1 NBA Draft prospect every current lottery team should highlight

As the 2024 NBA Draft landscape takes shape, here is one prospect every current lottery team should take special interest in.

Alex Sarr, Perth Wildcats
Alex Sarr, Perth Wildcats / Paul Kane/GettyImages
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10. Portland Trail Blazers (via Warriors) — Kyle Filipowski, Duke

Kyle Filipowski surprised the NBA Draft world with his decision to return to Duke for a second season. It could pay off, as there's a legitimate path to top-10 consideration in a weak class. Filipowski has been a world-beater for the Blue Devils, as expected, averaging 18.2 points and 8.6 rebounds on .516/.421/.698 splits in 30.1 minutes.

The Blazers are all stocked up on guards. Creation duties will essentially be split between Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons, and Shaedon Sharpe for the next decade if all goes well (although, it seldom does). Portland has a need for more oomph in the frontcourt, however, especially with Deandre Ayton's middling production to date and the lingering uncertainty around Robert Williams' health.

Filipowski can comfortably occupy either frontcourt spot, which should help Portland avoid a logjam. That's especially true with Williams, who can switch on the perimeter and wreak havoc from the weak side. Filipowski doesn't exactly switch 1-5, but he's mobile enough on defense while offering real physicality in the paint. On offense, he can shoot, dribble, and pass — still all too rare for proper bigs. Filipowski can run two-man actions with Portland's guards, space out to the 3-point line, or face up and score around the basket. He would plug a ton of holes and he's ready to help right away.

9. Atlanta Hawks — Matas Buzelis, G League Ignite

The Hawks figure to look vastly different when the 2024-25 season starts. Clint Capela, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Saddiq Bey, and De'Andre Hunter are all on the chopping block ahead of the Feb. 8 trade deadline — not to mention Dejounte Murray. Atlanta is focusing its momentary rebuild around Trae Young and Jalen Johnson.

Matas Buzelis would add to Atlanta's potentially depleted wing depth. At 6-foot-9, he presents one of the most well-rounded skill sets on the board. Buzelis has legitimate dribble, pass, shoot ability. His percentages are in a bad spot with Ignite, but the mechanics and his high school track record provide the basis for optimism. Buzelis hasn't always been the most aggressive scorer, but he has the height to score over the top from mid-range, the fluidity to attack slower defenders downhill, and the passing chops to create for teammates.

Atlanta won't ask too much of Buzelis. He would have the luxury of playing off of Young. Buzelis can focus on catch-and-shoot 3s while picking his spots as a driver and cutter. On defense, his mobility and instincts at 6-foot-9 are quite appealing, even if he hasn't put it all together yet.