Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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2024 NBA Mock Draft: French players go 1-2, Lakers pass on Bronny James in first round, Celtics take Duke star

2024 NBA Mock Draft: French players go 1-2, Lakers pass on Bronny James in first round, Celtics take Duke star

Alexandre Sarr and Zaccharie Risacher are two of the three French players going in the top 10 of this mock

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USATSI

Where you see a “bad draft,” NBA front office executives see opportunity. In other years, the top five players might be well-established, but as we speak the key decision-makers are zeroing in on their favorite prospects of the 2024 NBA Draft, hoping that none of their competitors catch wind of their prized jewels.

It’s like your favorite neighborhood restaurant. You love it and you hope it does well. But you also hope that everyone else doesn’t find out how good it is, making it so crowded that there’s a three-month wait for reservations.

In a draft like this one with an unclear prospect hierarchy, the best player might end up being taken in the 20s — maybe even the second round. That provides excitement not only for NBA franchises, but also for mock draft aficionados like myself and my CBS Sports colleagues.

For my first mock draft, I stuck with the theme of the French Invasion that’s carrying over from last year’s Wembanyama-Mania. Alexandre Sarr isn’t Wembanyama (nobody is), but he’s a seven-footer with tantalizing guard skills who will be hard for the Atlanta Hawks to pass up with the top pick. I also have fellow Frenchmen Zaccharie Risacher and Tidjane Salaun landing at Nos. 2 and 10, respectively, making it another banner year for the suddenly prolific basketball powerhouse nation.

In terms of players I’m seemingly higher on than others: Cody Williams, Tristan Da Silva, Kyshawn George and Kel’el Ware (I’ll explain why below). And those I’m lower on than others: Ron Holland and Kyle Filipowski. You’ll also notice that Bronny James’ name doesn’t make an appearance. While I think he’ll eventually become a solid NBA player, I just don’t see him as a first-round talent at this stage in his development. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Now, with that out of the way, here’s my first crack at a 2024 NBA Mock Draft.

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