaver departing for a front office role in Washington, Detroit's draft decisions will now be made by Trajan Langdon, a former lottery pick himself back in 1999. With this move happening so close to draft night, there's potential for the Pistons to be a major wild card but instead I see them sticking firm and selecting a player they've been connected to for some time, Lithuanian forward Matas Buzelis. Questions surround the 6'9" forward, but his versatility and playmaking potential will be much-needed for a Detroit team looking to claw out of the hole of a 68-loss 2023-24.

6. Charlotte Hornets

Donovan Clingan, F/C, UConn

There's some thought Donovan Clingan could still be in play for Atlanta at No. 1, but the more likely scenario is we see the UConn big land somewhere in the mid-lottery. Charlotte could be the right fit, giving the Hornets an imposing presence in the low post who would still fit nicely to Brandon Miller and not stall out his future development.

7. Portland Trail Blazers

Cody Williams, F, Colorado

In the midst of a massive rebuild, Portland could go just about any different direction with this pick, but Colorado's Cody Williams has been trending towards it in recent days. The younger brother of Oklahoma City Thunder wing Jalen Williams, Cody isn't quite as well-rounded as his brother, but has dazzling physical gifts and immense defensive upside.

8. San Antonio Spurs

Tidjane Salaun, G/F, France

One of the greater mysteries in the lottery is French forward Tidjane Salaun. One of the younger players in this Draft, set to turn 19 in August, Salaun is so incredibly raw but his offensive tools could be special if he lands in the right spot, with a franchise willing to be patient with him. That may end up being San Antonio, who could pair him with Wembanyama in the long-term, as the two have played together in the past and actually share the same agent.

9. Memphis Grizzlies

Devin Carter, G/F, Providence

Providence product Devin Carter is rising at the right time, going from a likely mid-first rounder to a lottery lock as of late. It's no surprise why NBA teams are intrigued, as Carter pairs a rapidly improved offensive game with tough, ferocious perimeter defense. He could eventually be the replacement for Marcus Smart, who looks to be on the trade block this summer in Memphis.

10. Utah Jazz

Dalton Knecht, G/F, Tennessee

I've said it ad nauseam - somebody is getting a steal in Tennessee wing Dalton Knecht. In his rise from junior college ranks to SEC Player of the Year, Knecht has developed a savvy, skilled offensive game that should be able to fit in just about any NBA offense. With Utah, his floor-spacing will open up endless opportunities for the Jazz and he should add an immediate spark off the bench.

11. Chicago Bulls

Ron Holland, G/F, G League Ignite

Chicago seemed like they may end up going guard with this selection, but their decision to trade for Josh Giddey appears to have squashed that possibility. Instead, they go with a high-risk, high-reward prospect here in Ron Holland, an uber-talented wing looking to prove his detractors wrong after a shaky season with the G League Ignite.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder

Rob Dillingham, G, Kentucky

Once positioned to go as high as the Top 5, Rob Dillingham's stock has taken a hit as a result of a nagging ankle injury that has limited him throughout the lead up to the Draft. But, it's hard to imagine the Kentucky product falling outside the lottery, as he's simply too skilled and talented. The Thunder could take a waiver on him here, giving them another explosive scorer to aid their second unit.

13. Sacramento Kings

Ja'Kobe Walter, G, Baylor

Sacramento may have just resigned Malik Monk, but I could still see them looking for help on the wing with this selection. Baylor's Ja'Kobe Walter had a rollercoaster of a freshman season in Waco, but offers significant two-way potential and could be a nice fit alongside De'Aaron Fox. If he can grow to be a more consistent shooter, this could end up being quite the steal.

14. Portland Trail Blazers

Tristan da Silva, F, Colorado

Are the Blazers really going to double-dip and take another Colorado forward with their second first-rounder? It could happen, as Tristan da Silva is a much different prospect than Cody Williams, a skilled forward with shooting and floor-spacing abilities who should be able to contribute right away in the pros.

15. Miami Heat

Jared McCain, G, Duke

As opposed to others who have seen their stock rise and fall, Jared McCain has been a consistent presence on boards in the late lottery to mid-first round. Something tells me he'll find a home with one of the guard-needy NBA teams in this range, and it could be Miami. His playmaking will be much-needed for this Heat offense and despite being undersized, McCain has the type of attitude to be an impactful defensive piece.

16. Philadelphia 76ers

Isaiah Collier, G, USC

Philadelphia still has lofty goals despite their roster limitations, so they have to make this mid-first round selection count. Enter Isaiah Collier, a big-bodied lead guard who put up impressive numbers on a bad USC team this past winter. Although he isn't going to be as quick as the best the league has to offer, Collier's size and playmaking should pay immediate dividends for the Sixers.

17. Los Angeles Lakers

Zach Edey, C, Purdue

All the sudden, Zach Edey is getting lottery buzz and is likely to go much higher than originally expected after he finished his final season at Purdue. The Lakers are searching for a big at this spot and despite all the options, Edey should end up being the most attractive. He's certainly not going to replicate his college production, but he should be a consistent two-way force on the block whose offensive game is much more well-rounded than people give him credit for.

18. Orlando Magic

Nikola Topic, G, Serbia

Once considered a likely Top 5 pick, a poorly timed torn ACL has Nikola Topic likely falling out of the lottery come Wednesday night. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where the Serbian guard may end up landing, but Orlando makes plenty of sense. Despite making the postseason this year, the Magic aren't in win-now mode, and could take a flier on Topic. If he pans out, Orlando would be getting a slick ball-handler who would instantly make his teammates better with his passing ability.

 19. Toronto Raptors

Kyshawn George, G/F, Miami (FL)

Kyshawn George remains one of the more interesting prospects in this Draft - his numbers at Miami were underwhelming, but he shot the ball from three-point territory and handles the ball like a seasoned floor general at 6'7". He could be an interesting building block in this Toronto backcourt, a group that lacked any substantial playmaking throughout the 2023-24 campaign.

20. Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyle Filipowski, F/C, Duke

Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen have been an effective 1-2 combo in the Cleveland frontcourt the last several seasons but with Mobley nearly up for a massive extension, there's speculation the Cavs could soon cut ties with Allen. If that is the long-term plan, they should be able to take advantage of a draft class that is strong on bigs, especially at this point in the first. Kyle Filipowski would provide an NBA-ready forward whose floor-spacing abilities would be an ideal fit in this offense.

21. New Orleans Pelicans

Kel'el Ware, F/C, Indiana

The Pelicans don't seem likely to bring back veteran center Jonas Valanciunas, which should open up immediate playing time in their froncourt. Enter Kel'el Ware, a talented Indiana product who can play either the four or five at a high level, giving New Orleans the type of athletic rim-runner they thought they were getting with Jaxson Hayes several years ago.

22. Phoenix Suns

Tyler Kolek, PG, Marquette

Drafting Tyler Kolek would be the perfect draft night for the Suns. The crafty Marquette product is a weapon in the pick-and-roll whose passing ability is above every other guard in this draft class. He would be the ideal guard to help Phoenix get the most from all their talent, opening things up for Brad Beal, Devin Booker, and Kevin Durant to do their best.

23. Milwaukee Bucks

Johnny Furphy, G/F, Kansas

Milwaukee certainly isn't looking for an instant contributor with this pick, but instead looking for a prospect who can fill a niche for now, while offering long-term upside. That description fits Johnny Furphy, a 6'8" wing who flashed significant potential during his one season at Kansas. He'll be more of a defender and specialist than anything else early on, but he could be a top-line scorer if his offensive game rounds out.

24. New York Knicks

Yves Missi, F/C, Baylor

The Knicks don't have as clear a need in the post as others in this first round, but it will be awfully hard for them to pass up on Yves Missi if he's available here. The former blue-chip prospect reclassified and joined Baylor a year early and despite his fair share of growing pains, he showed enough to imagine him being a force in the paint for years to come.

25. New York Knicks

Ryan Dunn, G/F, Virginia

An elite athlete and the best perimeter defender in this class, Ryan Dunn has been trending into the late first round in recent mock drafts. And, if he does indeed land in the first, who would appreciate his defensive prowess more than Tom Thibodeau? Dunn would still have to work his way into the rotation, but his pesky on-ball defense and defensive intangibles honed under Tony Bennett would make him an impactful addition here.

26. Washington Wizards

Carlton Carrington, G, Pittsburgh

This is another situation where it may not be a perfect fit, but it's hard to imagine Pittsburgh's Carlton Carrington lasting any longer on boards. He has some growing up to do, as his offensive game needs refinement, but Carrington's passing and overall feel for the game is top-notch, and he'd give the Wizards a much-needed building block in this backcourt.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves

Cam Christie, G/F, Minnesota

There's admittedly some bias coming into play here because of how much I would love this selection, but I do think Cam Christie makes a lot of sense for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He'd provide immediate three-point shooting and if his defense improves, he could be a real two-way force. With the T-Wolves being plenty deep, 2024-25 could work as a "redshirt" year for the youngster, who was a revelation for the Gophers this past winter.

28. Denver Nuggets

DaRon Holmes II, F/C, Dayton

Dayton's DaRon Holmes II has been connected to Denver for some time now, and there's a widespread belief the Nuggets made him a promise in the late first. He would add depth to a Denver frontcourt that's awfully thin beyond Nikola Jokic and if his mid range can continue to flourish, there's hope Holmes could become a stretch four at the next level.

29. Utah Jazz

Tyler Smith, F, G League Ignite

I like the idea of Utah taking a flier on a big in the late first and letting them develop in a low-pressure situation. That could be perfect for Tyler Smith, who impressed during his one season with the G League Ignite and should land somewhere on Wednesday night. Smith's three-point scoring was a welcome surprise in the G League, but he'll need to round out his game to be an impactful piece for the Jazz moving forward.

30. Boston Celtics

Baylor Scheierman, G/F, Creighton

It's down to either Baylor Scheierman or Terrence Shannon Jr. for the final pick of the first round, and both would give Boston similar benefits. Both can score at will and make an impact on a rookie deal, and the versatility offers head coach Joe Mazzulla a range of possibilities. I lean Scheierman only because I think his offensive game is a little bit more diverse, and I can see an immediate role for him on this Celtic team.



No comments:

Theme images by LUGO. Powered by Blogger.