Saturday, June 22, 2024
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2024 NBA Mock Draft: UConn’s Donovan Clingan goes No. 2; Nikola Topic plummets after knee injury

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Alex Sarr C

France • 7’1″ / 217 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

9.6

RPG

4.5

APG

1.0

BPG

1.5

I’ve gone back and forth on whether Atlanta will select Sarr or Risacher in recent weeks, which I believe is an appropriate reflection of some of the indecision happening in Atlanta. Sources also say Clingan not only worked out, but made an impression while doing so, fueling rumors of a potential trade down where they could target the big man and add another draft asset.

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Connecticut • Soph • 7’2″ / 280 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

13

RPG

7.4

APG

1.5

3P%

25%

If Atlanta does not take Sarr, the expectation is that Washington will. If not, this pick likely comes down to Clingan and Risacher. Given that Washington selected a developmental wing in last year’s lottery, Bilal Coulibaly, saw 23-year-old Deni Avdija make a notable jump last year and have to allocate a significant amount of minutes to Kyle Kuzma – Clingan may make the most sense here.

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Zaccharie Risacher SF

France • 6’9″ / 204 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

11.1

RPG

4.0

APG

0.9

3P%

38.7%

Here’s where the dominoes matter, because if Sarr and Risacher are both off the board, Clingan is not expected to be the pick. Houston reportedly likes Reed Sheppard, but they’re also very open to moving this pick. If Risacher is still on the board, the trade market could heat up and so while Houston already has a collection of young wings – Cam Whitmore, Amen Thompson, Jabari Smith, Tari Eason – this pick could be made by someone else.

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Kentucky • Fr • 6’3″ / 181 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

12.5

RPG

4.1

APG

4.5

3P%

52.1%

Sheppard could very possibly be off the board at No. 3, but like Houston, San Antonio is not considered a fit for Clingan. So Castle could also be in play here. In this scenario, Sheppard gives them a heady, skilled and ultratough combo guard who can surround Wemby with some much-needed shooting.

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Matas Buzelis SF

G League Ignite • 6’8″ / 209 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

14.4

RPG

6.9

APG

2.0

3P%

27.3%

Right now, everybody seems to be projecting Buzelis to the Pistons and while it makes sense given the current complexion of their roster, the reality is that Trajan Langdon may have vastly different ideas than anyone else realizes in his first draft at the helm of the organization.

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Connecticut • Fr • 6’6″ / 210 lbs

Projected Team

Charlotte

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

11.1

RPG

4.7

APG

2.9

3P%

26.7%

If things play out differently, Castle could be off the board here, with San Antonio perceived as a very real landing spot at No. 4. If he’s available, he makes a lot of sense in between LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller as a defensive stopper and ultraversatile on-off ball threat.

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Tennessee • Sr • 6’6″ / 213 lbs

Projected Team

Portland

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

21.7

RPG

4.9

APG

1.8

3P%

39.7%

It’s not impossible Clingan is still on the board here since Houston, San Antonio and Charlotte are not perceived as fits. If he’s available, he’s expected to be the pick. If not, Knecht gives them one of the most NBA-ready perimeter scorers in the draft and a way to iterate out of a perimeter trio that might not fit as currently constructed. Tidjane Salaun is a sleeper here too.

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Tidjane Salaun SF

France • 6’9″ / 212 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

9.7

RPG

3.9

APG

0.9

3P%

31.6%

It’s all about building around Wemby. Sheppard gives them shooting and intangibles. Salaun gives them a fellow Frenchman and high motored physical specimen who could grow into just the type of ideal complement up front, especially if his shooting potential hits.

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Ron Holland SF

G League Ignite • 6’7″ / 197 lbs

Projected Team

Memphis

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

20.6

RPG

6.6

APG

3.0

3P%

24.0%

There’s a narrative that Holland is falling in this draft…and I’m not sure I buy it. He’s hypercompetitive and just the type of big wing that is coveted in the modern NBA. The shooting needs work, but it’s trending in the right direction and he’s a plus defender.

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Colorado • Fr • 6’7″ / 178 lbs

Projected Team

Utah

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

11.9

RPG

3

APG

1.6

3P%

41.5%

Williams is a high-risk/high-reward type prospect and so it may take an executive with a high risk tolerance and plenty of job security to make this pick. Danny Ainge clearly checks both of those boxes and if Williams hits, this could go down as a steal.

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Providence • Jr • 6’3″ / 195 lbs

Projected Team

Chicago

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

19.7

RPG

8.7

APG

3.6

3P%

37.7%

Carter is one of the most naturally competitive prospects in the draft. He is also one of the best overall athletes according to the data from the combine. The Bulls refuse to go into all-out rebuilding mode and Carter is a player who could both help right away and still have untapped long-term upside.

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Nikola Topic PG

Serbia • 6’6″ / 201 lbs

PPG

14.5

RPG

3.2

APG

5.5

3P%

30.6%

Once projected as a potential top-three pick, Topic’s partially torn ACL and the potential for surgery, is expected to hurt the 18-year-old’s draft stock. OKC makes sense because it can afford to take a shot given its surplus of future draft picks, don’t need an immediate impact player here and have an affinity for big guards who can touch the paint at will.

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Kentucky • Fr • 6’1″ / 165 lbs

Projected Team

Sacramento

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

15.2

RPG

2.9

APG

3.9

3P%

44.4%

Dillingham could certainly be off the board at this point, but if he’s available, he makes sense for Sacramento. Malik Monk is a free agent and finding a potential replacement in the draft could be a priority. Carter could be an option if he’s available, as too could Jared McCain.

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Duke • Soph • 6’11” / 230 lbs

Projected Team

Portland

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

16.4

RPG

8.3

APG

2.8

3P%

34.8%

Filipowski could give them a skilled frontcourt piece who could potentially play either the four of the five, a vast contrast to both DeAndre Ayton and Robert Williams. In tandem, the Knecht/Filipowski duo would give them two immediate impact, high floor prospects after high upside picks like Shaedon Sharpe and Scoot Henderson have yet to hit quite as hoped.

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Duke • Fr • 6’2″ / 203 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

14.3

RPG

5

APG

1.9

3P%

41.4%

McCain has a real chance of being a lottery pick, but if not, Miami could be a logical destination. The Heat put a premium on shooting and culture, two things that McCain should have a positive net effect on. If Carter is still on the board though, don’t be surprised to hear his name called here.

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USC • Fr • 6’3″ / 205 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

16.3

RPG

2.9

APG

4.3

3P%

33.8%

Collier is a big and physical lead guard who creates tempo, sees the floor and can thrive in pick-and-roll. The shooting remains a question mark and while he underachieved defensively this year, he has the tools to be effective on that end. On a Philadelphia team that lacks a long-term prospect at the point, he makes sense.

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Colorado • Sr • 6’8″ / 217 lbs

Projected Team

L.A. Lakers

PROSPECT RNK

30th

POSITION RNK

10th

PPG

16

RPG

5.1

APG

2.4

3P%

39.5%

Da Silva is a quality plug-and-play option at this point in the draft, meaning his versatility allows him to plug a variety of different holes in the lineup without disrupting the flow of the team. The Lakers are attempting to bridge the gap between winning now and finding some long-term building blocks. Da Silva can serve both.

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Pittsburgh • Fr • 6’4″ / 195 lbs

Projected Team

Orlando

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

13.8

RPG

5.2

APG

4.1

3P%

32.2%

Carrington is a high-upside big guard who has been picking up steam in the pre-draft process, even though he may require some patience. Orlando has drafted plenty of guards in recent years, but maybe only Jalen Suggs is a clear part of their long-term future, so developing Carrington is a logical step.

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Baylor • Fr • 6’5″ / 197 lbs

Projected Team

Toronto

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

14.5

RPG

4.4

APG

1.4

3P%

34.1%

With some questions in Toronto’s backcourt, the Raptors could use an infusion of perimeter depth and scoring to solidify their perimeter rotation. Walter gives them that as well as a prospect with some three-and-D potential.

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Baylor • Fr • 6’11” / 229 lbs

Projected Team

Cleveland

PROSPECT RNK

22nd

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

10.7

RPG

5.6

APG

0.4

3P%

0

If Cleveland ever elects to break up their twin towers of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, this would give them a rim-running, shot-blocking, lob threat waiting in the wings to develop.

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Purdue • Sr • 7’4″ / 299 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

25.2

RPG

12.2

APG

2

3P%

50%

Jonas Valančiūnas is a free agent and center is the one position that the Pelicans haven’t invested any recent draft picks. Edey, who was as dominant a college center as we’ve seen in a long time, is the best one on the board, but DaRon Holmes could be another option.

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Creighton • Sr • 6’7″ / 201 lbs

Projected Team

Phoenix

PROSPECT RNK

33rd

POSITION RNK

8th

PPG

18.5

RPG

9

APG

3.9

3P%

38.1%

This pick could very well be on the market, but if not, the Suns need someone capable of playing immediate rotation minutes. This may seem early for Scheierman, but he’s the best plug-and-play option on the board.

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Dayton • Jr • 6’9″ / 235 lbs

Projected Team

Milwaukee

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

20.4

RPG

8.5

APG

2.6

3P%

38.6%

The Bucks have plenty of young wings to try to develop in the coming season, but lack similar assets up front. Holmes provides that with an athlete who showed growth with his shooting potential this past season.

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Indiana • Soph • 7’0″ / 230 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

37th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

15.9

RPG

9.9

APG

1.5

3P%

42.5%

I know…this is the most un-Thibbs pick ever. But if Ware ever buys into Thibbs style and the Knicks culture, he could turn into a steal. They also may have a need up front if Isaiah Hartenstein leaves in free agency.

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Marquette • Sr • 6’2″ / 195 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

32nd

POSITION RNK

8th

PPG

15.3

RPG

4.9

APG

7.7

3P%

38.8%

If Kolek is healthy, he could be one of the most NBA-ready guards in the field. His toughness and competitiveness certainly fit from a culture standpoint and he helps them shore-up their perimeter depth.

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Tyler Smith PF

G League Ignite • 6’9″ / 224 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

31st

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

13.4

RPG

5.1

APG

1.1

3P%

36.4%

Smith is a legitimate floor-spacing southpaw big and an underrated athlete on top of that. With Clingan and Smith, Washington walks away with two quality long-term assets up front.

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Kansas • Fr • 6’8″ / 189 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

21st

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

9

RPG

4.9

APG

1

3P%

35.2%

It’s very possible Furphy is already off the board by now, but if not, he provides a young shooter who can add to the floor-spacing around Anthony Edwards for years to come.

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Houston • Sr • 6’1″ / 200 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

34th

POSITION RNK

9th

PPG

12.9

RPG

3.7

APG

6.3

3P%

30.9%

Calvin Booth is always looking for value on the margins and Shead could be able to provide that with his toughness and defense…especially if he becomes a reasonably reliable spot-up shooting threat.

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Virginia • Soph • 6’6″ / 213 lbs

Projected Team

Utah

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

8.1

RPG

6.9

APG

0.8

3P%

20%

The Jazz have drafted at least one young player at every position in recent years, so there’s bound to be redundancy here. Dunn is a big-time athlete and defender. If he learns to shoot, he’ll go down as a steal.

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Projected Team

Boston

PROSPECT RNK

25th

POSITION RNK

8th

PPG

10.2

RPG

4.7

APG

0.9

3P%

33.7%

A big and versatile wing who knows how to play and can make shots would seem to make sense as Brad Stevens looks for some young players to help solidify his team’s depth.

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