NBA Draft prospects 2024: Ranking the top 60 players on SN’s big board entering lottey | Sporting News

NBA Draft prospects 2024: Ranking the top 60 players on SN’s big board entering lottey | Sporting News

The 2024 NBA Playoffs are underway, but several franchises are already looking ahead to the offseason.

The next tentpole event for eliminated teams is the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery, which is set for Sunday, May 12.

If you find yourself praying that the ping pong balls land in your team’s favor, you’ve come to the right place.

The Sporting News has you covered with an updated 2024 NBA Draft Big Board that highlights the 60-best prospects in this year’s draft class.

MOCK DRAFT: 
Complete 2-round edition sends Dalton Knecht to Spurs, Bronny James to Lakers

NBA Draft prospects 2024

1. Alexandre Sarr, Perth Wildcats (NBL, Australia)

  • Age: 19
  • Position: C
  • Height: 7-0

Sarr has had an interesting journey leading up to becoming our No. 1-ranked prospect in the 2024 NBA Draft. The French native played two seasons in the Overtime Elite development league before taking his talents to Australia’s NBL Next Stars program.

Sarr fits the mold of a modern-day center who is capable of more than just running rim-to-rim. He’s long and athletic, and the combination of his shot-blocking and budding perimeter skills make for a limitless ceiling.

Sarr held his own playing professionally for the Perth Wildcats, averaging 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 17.3 minutes per game.

2. Nikola Topic, Crvena zvezda (ABA, Serbia)

  • Age: 18
  • Position: G
  • Height: 6-5

Topic is the top-ranked guard in this class as a pick-and-roll maestro who can score in the paint at will. The 6-5 guard is an elite passer who plays as physically as his size suggests. He’s not as quick or shifty as most players at his position, but he plays with a calmness that every team could use in their floor general.

Topic missed a big chunk of this season with a knee injury after transferring to Crvena zvezda. Before his injury in January, he posted impressive averages of 18.4 points and 7.1 assists per game for Mega Basket, which is also in the world-renowned Adriatic (ABA) League.

3. Stephon Castle, UConn

  • Age: 19, Freshman
  • Position: Guard
  • Height: 6-6

Castle was one of the breakout stars of the NCAA Tournament, helping lead UConn to its second-consecutive National Championship. The 6-6 big guard defends at a high level, can score at the rim off the dribble and create for others.

He showed even more versatility during March Madness, playing off the ball and doing some dirty work in the paint on both ends of the floor. If he irons out his jump shot, he has the potential to be the best guard in this class.

4. Dalton Knecht, Tennessee

  • Age: 23, Senior
  • Position: Forward
  • Height: 6-6

Knecht established himself as one of the nation’s most consistent three-level scorers, averaging 21.7 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting from deep. There isn’t a shot he can’t make — he’s confident shooting off of movement, off the catch and off the dribble. His size and strength will help his scoring ability translate to the NBA level seamlessly.

Knecht’s 37-point clinic in Tennessee’s Elite Eight loss to Purdue 
should leave a lasting memory in the minds of NBA scouts

.

5. Ron Holland, G League Ignite

  • Age: 18
  • Position: F
  • Height: 6-8

Holland was sidelined down the stretch of the G League Ignite’s season with a right thumb injury. The Ignite struggled all year, but Holland still showed plenty of flashes as to why he was
in the preseason conversation for the 2024 No. 1 overall pick

.

The 6-8 forward is one of the best, most versatile defenders in this class. His energy and motor are unmatched on both ends of the floor and on the glass. He has active hands to come up with steals and blocks, and he does damage as a scorer in transition and off of timely cuts.

Even without a reliable jumper or shot-creation skills, Holland averaged 20.6 points per game for the Ignite. That’s a good sign for when his offensive game develops down the line.

6. Zaccharie Risacher, JL Bourg (LNB Pro A, France)

  • Age: 19
  • Position: F
  • Height: 6-8

Risacher falls right in line behind Victor Wembanyama (and Sarr) as the next generation of French prospects to grace the NBA. Competing in the same league as Wemby before he was taken No. 1 overall in 2023, Risacher has boosted his draft stock tremendously as a fluid, sharp-shooting forward.

Risacher caught fire from beyond the arc at the start of the season for JL Bourg but has since cooled off. He is still shooting a respectable 34.9 percent from 3 through 31 LNB Pro A games, but that’s down a full 10 percentage points from his hot start. Averaging 10.1 points as a teenager in one of the best leagues in the world is still no easy feat.

With his shooting, length and activity on defense, Risacher will be in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick in this draft.

7. Donovan Clingan, UConn

  • Age: 20, Sophomore
  • Position: Center
  • Height: 7-2

Clingan put on a two-way clinic in the NCAA Tournament, anchoring UConn to its second straight national championship. His performance against Illinois in the Elite Eight was the most dominant defensive game of March Madness. The Illini only had two made field goals when Clingan was on the floor going into the final 10 minutes of a 30-point blowout.

The UConn sophomore is a massive presence at 7-2, 280 pounds with a reported 7-7 wingspan. He’s an elite shot blocker, rebounder and lob catcher who has the rim-running ability to hang in the NBA.

8. Rob Dillingham, Kentucky

  • Age: 19, Freshman
  • Position: G
  • Height: 6-3

Dillingham has a case as the best pure scorer in this draft class. The 6-3 combo guard exploded onto the scene in his freshman season at Kentucky despite coming off the bench. He averaged 26.1 points and 6.6 assists per 40 minutes, which is a better indication of his potential given he only played 23.3 minutes per game.

Dillingham is a blur with the ball in his hands and changes pace quickly with an elite handle. He’s a creative shot creator, confident shooter and tough-shot maker. His size is a concern on the defensive end, but his offensive tools are so developed that he could help any team that needs a microwave scorer off the bench.

9. Cody Williams, Colorado

  • Age: 19, Freshman
  • Position: F
  • Height: 6-8

Williams’ role was inconsistent during his freshman season, but he is the type of long, versatile, athletic wing that every team is looking for in today’s NBA. He is a high-energy forward who can defend multiple positions and rebound at a high level.

Williams separates himself with his ability to push the ball up the floor, get downhill and score at the rim. Williams isn’t a shooter (yet), and there is a lack of offensive assertiveness at times because of that. He is the brother of Oklahoma City’s rising star Jalen Williams.

10. Reed Sheppard, Kentucky

  • Age: 19, Freshman
  • Position: G
  • Height: 6-3

Sheppard was the biggest riser on draft boards over the season, but
some of his weaknesses were glaring in Kentucky’s first-round loss in March Madness

. He is still one of the most reliable two-way players in the country, though.

Sheppard’s size (6-3, 187 pounds) and athleticism may not jump off the page, but he’s a lights-out shooter, connective playmaker and hard-nosed defender who always makes the right play. The 19-year-old guard averaged 12.5 points and 4.5 assists per game while shooting 52.1 percent from 3 on 144 attempts. Defensively, his 2.5 steals and 0.7 blocks per game are hard to fathom for a player of his stature.

Sheppard is the type of winner who could morph into any role on any roster.

Updated 2024 NBA Draft big board

Take a look at The Sporting News’ 60-best prospects in the 2024 draft class heading into the NBA Draft Lottery.

Rank Player Position Age Class Height/Weight Team
1. Alexandre Sarr C 19 7-0, 216 lbs. Perth Wildcats (Australia)
2. Nikola Topic G 18 6-5, 201 lbs. Crvena zvezda (Serbia)
3. Stephon Castle G 19 FR 6-6, 215 lbs. UConn
4. Dalton Knecht F 23 SR 6-6, 213 lbs. Tennessee
5. Ron Holland F 18 6-8, 206 lbs. G League Ignite
6. Zaccharie Risacher F 19 6-8, 210 lbs. JL Bourg (France)
7.  Donovan Clingan C 20 SO 7-2, 280 lbs. UConn
8. Rob Dillingham G 19 FR 6-3, 176 lbs. Kentucky
9. Cody Williams F 19 FR 6-8, 190 lbs. Colorado
10. Reed Sheppard G 19 FR 6-3, 187 lbs. Kentucky
11. Matas Buzelis F 19 6-10, 209 lbs. G League Ignite
12. Isaiah Collier G 19 FR 6-5, 210 lbs. USC
13. Ja’Kobe Walter G 19 FR 6-5, 195 lbs. Baylor
14. Jared McCain G 20 FR 6-3, 197 lbs. Duke
15. Zach Edey C 21 SR 7-4, 300 lbs. Purdue
16. Kevin McCullar G 23 SR 6-6, 210 lbs. Kansas
17. Terrence Shannon Jr. G 23 SR 6-6, 225 lbs. Illinois
18. Devin Carter G 22 JR 6-3, 195 lbs. Providence
19. Tidjane Salaun F 18 6-9, 212 lbs. Cholet (France)
20. Kyle Filipowski F 20 SO 7-0, 248 lbs. Duke
21. DaRon Holmes II C 21 JR 6-10, 235 lbs. Dayton
22. Kyshawn George G 20 FR 6-8, 205 lbs. Miami
23. Tristan da Silva F 22 SR 6-9, 220 lbs. Colorado
24. Kel’el Ware C 20 SO 7-0, 242 lbs. Indiana
25. Tyler Smith F 19 6-11, 224 lbs. G League Ignite
26. Yves Missi C 19 FR 6-10, 235 lbs.  Baylor
27. Ryan Dunn F 21 SO 6-8, 216 lbs. Virginia
28. Carlton Carrington G 18 FR 6-5, 190 lbs. Pittsburgh
29. Jaylon Tyson G 21 JR 6-7, 215 lbs. California
30. Tyler Kolek G 23 SR 6-3, 195 lbs. Marquette
31. Hunter Sallis G 21 JR 6-5, 185 lbs. Wake Forest
32. Trey Alexander G 21 JR 6-4, 190 lbs. Creighton
33. Dillon Jones F 22 JR 6-6, 235 lbs. Weber State
34. Izan Almansa F 18 6-10, 230 lbs. G League Ignite
35. Pacome Dadiet G 18 6-8, 210 lbs. Ulm (Germany)
36. Harrison Ingram F 21 JR 6-7, 235 lbs. North Carolina
37. PJ Hall F 22 SR 6-10, 238 lbs. Clemson
38. Mark Sears G 22 SR 6-1, 185 lbs. Alabama
39. Bobi Klintman F 21 6-9, 224 lbs. Cairns Taipans (Australia)
40. Melvin Ajinca F 19 6-8, 200 lbs. Saint-Quentin (France)
41. Nikola Djurisic F 20 6-8, 214 lbs. Mega Basket (Serbia)
42. Johnny Furphy F 19 FR 6-9, 202 lbs. Kansas
43. Oso Ighodaro F 21 SR 6-11, 235 lbs. Marquette
44. KJ Simpson G 21 JR 6-2, 189 lbs. Colorado
45. Baylor Scheierman F 23 SR 6-7, 205 lbs. Creighton
46. Bronny James G 19 FR 6-4, 210 lbs. USC
47. Tristen Newton G 23 SR 6-5, 195 lbs. UConn
48. Justin Edwards F 20 FR 6-8, 203 lbs. Kentucky
49. Keshad Johnson F 22 SR 6-7, 225 lbs. Arizona
50. Adem Bona C 21 SO 6-10, 235 lbs. UCLA
51. Ajay Mitchell G 21 JR 6-5, 190 lbs. UC Santa Barbara
52. Jamal Shead G 21 SR 6-1, 200 lbs. Houston
53. Trevon Brazile F 21 R-SO 6-10, 220 lbs. Arkansas
54. Payton Sandfort F 21 JR 6-7, 215 lbs. Iowa
55. Cam Spencer G 24 SR 6-4, 205 lbs. UConn
56. Tyon Grant-Foster F 24 SR 6-7, 210 lbs. Grand Canyon
57. Pelle Larsson G 23 SR 6-6, 215 lbs. Arizona
58. Jalen Bridges F 22 SR 6-9, 225 lbs. Baylor
59. N’Faly Dante C 22 SR 6-11, 210 lbs. Oregon
60. Alex Karaban F 21 SO 6-8, 220 lbs. UConn

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