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Analyzing the Fantasy Value of the Top 10 2024 NBA Draft Picks

NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks at the podium after the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft at Barclays Center.

Following the end of the 2024 NBA Draft and free agency quieting down, some lottery picks could have fantasy basketball value in the upcoming 2024-25 season. While many dubbed this a weaker class, each rookie has the potential to make a real-life and fantasy impact.

Analyzing the Fantasy Value of the Top 10 2024 NBA Draft Picks

#1 Zaccharie Risacher

2023-24 stats with JL Bourg: 10.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 1.2 3PM, 1.3 TOV, 44/35/74

No. 1 overall pick Zaccharie Risacher is yet another highly touted French prospect. The 19-year-old projects to have the starting small forward job on the Atlanta Hawks, but if not, he’ll still have a significant role in the rotation. He specializes as a 3-and-D threat who can shoot from almost anywhere and has the versatility to guard multiple positions. However, his bad AST/TO ratio, low stocks, and difficulty creating shots compromise his ADP. The Dejounte Murray trade signals that Trae Young and Jalen Johnson will lead the team, but moving the star left a vast hole that Risacher can help fill. Having one of the league’s best playmakers in Young also allows the rookie opportunities to contribute more as a scorer. While it’s hard to see Risacher having significant fantasy value, the six-foot-nine forward could be a late-round pick.

#2 Alex Sarr

2023-24 stats with Perth: 9.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.3 BPG, 0.6 3PM, 1.1 TOV, 52/30/71

One of the bigger names headlining the 2024 draft class, Alex Sarr is a seven-foot big man from France joining the Washington Wizards. He reportedly wants to play power forward, which fits with the team’s construction following the signing of Jonas Valanciunas. His best attributes come on the defensive end, where his athleticism and length allow him to swat shots and pull down boards. The 19-year-old is still very raw offensively, as he has a limited outside shot and playmaking impact. But he can finish around the rim and potentially develop a jump shot with time. Sarr probably has the most fantasy upside of the rookies, as he looks to be the cornerstone piece for the rebuilding Wizards. Washington will pump a lot of minutes into him, which bodes positive signs for his fantasy value. Managers should feel comfortable drafting Sarr around the 100 mark.

#3 Reed Sheppard

2023-24 stats with Kentucky: 12.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.5 APG, 2.5 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 2.3 3PM, 2.0 TOV, 54/52/83

Although his numbers are better than the top two picks, Reed Sheppard fell to third and landed with the Houston Rockets. The freshman was known for his versatility in stuffing the stat sheet and his athleticism with Kentucky. He thrives as a highly efficient three-point shooter but can hit shots at all three levels. The 20-year-old is also recognized for his playmaking and disruptiveness on the defensive end to force steals. However, Reed’s disadvantage is his scoring inconsistency and smaller build, which limits his shot creation. He’s also joining a Rockets team with plenty of young players with whom he’ll have to compete for minutes. Considering the team’s depth, as a backup guard, Sheppard will likely just be a streaming option when the team has injuries.

#4 Stephon Castle

2023-24 stats with UConn: 11.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 0.6 3PM, 1.5 TOV, 47/27/76

The San Antonio Spurs gained another high pick this year in Stephon Castle. The rookie is a combo guard known for his defence and will fit right in on the defensive-minded Gregg Popovich’s team. Drawing comparisons to Jrue Holiday, the 19-year-old is a source of stocks and rebounds. Castle’s strength and athleticism make him a tantalizing defender for a team that ranked in the bottom 10 of the league in defensive rating. He can also impact the offensive end with his ability to finish around the basket and his passing skills. His most significant area of improvement is shooting, as he struggles to make shots beyond the paint, notably from deep. The rookie will likely be the starting shooting guard, especially following the signing of Chris Paul. Castle’s ability to contribute to the defensive categories while having some value in others makes him around a late-round fantasy pick.

#5 Ron Holland II

2023-24 stats with G-League Ignite: 18.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, 2.1 SPG, 1.1 BPG, 0.7 3PM, 3.5 TOV, 47/24/68

Ron Holland II is one of the youngest rookies in the 2024 class but is ready to make an impact with the Detroit Pistons. The 18-year-old defensive specialist uses his long wingspan, versatility, and athleticism to shut down opponents by disrupting plays and shots. Dubbed one of the best defenders in his class, Holland’s hustle on this end allows him to pile up stocks and rebounds. His court vision is also solid, and he can drop some dimes. However, his weaknesses are shooting and turnovers. He is still raw on the offensive end, struggling with consistency and decision-making, but has upside for developing his mechanics. Additionally, Holland’s fit in the Pistons’ scheme is uncertain, especially with Ausar Thompson and Simone Fontecchio already playing small forward. Due to his age and potential, he should be able to carve out a role. Holland can be a last-round speculation pick or a streamer.

#6 Tidjane Salaun

2023-24 stats with Cholet: 9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 1.4 3PM, 1.5 TOV, 37/33/77

The third Frenchman on this list, Tidjane Salaun is another 18-year-old who is joining the Charlotte Hornets. The forward is a very raw prospect who has only played basketball at a competitive level for a few years. Still, his athleticism and versatility indicate tremendous upside as a defender. He has the 3-and-D archetype but also thrives on the boards and in transition, thanks to his build and quickness. However, Salaun likely won’t make a considerable immediate impact because he’s still a very raw prospect. He needs to improve on both ends of the floor and his decision-making, but the Hornets are a developing team that should provide him with solid minutes. Still, due to concerns about his NBA readiness and need for development, Salaun is a fantasy watchlist player with streaming potential.

#7 Donovan Clingan

2023-24 stats with UConn: 13.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.5 SPG, 2.5 BPG, 0.1 3PM, 0.8 TOV, 64/25/58

The massive Donovan Clingan is a two-time NCAA champion with plenty of accolades. The Portland Trail Blazers gained a seven-foot-two big man with incredible strength, length, and mobility. These attributes make him a defensive monster that is very difficult to score on. He thrives as a rim protector who intimidates opponents through his elite shot-blocking. The 20-year-old also uses his size to his advantage on the offensive end, being an efficient interior scorer and putback threat. There are some concerns about Clingan’s health, speed, and jumper, but he is among the strongest and best defenders in his class and has an exceptional basketball IQ. Although, his fantasy value is clouded by the Blazers having Deandre Ayton as their starting center. If given good usage, he can produce in the defensive categories, rebounding, and some points. Until Clingan’s role is clear, he is a prospect to monitor who can be a valuable streamer when Ayton is out.

#8 Rob Dillingham

2023-24 stats with Kentucky: 15.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 2.0 3PM, 2.0 TOV, 48/44/80

Rob Dillingham is an exciting prospect for the Minnesota Timberwolves with plenty of tricks in his offensive bag. He is a microwave, three-level scorer who converts shots efficiently. His excellent shiftiness, footwork, and ball handling allow him to create shots and finish in traffic. Moreover, the crafty guard’s offensive skills extend well beyond his scoring. Dillingham is a great passer and is apt for getting his teammates involved by setting them up for shots. While his defensive impact is minimal and turnovers and consistency are areas of improvement, the 19-year-old’s versatility on offence means he can still make an impact. Mike Conley runs the point guard show in Minnesota, but Dillingham could get some opportunities in that position. He could also operate well in a sixth-man role and put up numbers in the offensive categories. Dillingham will likely produce late-round/streamer value.

#9 Zach Edey

2023-24 stats with Purdue: 25.2 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.3 SPG, 2.2 BPG, 0.0 3PM, 2.3 TOV, 62/50/71

Zach Edey has been one of the most intriguing prospects for years, and he finally has a home in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies. The Canadian big man’s seven-foot-four build, combined with his strength, makes it easy to swat shots and pull down boards. The tallest rookie in the 2024 draft also uses his body to dominate in the post and finish near the rim. While his mobility has improved, Edey is not a fast mover, which makes him a liability when defending the perimeter, in transition, and in pick-and-rolls. He’s also not the most efficient free-throw shooter and will need to adjust his game to fit in the league. Additionally, he was one of the top offensive options at Purdue, but he will have a reduced scoring role in Memphis. Though he could likely carry over his double-double average to the NBA level. There’s also a good chance he’ll start at center, with Jaren Jackson Jr. moving to power forward. As a result, Edey’s draft stock is just outside the top 100 to a late-round pick.

#10 Cody Williams – Utah Jazz

2023-24 stats with Colorado: 11.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.6 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 0.7 3PM, 2.0 TOV, 55/42/71

Finally, with the 10th pick, the Utah Jazz selected Cody Williams, a freshman forward whose older brother is the Thunder’s Jalen Williams. He is best described as a multi-stat contributor who doesn’t excel in any one category. Offensively, he can get to the rim, especially in transition, and hit spot-up shots. He has the upside to be a three-point threat and a decent playmaker. Further developing his scoring abilities could make him a great three-level scorer. On the other end, the six-foot-seven wing is a versatile defender with good height and active hands, allowing him to grab some stocks. Conversely, Williams needs to become more consistent and missed quite a bit of time last season due to injuries. Overall, the 19-year-old needs to polish his offensive game to become a prolific scorer and fill out his frame to become a legitimate defender. The rebuilding Jazz has multiple young players they want to develop, indicating that the rookie will get opportunities. However, as Williams looks to develop his game, he will likely come off the bench this season, making him a player to watch and a potential streamer.


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