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2024 NBA Mock Draft 2.0

Dalton Knecht highlights the 2024 NBA Mock Draft biggest risers.

NBA mock drafts are always fun to produce because of their volatility and reliance on projection. The 2024 NBA Draft class has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride. It’s been almost universally considered one of the weaker draft classes we’ve seen in recent memory. Even still though, there are certainly impact players to be found for fans’ favorite teams.

We’re now firmly towards the backend of all prospects’ seasons, and the draft boards are starting to become less fuzzy. A LOT can still change over the coming months of course, and this will be true for the draft order of teams as well. This mock is based on NBA standings as of January 30th, 2024.

2024 NBA Mock Draft 2.0

1) Detroit Pistons: Alex Sarr

With the first pick of our NBA mock draft, the Pistons select Alex Sarr. Sarr is extremely mobile for his size, standing at a lanky seven-foot-one with a seven-foot-five wingspan. He’s already NBA-ready on the defensive end blocking shots and using his length and mobility on the perimeter. This easily projected defensive skillset puts him at number one in a draft class that has so many uncertainties.

There’s still a ton of upside for teams to be excited about as well though. This is especially true on the offensive end where he’s flashed intriguing face-up game and perimeter shooting.

2) Washington Wizards: Nikola Topic

At number two, the Wizards take Nikola Topic out of the same league that brought the NBA Nikola Jokic in Serbia. Topic’s ability to be good in a variety of different roles makes him appealing for the Wizards here. The six-foot-six Topic looks to be the next successful jumbo-guard similar to the mold of Josh Giddey or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. His ability to run the show or play complimentary basketball will give the Wizards a solid piece to build with.

3) San Antonio Spurs: Zaccharie Risacher

The Spurs take another French star to pair with Victor Wembanyama in Zaccharie Risacher. Point guard may be the more apparent need, but there isn’t a top three talent at the position after Topic.

Risacher isn’t a finished product, but he’s a six-foot-nine wing with a ton of upside. He’s flashed some playmaking ability to go along with dynamic shooting that’s really excited scouts. Drafting Risacher would give the Spurs another very talented young wing with huge upside.

4) Charlotte Hornets: Cody Williams

With the fourth pick, the Hornets go all in on lengthy perimeter players by selecting Cody Williams. Williams has shown an all-around polish to his game as a slender six-foot-eight wing. He’s playing well at Colorado putting up 14.7 points per game. He’s also the younger brother of Oklahoma City Thunder rising star Jalen Williams. Pairing him with Brandon Miller and Lamelo Ball will make for a jumbo lineup that can do a lot of everything well.

5) Portland Trailblazers: Ja’Kobe Walter

Ja’Kobe Walter goes to the Trailblazers here as an athletic wing out of Baylor. Standing at six-foot-five with a plus wingspan, Walter’s profile is an easy projection for teams. He’s an elite three-point shooter who can also compete defensively with the other team’s best guy. This 3-and-D archetype will keep him high on mock drafts and draft boards. He isn’t the strongest in the self-creation department, but he’s so solid at other aspects of the game that scouts can overlook it.

6) Toronto Raptors: Ron Holland

Ron Holland is a six-foot-eight wing playing with the G-league ignite. Due to the Ignite’s record and not having consistent scoring numbers, many have cooled on Holland as a top prospect. While he hasn’t had the most consistent performance, Holland still has the ability to impact the game on both ends. His NBA ready size and athleticism should translate well to filling different roles for any NBA team. If the ball handling and shooting can start to better trend upwards, he’s one of the few in this class with the possibility of star potential.

Holland’s physical profile combined with high-end upside makes Raptor’s fans excited for this NBA mock draft.

7) Memphis Grizzlies: Matas Buzelis

At the seventh pick in this NBA mock draft, the Grizzlies take Matas Buzelis with the G-League Ignite. Buzelis should help provide some immediate perimeter shooting prowess for the Grizzlies on the wing, with upside to become more. As a mobile six-foot-ten wing, Buzelis could play in a variety of lineups anywhere from shooting guard to power forward. Buzelis could be incredible value here, but a lack of consistent aggression have kept him from top prospect conversations.

8) Atlanta Hawks: Reed Sheppard

With not much certain about the Hawks’ long term future, they draft Reed Sheppard out of Kentucky. He’s only six-foot-three and doesn’t possess elite athleticism, but he’s shown that he can be a lethal shooter and high-IQ passer. He also has shown he’s an extremely adept team defender averaging a ridiculous 2.5 steals per game. Sheppard established himself as a top player on a loaded Kentucky team when not many expected him too. That’s a good reason to believe that he can accomplish the same thing for an NBA team in the lottery.

9) Houston Rockets (Via Nets): Rob Dillingham

Rob Dillingham has moved high on NBA mock drafts after initial questions regarding a role that didn’t include volume scoring. To this point, he’s answered those questions with great assist numbers and competitiveness on both ends. Now firmly in the starting rotation at Kentucky, he’s thrived with just about any lineup on the floor. He’s been able to dish out assists, handle point guard responsibility, or become that explosive scorer when needed.

10) Portland Trailblazers (Via Warriors): Kyle Filipowski

Kyle Filipowski is a seven-foot big man with good perimeter skills. He’s shown much better percentages and overall play so far in his sophomore season at Duke. His shooting touch and fundamentals for his size certainly all pass the eye test. Having taken Walter on the wing at pick five, the Blazers compliment that by getting another high floor prospect down low.

11) Chicago Bulls: Stephon Castle

With Zach Lavine and Demar Derozan’s future uncertain, the Bulls select Stephon Castle out of UCONN. Scouts get excited to see the six-foot-six guard with two-way ability. In a draft lacking high-end upside or star power, Castle’s development will be of interest to many. Right now, Castle’s stock is still based more on upside and projections rather than production. He’s missed some time due to injury but has also struggled finding a rhythm on a stacked UCONN team.

12) Oklahoma City Thunder (Via Rockets): Ryan Dunn

Ryan Dunn out of Virginia is a special defensive player and a ridiculous athlete. He’s a six-foot-eight wing averaging close to three steals and three blocks per game this year. The Thunder will feel comfortable that even if his offensive game never comes along, he can compete defensively from day one.

13) New Orleans Pelicans (Via Lakers): Isaiah Collier

The Pelicans have the option to defer this pick from the Lakers to 2025 if they choose. However, for this NBA mock draft they take point guard Isaiah Collier. The only true point guard on the current roster is Jose Alvarado. Collier is a big and physical point guard listed at six-foot-five and 210 pounds. He uses size as well as solid athleticism when finishing at the rim, and he can be a floor general on offense. Collier isn’t the best perimeter shooter and has had turnover struggles, but the Pelicans current roster would surround him with players who don’t have those issues.

14) Oklahoma City Thunder (Via Jazz): Oso Ighodaro

The Thunder surprise many here in this NBA mock draft by taking Oso Ighodaro 0ut of Marquette at 14. It might seem a bit redundant as Ighodaro may be the big man version of their previous pick Dunn. This could be positive though as they should find two immediate impact players here at the back of the lottery. The Thunder also have solidified rising stars at pretty much every position except center. This makes Ighodaro a solid pick as he can pair his physical gifts with Chet Holmgren in the frontcourt. What separates Ighodaro from other currently available big prospects is his switchable defensive ability, unique finishing skillset, and high IQ passing that can make him an offensive connector. In a draft that has so many question marks, players like Ighodaro have an advantage.

15) Miami Heat: Kevin McCullar

The Heat take Kevin McCullar out of Kansas as someone whose skillset should lead to a defined role for any team. He’s always been a great defender, but with increased usage this season, he’s shown better shooting as well as taking on the offensive initiator role for Kansas. As an upperclassmen who prides himself on defense and could be ready to contribute early, he fits Heat culture well. McCullar will hope to emulate the success of Jaime Jaquez has had for the Heat this season.

16) Orlando Magic: Tidjane Salaun

The Magic are pleased to see Tidjane Salaun fall to them just outside the lottery for this NBA mock draft. Salaun has top 10 potential with a player profile that’s similar to Michael Porter Jr. The third French prospect off the board, he isn’t a finished product but has a ton of upside. Salaun is a lanky six-foot-ten wing who has shown a clean shooting strike combined with good athleticism. He may work himself even higher on draft boards if he continues to shoot the three ball at the high percentages he’s shown recently.

17) New Orleans Pelicans: Donavan Clingan

The Pelicans don’t overcomplicate things here and take what should be one of the best available in Donovan Clingan. Clingan will have a clear and defined role in the NBA as a frontcourt anchor. The seven-foot-two big man will serve as a strong building block going forward and a long term option behind Jonas Valančiūnas.

18) New York Knicks (Via Mavericks): Dalton Knecht

With no guarantees in this section of the first round, the Knicks take Dalton Knecht out of Tennessee. Knecht burst onto the scene with a 37-point performance against North Carolina. He’s a six-foot-six sharpshooting wing that’s also flashed highlight dunks when given a runway. He needs to improve defensively, but big game performance gets him selected here for this NBA mock draft. He’s currently up to six games over 25 points.

19) Phoenix Suns: Yves Missi

Yves Missi has quickly ascended many draft boards in his freshman season at Baylor. He’s a seven-foot big man who’s a fluid mover and provides an instant defensive impact. He will hope to fill the coveted big man role in today’s game that’s a shot blocker and pick-and-roll play finisher. This archetype should fit perfect with the Suns although he won’t provide the passing ability that comes with Jusuf Nurkic.

20) Toronto Raptors (Via Pacers): Kel’el Ware

The Raptors take Kel’el Ware 0ut of Indiana with the 20th pick. Standing at seven-foot-one and containing elite athleticism for his size, Ware shines on the defensive end blocking shots as well as a lob-dunk finisher. He will hope to fill the Dereck Lively role in this NBA draft class. Ware isn’t higher on draft boards mostly due to questions about his motor and physicality.

21) Atlanta Hawks (Via Kings): Tyler Smith

Tyler Smith has flashed intriguing talent through what has been a rough G-League Ignite season. Smith is a six-foot-ten combo forward who’s solid at everything with above-average mobility. If he can refine his game into a more precise role, he may move higher up NBA mock drafts.

22) Cleveland Cavaliers: Bobi Klintman

Bobi Klintman left Wake Forest after this past season in favor of the NBL in Australia. At six-foot-nine, Klintman has an intriguing skillset as a combo forward with a clean shooting stroke. He’s shown enough with his live ball handle to intrigue scouts as well. Klintman is a prospect that could rise up draft boards following good showings in private workouts or the combine.

23) New York Knicks: Izan Almansa

The Knicks take G-League Ignite Izan Almansa, as he’s one of the best players on the board at this point. Almansa is a completely different player from current big man Mitchell Robinson. He’s not your elite athlete, but Almansa plays with a ton of feel and IQ at either frontcourt position. They will hope to grow him into a high-energy, frontcourt chess piece on both ends.

24) Philadelphia 76ers: Carlton Carrington

The 76ers hope to hit a home run here in freshman Carlton Carrington. Carrington sky-rocketed into mock drafts after a triple-double performance in his first collegiate game. Since then he’s come back down to earth but he’s still been dynamic. He’s a six-foot-five lead guard who’s flashed great playmaking and shot-creation up to this point. A major lack of rim pressure for a lead guard will make teams nervous in the first round, however.

25) Oklahoma City Thunder (Via Clippers): Baba Miller

In this mock draft, the Thunder have already taken two upperclassmen who could contribute immediately as players with safe floors. This allows them to swing for the fences at pick 25 by selecting Baba Miller out of Florida State. Miller is still extremely raw, but his physical profile reminds you a lot of Scottie Barnes. He moves like a guard at six-foot-eleven, and he’s shown decent offensive potential that OKC will hope to unlock.

26) Toronto Raptors (Via OKC): Adama Bal

Adama Bal has the archetype on the wing that NBA teams are usually very intrigued by. He’s a six-foot-seven wing who has taken on a lot of ball-handling responsibility for the Broncos. He’s also shooting 39.5 percent on the season from three on over four attempts per game. This combination of ball handling and perimeter shooting should make him very appealing to scouts as a possible ‘point-wing’ mold.

27) Milwaukee Bucks: Melvin Ajinca

Melvin Ajinca is another French basketball prospect standing at six-foot-seven on the wing. He’s currently heralded as a do-it-all all guy who hopes to become a solid 3-and-D player. He doesn’t yet possess any one elite trait but has recently emerged as a reliable perimeter shooter. His draft stock has slowly crept back up after a slow start to his season in the French professional league.

28) Denver Nuggets: Tyrese Proctor

At pick 28, the Nuggets stop the slide down the draft board for Tyrese Proctor. Proctor hasn’t shown that he’s really a different player in his sophomore season, but he already had a lot to like. He’s a plus-sized lead guard who has good perimeter shooting and ball-handling ability. Hopefully, the tutelage of Jamal Murray can unlock a new level to his combo-guard game.

29) Minnesota Timberwolves: DJ Wagner

DJ Wagner hasn’t lived up to the hype coming into Kentucky. His speed and ball-handling ability are still good attributes to bet on at the next level, however. To turn his draft stock around, he needs to shoot the ball better and show more in the playmaking department. The Timberwolves point guard position is currently held by 36 year old Mike Conley. Injecting youth into the position with a player who formally showed high pedigree could be a good move.

30) Boston Celtics: Adem Bona

The Celtics draft big man depth with Adem Bona here. Bona will be valued for his effort and high-end athleticism at six-foot-ten. He should be able to come into games and provide shot-blocking and lob-dunk talent from day one.


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