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2024 NBA Mock Draft 3.0

2024 NBA Mock Draft 3.0

Congratulations to the Atlanta Hawks on winning the lottery.

Now that we finally know the draft order these mock drafts become a lot easier. In this mock, there is no trades but instead just what I would personally do if I was each team.

To clarify. This is NOT my prediction but instead what I would do.

Further analysis following the mock…

Obvious #1?

No, it isn’t obvious. Atlanta should do their due diligence and bring anyone worth considering in to get a closer look. With that being said Alex Sarr is the front-runner for the selection and it is his to lose. Atlanta is at an interesting crossroads with existing talent and the #1 pick. Whether they choose to enter a rebuild or try and compete Sarr is the right pick. No player in this draft has the combination of upside and certainty that Sarr does.

Houston Plays it Safe

Stephon Castle is #2 on my personal board so by no means do I think this is a stretch or reach. The Rockets only have so many developmental resources so taking on a big project that is a year or two away from playing in a playoff game may not be ideal. Between Jalen Green, Jabari Smith, Amen Thompson, Tari Eason, and Cam Whitmore, Houston is fighting a war on two fronts developing all of those players while trying to win. Players like Matas Buzelis and Ron Holland are intriguing prospects but there can only be so many projects on a roster.

Stephon Castle is an Ime Udoka type of player. He will be an NBA-level defender right away and if Houston can step up and make the playoffs he is someone that can get minutes. Castle’s offensive game is a little more of a mystery because although he is strong and finishes well at the rim his shooting is a work in progress. Immediately Castle can play in the rotation and long term he has high upside.

Spurs Hit the Lottery

The Spurs didn’t actually win the lottery but two top 8 picks is a great haul for San Antonio. With the 4th pick, the Spurs have a good chance at landing either Nikola Topic or Rob Dillingham to be their guard of the future. In this mock, they land Rob Dillingham to pair with Wembanyama. With the 8th pick, the Spurs will likely be able to add a wing with some upside like Cody Williams. They are also able to snag Payton Sandfort and a stash player in Mantas Rubstavicious.

I understand the logic behind going all-in such as dealing for a star but with the assets they have being patient makes more sense. Dillingham and Cody Williams will improve their team for next year but keep them just bad enough to stay in the lottery of a great 2025 draft class. Wembanyama will be among the league’s best for a long time it is best not to use all their assets too early or go all in on someone as a sidekick.

Hornets Build Identity

LaMelo and Brandon Miller are a good start in roster construction but the team finished 24th in defense last season and they need a legitimate defensive anchor. Donovan Clingan gives them a real defensive player that will instantly improve their defense. Offensively Clingan isn’t as talented but LaMelo Ball should create easy opportunities for Clingan at the rim. Not only does Clingan make sense with this pick but he is also the best player available at this pick. On draft night it seems very likely he goes earlier than #6.

Memphis Stops the Fall

Zaccharie Risacher is a projected top 5 and maybe top 3 pick but I do not fully buy it yet. Risacher had a two month stretch during the end of the season where he shot poorly which has caused some to question what level of a shooter he is. Regardless, Memphis is looking to add complementary players around Ja, Bane, and JJJ and Risacher should be a good fit relatively quickly. Even if the shot is closer to 36-37%, Risacher’s size and defensive abilities give assurances that he can be a solid pro. If I had to bet on one player to “fall” on draft night I would bet Risacher but that does not mean he can’t be a good pro.

76ers Start Building Roster

At this moment the 76ers only have Joel Embiid under contract for next season (although Ricky Council and Paul Reed will likely have their deals guaranteed). This gives Philly flexibility this offseason but it is also risky if they are not able to add the right players. Tristan Da Silva helps ease some of those concerns as an instant-impact bench player in Philly. Right away Da Silva provides defense and off-ball shooting next to Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and any other star (*cough* Paul George) the 76ers are able to add. In the second round, Philly adds Harrison Ingram another player that could have an impact soon.

Orlando Swings for the Fences

I like Bub Carrington. I think he has star potential and any team willing to put resources into him has a chance of reaping the benefits. With sure-thing role-playing shooters like Reed Sheppard, Jared McCain, and Tristan Da Silva off the board why not swing for the fences? I don’t anticipate Bub playing much early in his career but that is okay with guards like Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz, and Anthony Black being able to eat up those guard minutes. After spending some time in the G-League, Carrington is more than capable of becoming an NBA starter.

For anyone further interested in Bub Carrington I did a Twitter thread further breaking down his game and why he is one of my favorite prospects.

We Aren’t In Kansas Anymore

Kevin McCullar is a Tom Thibodeau guy if I have ever seen one and if Tibbs has a say in the draft I can’t imagine him falling past New York. Johnny Furphy is more of an upside pick but with his size and versatility, he has a good floor to work with. Two teammates going back-to-back to the same team is incredibly rare but it wasn’t done because it was cool instead because they are the right picks with one guy able to play immediately and another more of an upside swing. Quentin Grimes didn’t work out in New York but that role made sense for the Knicks and it is similar to what Kevin McCullar brings to the table.

Bucks Go Unconventional

Milwaukee is old. For a team with Giannis and Brook Lopez, finishing 19th in defense is unacceptable. The Bucks lacked athleticism and youth this season and they should use the draft to address that instead of dealing the picks for veteran talent. Jaylon Tyson gives Milwaukee someone who can knock down shots and create a shot for themselves when necessary. Ryan Dunn in the second round is the bigger swing but he makes perfect sense in Milwaukee. I have questions about Ryan Dunn but for the Bucks, his role is so condensed and simple that I just think it might work. My advice to Milwaukee would be…use the picks.

Portland Stays Flexible

What a draft for the Blazers. Before the draft even happens expect Malcolm Brogdon, Jerami Grant, Robert Williams, and maybe DeAndre Ayton (or Anfernee Simons) to be in a lot of trade rumors. Depending on what happens in those deals could change a lot on draft night. With that being said at this stage of their rebuild they are in the talent accumulation stage. Ron Holland is just the swing Portland can afford to take at the wing position. Jared McCain gives the Blazers a replacement if they choose to deal Simons this summer.

Nikola Djurisic is the name that may not make it out of the first in June. Djurisic finished the season red-hot and at 6’8 he offers some interesting versatility to a rebuilding team. Keshad Johnson is another player that had a great combine and could ride that all the way into a contract. The Blazers should not think too much about fit with their four picks but instead getting the best possible players.


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