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NBA Mock Draft 2024: Complete 2-round edition sends Stephon Castle to Spurs, Bronny James to Lakers | Sporting News



NBA Mock Draft 2024: Complete 2-round edition sends Stephon Castle to Spurs, Bronny James to Lakers | Sporting News

The 2024 NBA Playoffs are in full swing but the next major tentpole events of the NBA Draft cycle are underway in Chicago.

The 2024 NBA Draft Lottery took place on Sunday, May 12. The 2024 NBA Draft Combine began on the same day and will run through Sunday, May 19. Now that the 2024 draft order is set, teams have an idea of which prospects will be available when they are on the clock.

There are plenty of players in this class who you may not have seen during the season. Projected top picks like Alexandre Sarr (Australia), Nikola Topic (Serbia), Ron Holland (G League Ignite) and Zaccharie Risacher (France) all played in leagues outside the NCAA.

Then, there are the March Madness stars like Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht, UConn’s Stephon Castle and Donovan Clingan, and Purdue’s Zach Edey who will bring some familiarity to the class.

Take a look at The Sporting News’ updated 2024 NBA Mock Draft to see where these prospects will land.

BIG BOARD: Ranking the NBA Draft’s top 60 prospects for 2024

NBA Mock Draft 2024

1. Hawks: Alexandre Sarr, Perth (Australia)

Age: 19

Position: Center

Height and weight: 7-0, 216 lbs.

The Hawks already have two bigs in Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu, but considering the amount of change that could be coming to Atlanta this offseason, that shouldn’t stop the front office from considering Sarr, who would give the team a high-energy rim protector with length.

The 7-foot center is an athletic and powerful shot-blocking big with budding offensive skills who held his own playing professionally in Australia’s NBL overseas. He’d complement Trae Young and/or Dejounte Murray well.

2. Wizards: Nikola Topic, Crvena Zvezda (Serbia)

Age: 18

Position: Guard

Height and weight: 6-5, 201 lbs.

The Wizards might need a floor general with Tyus Jones becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Add in their glaring issues on the defensive end, and Topic makes a lot of sense here.

The 6-5 pick-and-roll maestro is the best pure point guard in this class. Even if he doesn’t offer NBA-level perimeter shooting, he’s a smart and physical defender who fits a need in Washington.

3. Rockets: Donovan Clingan, UConn

Age: 20, Sophomore

Position: Center

Height and weight: 7-2, 280 lbs.

The Rockets need big man depth alongside Alperen Sengun, and Clingan is the rim protector they’re looking for.

Clingan put on a two-way clinic in the NCAA Tournament, anchoring UConn to its second straight national championship. His performance against Illinois in the Elite Eight was the most dominant defensive game of March Madness. The Illini only had two made field goals when Clingan was on the floor going into the final 10 minutes of a 30-point blowout.

The UConn sophomore is a massive presence at 7-2 and 280 pounds with a reported 7-7 wingspan. He’s an elite shot blocker, rebounder and lob catcher who has the rim-running ability to hang in the NBA.

Stephon Castle 04062024

4. Spurs: Stephon Castle, UConn

Age: 19, Freshman

Position: Guard

Height and weight: 6-6, 215 lbs.

The Spurs need a point guard. Enter Castle, who has the potential to be the best guard in this class.

Castle defends at a high level, can score at the rim off the dribble and create for others. He showed even more versatility in the NCAA Tournament, playing off the ball and doing some dirty work in the paint on both ends of the floor. He’ll need to improve his jumper to thrive next to Victor Wembanyama, but his intangibles and IQ would be invaluable for a San Antonio team looking to expedite a rebuild.

5. Pistons: Dalton Knecht, Tennessee

Age: 23, Senior

Position: Forward

Height and weight: 6-6, 213 lbs.

For the second consecutive year, the Pistons had the best odds to land the No. 1 pick and fell to No. 5. Detroit cannot afford to miss on this selection and Knecht is one of the safest bets in this draft.

Knecht would give the Pistons, who were one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the league this season, a much-needed perimeter shooting wing.

Knecht established himself as one of the nation’s most consistent three-level scorers, averaging 21.7 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting from deep. His 37-point scoring clinic in Tennessee’s Elite Eight loss to Purdue should leave a lasting memory in the minds of NBA scouts, showing how seamlessly his game should translate to the next level.

6. Hornets: Ron Holland, G League Ignite

Age: 18

Position: Forward

Height and weight: 6-8, 206 lbs.

The Hornets already have a promising core in place with LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller and Mark Williams. Adding a two-way forward like Holland would round out that group perfectly.

Holland brings the versatility Charlotte needs to both sides of the ball as a relentless defender and growing scorer with unlimited energy. He is one of the best defenders in this class and averaged 20.6 points for the Ignite even without a reliable jump shot or polished shot-creation skills.

7. Trail Blazers: Zaccharie Risacher, JL Bourg (France)

Age: 19

Position: Forward

Height and weight: 6-8, 210 lbs.

The Trail Blazers are rebuilding around a young core of Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe and Deandre Ayton. They have a surplus of explosive guards but could use a floor-spacing perimeter shooter. That’s why Risacher is worth a roll of the dice.

Risacher caught fire from beyond the arc at the start of the season for JL Bourg but has since cooled off. He is still shooting a respectable 34.9 percent from 3 through 31 LNB Pro A games, but that’s down a full 10 percentage points from his hot start. Averaging 10.1 points as a teenager in one of the best leagues in the world is still no easy feat. He has become one of the more polarizing players in this class but his potential is undeniable.

8. Spurs: Reed Sheppard, Kentucky

Age: 19, Freshman

Position: Guard

Height and weight: 6-3, 187 lbs.

Sheppard’s stock was skyrocketing as the biggest draft darling in this class before a disappointing performance in the NCAA Tournament. He is still one of the most reliable two-way players in the country.

Sheppard offers the perfect blend of ball-handling, playmaking, perimeter shooting and hard-nosed defense to give San Antonio another building block in its backcourt. A 52.1 percent 3-point shooter at Kentucky, his ability to space the floor at a high level would make for a seamless fit with Wembanyama and Castle.

MORE: Reed Sheppard, Rob Dillingham make ‘freshman mistakes’ in Kentucky’s first-round loss

9. Grizzlies: Rob Dillingham, Kentucky

Age: 19, Freshman

Position: Guard

Height and weight: 6-3, 176 lbs.

The Grizzlies had a season of misfortunate injuries, but there is a silver lining — they ended up with a top-10 pick to add a potential rotation player to their core of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr.

Memphis could use a spark of offense off the bench and Dillingham is one of the most dangerous scorers in this class. He is a gifted shot creator, confident shooter and tough-shot maker. His offensive creativity would be a huge asset for a Grizzlies team looking to get back to title contention next season.

10. Jazz: Matas Buzelis, G League Ignite

Age: 19

Position: Forward

Height and weight: 6-10, 209 lbs.

The Jazz are in the middle of a rebuild, so they won’t feel the need to draft for fit. Buzelis’ ceiling of potential is as high as any player left on the board here, and he’s worth taking a swing on.

The 6-10 forward is a versatile floor spacer who showed improvement on the defensive end in his lone season with the Ignite. Buzelis would learn a lot from All-Star forward Lauri Markkanen, who could give the 19-year-old a similar blueprint on how to develop and succeed at the NBA level.

11. Bulls: Ja’Kobe Walter, Baylor

Age: 19, Freshman

Position: Guard

Height and weight: 6-5, 195 lbs.

The Bulls need more perimeter shooting to space the floor after ranking 27th in 3-pointers made per game. Walter could fill that hole as one of the best shooters in this draft.

Even though he only hit 34.1 percent of his 3s this season, Walter showed plenty of upside and confidence as a shooter off the dribble, catch and off of movement.

12. Thunder (via HOU): Cody Williams, Colorado

Age: 19, Freshman

Position: Forward

Height and weight: 6-8, 190 lbs.

If Williams is still here for the Thunder at No. 12, why not pair him with his brother, Oklahoma City rising star Jalen Williams?

Just like J-Dub, Cody would be a great pick for the Thunder as a long, versatile and athletic wing who can defend at a high level, rebound and score off the ball. His length and energy would be a dream fit for Oklahoma City, and it already has plenty of scoring options to give the younger Williams the necessary time to develop his offensive game.

13. Kings: Isaiah Collier, USC

Age: 19, Freshman

Position: Guard

Height and weight: 6-5, 210 lbs.

De’Aaron Fox runs the show in Sacramento but Collier would provide him with some ball-handling relief as an equally explosive downhill threat.

A hand injury derailed the USC star’s freshman season, but he still showed flashes as to why he was the No. 1 recruit in the country. Built like a running back, Collier is a bulldozer when he puts his head down to get to the rim. He’s consistently improved as a passer and defender, and he’ll be a well-rounded threat if he can develop his jump shot.

14. Trail Blazers (via GSW): Jared McCain, Duke

Age: 20, Freshman

Position: Guard

Height and weight: 6-3, 197 lbs.

More shooting for Portland. After going with Risacher at No. 4 in this mock, the Trail Blazers could add another combo guard to their rotation in McCain.

McCain fits a need as a connective playmaker with a 3-and-D skill set that should seamlessly translate to the NBA. Even though he is only a 20-year-old freshman, McCain plays with poise and confidence that is beyond his age.

His two 30-point explosions in the NCAA Tournament launched him into lottery consideration.

15. Heat: Terrence Shannon Jr.

Age: 23, Senior

Position: Guard

Height and Weight: 6-6, 225 lbs.

The Heat’s offense continued to struggle in the halfcourt, and Shannon would provide instant help off the bench as a 23-year-old senior.

The Illinois star was an explosive scorer this past season. He averaged a career-best 23.0 points per game, flashing a quick first step with a strong build and elite body control to finish through traffic. His incremental improvements as a perimeter shooter only help his NBA potential.

It is worth noting that Shannon is awaiting a hearing in a sexual assault case that is scheduled for May.

16. 76ers: Kevin McCullar, Kansas

Age: 23, Senior

Position: Guard

Height and weight: 6-7, 212 lbs.

McCullar missed an opportunity to shine on the March Madness stage, missing the remainder of his senior season with a knee injury, but he did enough throughout his college career to prove worthy of a first-round pick in this draft class.

The 76ers are looking to win now, and McCullar offers an older, jack-of-all-trades-type prospect who would address Philadelphia’s need for more depth on the wing. He’s a versatile defender, as well as a trusty ball-handler and playmaker.

McCullar isn’t a reliable shooter, but he has plug-and-play skills that should translate to the NBA.

17. Lakers: Tristan da Silva, Colorado

Age: 22, Senior

Position: Forward

Height and weight: 6-9, 220 lbs.

The Pelicans can keep this pick from the Lakers or defer it to 2025. Given the lack of depth in this year’s draft class, don’t be surprised if New Orleans waits until next year to convey this selection.

If it is Los Angeles on the clock, da Silva makes a lot of sense as an upperclassman who is ready to contribute to an NBA rotation.

da Silva is a fluid 6-9 wing who handles the ball well for his size, can defend multiple positions and shot 39.5 percent from 3 on nearly 300 attempts over his past two seasons. His ability to fill a variety of roles makes him a fit for almost any NBA team.

18. Magic: Kyshawn George, Miami

Age: 20, Freshman

Position: Guard

Height and weight: 6-8, 205 lbs.

The Magic have a thing for big guards and wings who can handle the ball and defend multiple positions. George is exactly that, projecting as a high-upside jumbo guard who has a budding offensive game. He can create his own shot and offer some ball-handling depth, and he converted a promising 40.8 percent of his 130 3-point attempts as a freshman.

19. Raptors (via IND): Devin Carter, Providence

Age: 22, Junior

Position: Guard

Height and weight: 6-3, 195 lbs.

The Raptors have plenty of wings. Carter could give them true guard depth as a physical defender, pick-and-roll ball-handler and competitor who fits Toronto’s culture.

The 2023-24 Big East Player of the Year was extremely productive this season, averaging 19.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. He isn’t quick or shifty and there are questions about his jumper, but you can’t knock the heart he plays with.

20. Cavaliers: Kyle Filipowski, Duke

Age: 20, Sophomore

Position: Forward

Height and weight: 7-0, 248 lbs.

Filipowski’s draft stock took a bit of a hit after the sophomore forward struggled to hold his own on defense in the NCAA Tournament. However, he is a talented prospect who has plenty of room to grow. His offensive versatility would be an asset to Cleveland.

The Duke star is a floor-stretching big man who can pick and pop, score with his back to the basket, handle and pass. If he can shoot the 3-ball with more consistency, he might project as a better NBA player than a college player.

Zach Edey 040624

21. Pelicans (via MIL): Zach Edey, Purdue

Age: 21, Senior

Position: Center

Height and weight: 7-4, 300 lbs.

Just when you thought Edey’s potential as an NBA prospect hit a ceiling, the two-time National Player of the Year proved everyone wrong during the NCAA Tournament.

Edey was even more dominant than usual on Purdue’s run to the national championship, averaging 29.5 points, 14.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. He showed that his conditioning and mobility improved tremendously, playing all but two minutes and 50 seconds from the Sweet 16 through the title game.

With Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas in the latter stage of his career, Edey could provide a similar dominant interior presence in relief.

MORE: Zach Edey is the most polarizing player in 2024 NBA Draft

22. Suns: DaRon Holmes II, Dayton

Age: 21, Junior

Position: Center

Height and weight: 6-10, 235 lbs.

The Suns need frontcourt depth behind Jusuf Nurkic. Holmes was one of the most productive big men in the country, averaging 20.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game en route to winning A-10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year this season.

His mobility, athleticism and shot-blocking were on full display in the NCAA Tournament, and he’d be a great fit alongside Phoenix’s core of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.

23. Bucks (via NOP): Yves Missi, Baylor

Age: 19, Freshman

Position: Center

Height and weight: 6-10, 235 lbs.

Energy is the name of the game for Missi. His relentless effort and explosive athleticism turned him into a projected first-round pick this season. He’s still a raw prospect, but he’s a quick leaper who crashes the glass, blocks shots and throws down lobs.

The Bucks developed Giannis Antetokounmpo into one of the greatest players in NBA history. They would be more than capable of getting the most out of Missi’s untapped potential.

24. Knicks (via DAL): Tidjane Salaun, Cholet (France)

Age: 18

Position: Forward

Height and weight: 6-9, 212 lbs.

The Knicks landed back-to-back first-round picks. As a win-now team with championship expectations, it’s hard to believe they would make two selections. I’m slotting Salaun here as the best player available, but I don’t expect New York to be the fit.

Salaun is a versatile defender who will give an NBA team athleticism, size and length in the frontcourt. He has shown promise as a perimeter shooter and can do damage as a scorer off of cuts, but he needs to improve as a shot-creator.

25. Knicks: Ryan Dunn, Virginia

Age: 21, Sophomore

Position: Forward

Height and weight: 6-8, 216 lbs.

Dunn has a case as the best perimeter defender in this draft class. Even though he only made seven 3-pointers all regular season, his IQ and tools on the defensive end are too good to pass up in the first round.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau would love having a versatile stopper like Dunn at his disposal.

26. Wizards (via LAC): Kel’el Ware, Indiana

Age: 20, Sophomore

Position: Center

Height and weight: 7-0, 242 lbs.

The Wizards need frontcourt depth after trading Daniel Gafford to the Mavericks at the deadline. Ware is a rim-protecting center with a high ceiling who came on strong late in the season for Indiana. He is a long, athletic and mobile lob-catcher who has a developing offensive game as a scorer.

27. Timberwolves: Carlton Carrington, Pittsburgh

Age: 18, Freshman

Position: Guard

Height and weight: 6-5, 190 lbs.

Now that Carrington is committed to the 2024 NBA Draft process, it’s easy to see how he could be taken in the first round.

The 18-year-old is a super-talented shot-creator with pro-level moves in his arsenal, and he gains separation from his defenders. He wasn’t an efficient scorer as a freshman, but it’s clear the potential is there.

The Timberwolves need guard depth behind veteran Mike Conley, who would be a great mentor for Carrington.

28. Nuggets: Tyler Kolek, Marquette

Age: 23, Senior

Position: Guard

Height and weight: 6-3, 195 lbs.

Once Jamal Murray started to nurse a calf injury in the playoffs, it became clear that Denver could use another ball-handler. Kolek would be a steadying presence with a high basketball IQ who would thrive in that backup role for the defending champions.

He’s a patient playmaker who would play well off Nikola Jokic as a reliable perimeter shooter and crafty finisher. The 23-year-old senior is one of the few players in this class who could handle the transition to the NBA right away.

29. Jazz (via OKC): Tyler Smith, G League Ignite

Age: 19

Position: Forward

Height and weight: 6-11, 224 lbs.

Smith is a fluid power forward who increased his draft stock by showing floor-stretching potential with the Ignite this season. The Jazz would benefit from adding more frontcourt depth, especially a versatile 6-11 forward with promise as a perimeter shooter.

30. Celtics: PJ Hall, Clemson

Age: 22, Senior

Position: Forward

Height and weight: 6-10, 238 lbs.

The Celtics aim to have five shooters on the floor at all times. They need frontcourt depth, and a physical, 6-10 forward like Hall fits head coach Joe Mazzulla’s scheme. He’s mobile enough to switch on defense, and he’s comfortable spacing the floor as a shooter. He only shot 31.5 percent on 3s this season, but his form is smooth and he’d get more open looks in Boston than he ever did at Clemson.

Bronny James

Second round

31. Raptors (via DET): Pacome Dadiet, F, Ulm (Germany)

32. Jazz (via WAS): Jaylon Tyson, G, California

33. Bucks (via POR): Hunter Sallis, F, Wake Forest

34. Trail Blazers (via CHA): Bobi Klintman, F, Cairns Taipans (Australia)

35. Spurs: Mark Sears, G, Alabama

36. Pacers (via TOR): Trey Alexander, G, Creighton

37. Timberwolves (via MEM): Harrison Ingram, F, North Carolina

38. Knicks (via UTA): Dillon Jones, F, Weber State

39. Grizzlies (via BKN): Melvin Ajinca, F, Saint-Quentin (France)

40. Trail Blazers (via ATL): Izan Almansa, F, G League Ignite

41. 76ers (via CHI): Oso Ighodaro, F, Marquette

42. Hornets (via HOU): Johnny Furphy, F, Kansas

43. Heat: Nikola Djurisic, F, Mega Basket (Serbia)

44. Rockets (via GSW): Tristan Newton, F, UConn

45. Kings: Pelle Larsson, F, Arizona

46. Clippers (via IND): Jalen Bridges, F, Baylor

47. Magic: Payton Sandfort, F, Iowa

48. Spurs (via LAL): Baylor Scheierman, F, Creighton

— 76ers forfeited second-round pick

49. Pacers (via CLE): Tyon Grant-Foster, F, Grand Canyon

50. Pacers (via NOP): Cam Spencer, F, UConn

51. Wizards (via PHX): Justin Edwards, F, Kentucky

52. Warriors (via MIL): KJ Simpson, G, Colorado

53. Pistons (via NYK): Ajay Mitchell, G, UC Santa Barbara

54. Celtics (via DAL): Keshad Johnson, F, Arizona

55. Lakers (via LAC): Bronny James, G, USC

56. Nuggets (via MIN): Adem Bona, C, UCLA

57. Grizzlies (via OKC): Trevon Brazile, F, Arkansas

— Suns forfeited second-round pick

58. Mavericks (via BOS): Jamal Shead, G, Houston

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