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2024 NBA Mock Draft 2.0

2024 NBA Mock Draft 2.0

We are only two months away from the NBA draft. Every draft has all-stars and although it may be harder to see those in this draft they are there.

Good teams have a rare opportunity to find legitimate starting-level talent outside the normal range where you could acquire players.

Boards have never differed more and although I will be releasing my personal big board at some point, this is instead a mock draft where I put myself in each team’s shoes before making each selection.

I offer analysis on many of these picks at the end of the mock where I explain some of my bolder takes. For the draft order, I simply simulated a lottery and went with that draft order (sorry OKC fans).

*order was simulated before tiebreakers were determined.

Mock Draft 2.0

  • 1. Utah Jazz: Alex Sarr, Big, Perth
  • 2. Portland Trail Blazers: Zaccharie Risacher, Forward, Bourg
  • 3. Charlotte Hornets: Rob Dillingham, Guard, Kentucky
  • 4. Houston Rockets: Dalton Knecht, Wing, Tennessee
  • 5. Detroit Pistons: Matas Buzelis, Wing, G-League Ignite
  • 6. Washington Wizards: Donovan Clingan, Big, UConn
  • 7. San Antonio Spurs: Nikola Topic, Guard, Mega
  • 8. San Antonio Spurs (via TOR): Ron Holland, Wing, G-League Ignite
  • 9. Memphis Grizzlies: Stephon Castle, Guard, UConn
  • 10. Houston Rockets (via BKN): Reed Sheppard, Guard, Kentucky
  • 11. Atlanta Hawks: Cody Williams, Wing, Colorado
  • 12. Chicago Bulls: Tyler Smith, Forward, G-League Ignite
  • 13. Sacramento Kings: Jared McCain, Guard, Duke
  • 14. Portland Trail Blazers (via GSW): Kyle Filipowski, Big, Duke
  • 15. Miami Heat: Isaiah Collier, Guard, USC
  • 16. Los Angeles Lakers: Tristan Da Silva, Forward, Colorado
  • 17. Orlando Magic: Alex Karaban, Wing, UConn
  • 18. Philadelphia 76ers: Jaylon Tyson, Wing, Cal
  • 19. Toronto Raptors (via IND): KJ Simpson, Guard, Colorado
  • 20. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyshawn George, Wing, Miami
  • 21. New Orleans Pelicans: Devin Carter, Guard, Providence
  • 22. Phoenix Suns: Tyler Kolek, Guard, Marquette
  • 23. Milwaukee Bucks: Johnny Furphy, Forward, Kansas
  • 24. New York Knicks (via DAL): Bub Carrington, Guard, Pitt
  • 25. New York Knicks: Kel’El Ware, Big, Indiana
  • 26. Washington Wizards (via LAC): Ja’Kobe Walter, Wing, Baylor
  • 27. Minnesota Timberwolves: Baylor Scheierman, Wing, Creighton
  • 28. Utah Jazz (via OKC): Justin Edwards, Wing, Kentucky
  • 29. Denver Nuggets: Kevin McCullar Jr., Wing, Kansas
  • 30. Boston Celtics: Yves Missi, Big, Baylor
  • 31. Toronto Raptors (via DET): Tidjane Salaun, Forward, Cholet
  • 32. Utah Jazz (via WAS): Terrence Shannon Jr., Wing, Illinois
  • 33. Portland Trail Blazers (via WAS): Collin Murray-Boyles, Forward, South Carolina
  • 34. Milwaukee Bucks (via POR): Hunter Sallis, Wing, Wake Forest
  • 35. San Antonio Spurs: DaRon Holmes, Big, Dayton
  • 36. Indiana Pacers (via TOR): Ryan Dunn, Forward, Virginia
  • 37. Minnesota Timberwolves (via MEM): Bobi Klintman, Forward, Cairns
  • 38. New York Knicks (via UTH): Jamir Watkins, Wing, Florida State
  • 39. Memphis Grizzlies (via BKN): Zach Edey, Big, Purdue
  • 40. Portland Trail Blazers (via ATL): Mantas Rubstavicious, Wing, Breakers
  • 41. Philadelphia (via CHI): Payton Sandfort, Wing, Iowa
  • 42. Charlotte Hornets (via HOU): Kwame Evans, Forward, Oregon
  • 43. Miami Heat: PJ Hall, Big, Clemson
  • 44. Houston Rockets (via GSW): Nikola Durisic, Wing, Mega
  • 45. Sacramento Kings: Ryan Kalkbrenner, Big, Creighton
  • 46. San Antonio Spurs (via LAL): Jamal Shead, Guard, Houston
  • 47. Los Angeles Clippers (via IND): Trevon Brazile, Forward, Arkansas
  • 48. Orlando Magic: Melvin Ajinca, Wing, Saint Quentin
  • 49. Indiana Pacers (via CLE): Keshad Johnson, Forward, Arizona
  • 50. Washington Wizards (via PHX): Ajay Mitchell, Guard, Santa Barbara
  • 51. Indiana Pacers (via NO): Pacome Dadiet, Wing, Ulm
  • 52. Golden State Warriors (via MIL): Ulrich Chomche, Big, NBA Africa
  • 53. Detroit Pistons (via NYK): Jalen Bridges, Wing, Baylor
  • 54. Boston Celtics (via DAL): Nique Clifford, Wing, Colorado State
  • 55. Los Angeles Lakers (via LAC): Bronny James, Guard, USC
  • 56. Denver Nuggets (via MIN): Harrison Ingram, Wing, North Carolina
  • 57. Memphis Grizzlies (via OKC): Izan Almansa, Big, G-League Ignite
  • 58. Dallas Mavericks (via BOS): Tyon Grant-Foster, Wing, Grand Canyon

Race for #2

No matter who wins the draft lottery I can’t help but think Alex Sarr is the correct pick. The second pick is a completely different story. Every player worth consideration has a glaring reason. The following are the players I considered with the second pick and why I was skeptical of them.

Rob Dillingham is who I would have selected if virtually any other team was selecting here. Between Scoot Henderson, Shaedon Sharpe, and Anfernee Simons I don’t think Portland could take on another guard here. With that being said, Dillingham isn’t without flaws at roughly 6’1 he will be a defensive liability and he only finished 52% at the rim later. In this mock Charlotte should be ecstatic to get him at #3 and the backcourt of him and LaMelo is as fun offensively as it gets.

Nikola Topic was passed on for much of the same reasons as Dillingham.

Matas Buzelis was under heavy consideration here and the 3-point shot seems to be the swing skill. Fluid and versatile at 6’11, it is hard to imagine Buzelis won’t have a role in the NBA. In high school Buzelis shot 43% from 3 but this season that plummeted to 28% over a very big sample size. If a team buys the shot long term then he is probably the right pick here but certain indicators make me less confident he will become the sniper he was once projected as.

NBA draft Twitter darling Ron Holland was considered here but concerns about his jump shot and ability to fit an offensive scheme led me to go elsewhere. The best athlete and defender of this group, Holland’s path to stardom is conceivable but still steep. Volume is a great indicator of future shooting success and although Holland has it, I simply don’t buy Holland becoming more than a 34-35% shooter.

Stephon Castle has a high floor but at #2 I desire just a little more. A good not great athlete, I don’t see the high-end all-star outcomes with him.

Donovan Clingan is a defensive anchor but I don’t see the offensive skill set outside of his good passing flashes that would warrant his selection and moving on from Ayton.

I ultimately selected Zaccharie Risacher although I do not feel great about it. Since February his 3-point percentage has dropped from 44% to 39% following a cold stretch. A sub 70% free throw shooter there were some signs that his shooting may be a fluke. With that being said he still has great size, is a plus defender, and I can not imagine him not being at least a 36-37%+ shooter from deep.

High Floor at Four

Houston has inherited many projects over the last few years: Amen Thompson, Jalen Green, Tari Eason, Cam Whitmore, and Jabari Smith Jr. Most of the options available at this pick would only add to the Rockets projects in a time where they are trying to compete. Dalton Knecht’s selection here is not an endorsement of him as a future all-star, instead, I am more confident in him as a quality NBA player than the alternatives.

Houston had the 20th-best offense last season and Knecht gives them an immediate scoring punch off the bench. The 4th pick in the draft is typically sexy and a franchise cornerstone but in this situation, I don’t think the odds of correctly picking that star are worth passing up the certainty that is Dalton Knecht. This draft is going to be full of surprises with boards differing so much but with two top-10 picks, Houston needs a sure thing.

Wembanyama Gets Help

The Spurs luck out with two picks in the top 8 and immediately get better. Nikola Topic addresses the Spurs biggest weakness at point guard and Holland gives them more wing depth. Both of these players have clear flaws but they make the Spurs better and give them a chance at finding a second star next to Wemby.

The Spurs also add DaRon Holmes and Jamal Shead in the second round to round out their draft. The additions of Jamal Shead and Ron Holland gives San Antonio point-of-attack defenders to surround their generational shot blocker. DaRon Holmes is a bit more of a question mark but I think he is capable of playing in lineups next to Wembanayama or Zach Collins.

The Windy City Takes a Swing

This is boring because I mocked the same pick in my last mock draft but I love the fit for the Bulls with Tyler Smith. As a rookie, it would be important for Smith to add muscle, get as many reps as possible in the G-League, and learn as much as possible from Nikola Vucevic. I believe in Tyler Smith as a modern 5 man that gives you value as a shooter, finisher, and shot blocker.

I have concerns about Smith guarding the perimeter but as a drop coverage big man his flaws will be disguised. Just under 37% from 3, Smith is a fluid, versatile big man who will be sought after in the top 20. Chicago has a pivotal and interesting offseason ahead of them and regardless if they are competing or rebuilding, Tyler Smith is a great pick here.

Heat Culture

I have concerns about Isaiah Collier in the NBA but a lot of those are eased if he is in Miami. Miami requires players to buy in on the defensive end of the floor and Collier has tools that he could be league average on that end. I worry about Collier’s shooting ability and don’t anticipate that changing but he is arguably the best advantage creator in this draft and could be a special creator at the next level.

In the second round, the Heat select PJ Hall which is a clear Kevin Love replacement pick. Love’s time is running out and PJ Hall has a similar game to this version of Love. Early in his career Hall can be a big body that finishes around the rim and occasionally spreads the floor.

A Bet on Versatility

Tristan Da Silva at 16, Alex Karaban at 17, Jaylon Tyson at 18, Kyshawn George at 20, and Johnny Furphy at 24 are all bets on positional size and versatility. Personally, this is my favorite range in the draft and I think there is a good chance that one of these guys pans out to be a long-term starter in the NBA. Each team that these players are headed to is ready to compete now and these players give them that and long-term value.

A Mistake and Potential Star

Bub Carrington should have come back to school for his sophomore year. Carrington is as smooth of an offensive creator as you will find but he does not have the strength to shoot comfortably off the dribble from 3. Instead of using college as a developmental tool and entering next year’s draft as the top sophomore, he is entering this year’s draft as an 18-year-old who will need to spend a lot of time in the G-League.

With all of that being said I love Bub Carrington’s game and would absolutely use a first-round pick on him if I am willing to put the necessary resources into him. A 6’5 guard boasting a 24% assist rate and over a 2-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, Bub will be able to run offenses at the next level. Carrington struggles to shoot the ball efficiently but with NBA strength training, he can get there. Only 18 years old on draft night, Carrington has plenty of years of development ahead of him.

64 Wins and the Steal of the Draft

Yves Missi won’t slip until the 30th pick but through this exercise he did and sitting there waiting for him are the NBA title favorites, the Boston Celtics. The Celtics don’t have too glaring of a big-man need but it allows them to let Xavier Tillman walk and as he progresses he can take minutes from Al Horford. Missi has a better chance at being a lottery pick than going here but Brad Stevens lucks out in this world.

Edey Slips Down the Board

The fit with Zach Edey is not as clean as other players. Any team that plays quick offensively or switches too much on defense, would have to change their style to account for Edey. With that being said I would not be shocked one bit if Zach Edey was selected in the first round. In this mock, Memphis doesn’t let Edey’s slide continue selecting him with the 39th pick.

Steven Adams was dealt to Houston in February so Memphis now has a clear hole at the 5. Edey most likely would not be the Day 1 starter but he could eat up 12-20 minutes a night early in his career. Come playoff time I would expect Edey’s minutes to be shortened but in small stretches, you could throw him at guys like Nikola Jokic or Rudy Gobert.

The Warriors Take on a Project

I do not get the Ulrich Chomche discourse but within the last 8 picks of the draft, I can not knock the pick. Chomche is incredibly far behind in most aspects of basketball but shows interesting flashes at his size. Golden State would have Chomche in the G-League for at least 2-3 years but at this pick the likelihood that they are going to add an immediate difference-maker is very low.

The Lakers Lock Down LeBron

I would not take Bronny James in this draft and hope he returns to college to reach his real potential. With that being said, if drafting him guaranteed me LeBron James I would take him ridiculously high. The Lakers want LeBron to be in LA until he retires and selecting Bronny increases the odds of that tremendously. For what it is worth after another year or two in college I think Bronny could have a real chance at being drafted on his own merits.


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