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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2.  Washington Wizards — Nikola Topic, KK Crvena Zvezda

Nikola Topic was recently elevated from Mega MIS and the Adriatic League to a whole new platform with Euroleague's Red Star, only to suffer a knee injury a couple of games in. While Topic's momentum has stalled as a result, he's still one of the strongest No. 1 pick candidates on the board. Topic is the draft's preeminent driver — a purveyor of paint touches and a whip-smart scorer with the craft and size at 6-foot-6 to avoid concerns about limited athleticism.

While Topic doesn't move all that well laterally on defense, he's a sports car driving the lane on offense. He excels at freezing defenders with a hesitation before exploding to the rim for a finish. Topic doesn't elevate much vertically either, but he gets by with subtle gear shifts and feather-soft touch.

The primary concerns with Topic are defense and 3-point shooting. He looks comfortable firing from deep when afforded time and space, but Topic's pull-up mechanics leave a lot to be desired. He's not much of a deterrent at the point of attack either. Those are major flaws, but in a draft short on proven talent, the Wizards should embrace the productive teenager from Europe's top professional league. His ability to break down a defense and generate advantages — both for himself and for teammates — is a potential ticket to stardom.

1. Detroit Pistons — Ron Holland, G League Ignite

The Pistons have shockingly few workable NBA players on their roster. The core is relatively solid — Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Ausar Thompson, Jalen Duren — but the pieces around them are so haphazardly constructed that Detroit can barely function on the basketball court. The Pistons aren't going to find their one-man solution in the 2024 draft, but Ron Holland has the ability to push Detroit in the right direction.

Despite cramped spacing and a stark lack of quality playmakers on the G League Ignite roster, Holland has begun to turn his season around. At 6-foot-7, Holland fits the most valuable archetype in basketball. He's a two-way wing, complete with a voracious appetite for stops and a tremendous talent for rim pressure on offense. Holland needs to get the 3-point shot in working order, but he's an impressive slasher whose acrobatic finishes in the paint are difficult to overlook.

The Pistons need more shooters, and Holland would have to work hard to improve as a decision-maker. He doesn't self-create much on the perimeter and defenses are going to funnel Holland into traffic until he can demand attention beyond the arc. Still, with Cunningham's impressive eye for playmaking, not to mention Ivey and Thompson creating advantages with their athleticism, Holland would be in a good spot to feast on open lanes to the rim, simple finishes, and spot-up 3s. Plus, he would invigorate the Pistons' ghastly perimeter defense.

Pistons face difficult decision in No. 1 spot. dark. 2024 NBA MOCK DRAFT. Pistons face difficult decision in No. 1 spot