2024 NBA Draft Big Board 2.0: Kentucky guards rise, Bub Carrington skyrockets

An updated look at the top 60 prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft after roughly one month of college basketball.

Reed Sheppard, Kentucky basketball
Reed Sheppard, Kentucky basketball / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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We're almost a month into the college basketball season and a lot has changed on the NBA Draft front. With a shortage of established top-tier talent, the board is wide open. Teams will be more willing to gamble on upside. Or, maybe the inverse is true. Teams may prioritize a high floor when confidence in "upside" is waning.

A few high-profile freshmen are falling due to circumstances. Kansas' Elmarko Jackson. North Carolina's Elliot Cadeau, and USC's Bronny James all received first-round grades last month. James hasn't played yet due to a cardiac arrest, but he's getting closer. Jackson and Cadeau are talented, but a lack of opportunity and consistency has them looking less like one-and-dones. That could change as the season progresses, of course.

On the other hand, several freshmen guards are rising to fill the void. Kentucky's backcourt has been host to Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham, two unconventional first-round prospects who could take advantage of the class' relative weakness. Then, there's Pitt standout Carlton "Bub" Carrington, who went from anonymous four-star recruit to potential top-10 pick in a blink. He has been that impressive. It's way too early for sweeping proclamations, but again — a lot is changing.

Here's an updated look at the best prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft class.

2024 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 60 prospect rankings

Perth Wildcats. Alex Sarr. 1. 1. Big

NBA teams are constantly on unicorn patrol and Alexandre Sarr might scratch that itch. The 7-footer by way of France spent last season in the Overtime Elite league, but he is spending the 2023 season in Australia’s NBL. If he holds up against the NBL’s brutal physicality, that could bode well for his draft stock in a wide-open lottery. Sarr’s fluidity running the floor and playing above the rim is tantalizing to watch and he shows tremendous body control facing up or attacking closeouts and getting downhill.

2. 2. Guard. USC. Isaiah Collier

Isaiah Collier headlines USC’s impressive freshman class. The 6-foot-4 guard from Atlanta profiles as the best playmaker on the board — a pick-and-roll savant who displays excellent poise and pace working the middle of the floor. He can strong-arm his way to finishes at the rim and he competes hard at the point of attack on defense. A definite No. 1 pick candidate in a wide-open race for the top spot. If the jumper improves, NBA teams will fall head over heels. 

Mega MIS. Nikola Topic. 3. 3. Guard

Nikola Topic is the latest Serbian prospect for Mega MIS to gain traction with NBA scouts. He’s not a particularly explosive athlete, but with strong basketball instincts and great positional size for a point guard (6-foot-6), Topic is winning teams over early with flashes of shot-making and impressive dribbling craft.

Matas Buzelis. 4. 4. Wing. G-League Ignite

At 6-foot-9, Matas Buzelis has been widely tossed around as a potential No. 1 pick. His comfort level with the ball in his hands, combined with impressive downhill speed and finesse finishing ability around the rim, makes it easy to project Buzelis as the NBA’s next modern-age, jumbo-sized playmaker.

5. Wing. G-League Ignite. Ron Holland. 5

Ron Holland receives top billing for the G-League Ignite team. The 6-foot-8 Texas native spurned his hometown Longhorns to go pro and he figures to be in the mix for No. 1 next season. Long and lanky, his athleticism shines as a help defender or running the floor in transition. He’s comfortable getting downhill and displays soft touch on finishes around the rim.

Ja'Kobe Walter. 6. 6. Guard. Baylor

Ja’Kobe Walter can score in bunches. With strong positional size at 6-foot-5, Walter is comfortable attacking the middle of the floor with concise hesitations and crossovers before elevating into his shot. He needs to improve his decision-making and start getting all the way to the rim, but the shooting ability makes his upside pop in a class short on surefire elite prospects.

Connecticut. Stephon Castle. 7. 7. Guard

At 6-foot-6, Stephon Castle has great positional size for a combo guard. Castle doesn’t explode past his defenders, but he places with pace and is comfortable shifting gears off the dribble, getting his man off balance with hesitations and head fakes before elevating into pull-up jumpers. His tough shot-making gene is strong and he’s a creative passer, to boot.

Pittsburgh . Carlton Carrington . 8. 8. Guard

Nobody really saw this coming from Cartlon Carrington, but the four-star recruit exploded out of the gates. He went for a triple-double in his first-ever college game, showcasing a blend of shot-making, passing vision, and two-way effort that could immediately land him in the lottery on draft boards. He’s a speedster in transition, a versatile shooter beyond the arc, and a confident driver. He doesn’t turn the ball over much either. He’s a dude.

Donovan Clingan. 9. 9. Big. Connecticut

As expected, Donovan Clingan has elevated into a more prominent sophomore role for the reigning champs. At 7-foot-2 with a 7-foot-7 wingspan, he towers over the competition inside. His instincts as a rim protector, combined with soft touch and power-finishing ability on offense, make him a bankable two-way presence with a high NBA floor.

JL Bourg. Zacchaire Risacher. 10. 10. Wing

A 6-foot-8 wing out of France, Zacchaire Risacher has legitimate top-3 upside due to his fluidity and skill level on the wing. He’s not the most explosive athlete, but Risacher shoots a beautiful 3-ball and he can nix defenders with potent dribble moves and step-backs. His touch around the rim is feather-soft and there’s definite playmaking upside.

11. 11. Wing. Virginia. Ryan Dunn

A springy 6-foot-8 athlete, sophomore Ryan Dunn covers a ton of ground defensively for Virginia. He’s not hitting 3s yet, but Dunn can provide enough offensively as a cutter, full-court sprinter, and above-rim finisher to get by on elite defense. Whether he’s shadowing the ball-handler, blowing up passing lanes, or impacting shot attempts from the weak side, Dunn has the motor and instincts to leave his imprint on every game.

Indiana. Kel'el Ware. 12. 12. Big

Kel’el Ware was considered by many to be a lottery talent in the 2023 class but he struggled to impact winning as a freshman. Even so, 7-footers with Ware’s blend of mobility, explosiveness, and outside shooting touch don’t come around very often. He has the chance to rise up boards in a big way with a resurgent sophomore campaign at Indiana.

13. Big. UCLA. Aday Mara. 13

Aday Mara towers over the competition at 7-foot-3. The waning value of your traditional drop coverage center will lead some to question Mara’s ceiling, but he’s a deft interior scorer with power and finesse in equal measure. He’s not a complete stick in the mud on defense either, capable of sliding his feet in space and using his massive wingspan to essentially wall off the paint. Teams looking for a defensive anchor in the middle will think highly of Mara.

Guard. Kentucky. D.J. Wagner. 14. 14

He’s not the best shooter, but the 6-foot-3 D.J. Wagner from Camden, New Jersey is an absolute beast inside the arc. His twitchy athleticism and excellent feel for playmaking shine on the regular. He’s one of the best guard finishers in the draft on paper and he is dynamite on the fast break. He will also get after it with strong point-of-attack defense on the perimeter. Wagner is in a mild slump, but expect the finishing numbers to bounce back.

15. Wing. Kentucky. Justin Edwards. 15

At 6-foot-7, Justin Edwards is an explosive lefty scorer who can attack downhill off the catch or feast on cuts to the rim. His pull-up jumper looks good and he can defend across the positional spectrum on the perimeter. The Wildcats can be a tricky team to scout because of John Calipari’s outmoded system, but Edwards has the talent to pop — as most Kentucky five-stars ultimately do. He will eventually want to showcase more aptitude on the ball to deliver on his lottery hype.

Wing. Kansas. Kevin McCullar. 16. 16

Kevin McCullar has made a notable senior-season leap, providing more live-dribble scoring and playmaking to accompany his typically excellent wing defense. NBA teams will want to see the 3-point consistency improve, but McCullar is 6-foot-6 with strength to finish on drives, impressive connective instincts, and a relentless two-way motor.

Tyrese Proctor. 17. 17. Guard. Duke

Tyrese Proctor is on breakout watch after a mixed-bag freshman year at Duke. He’s a brilliant playmaker with his head constantly on a swivel, always making the right read and consistently passing teammates open. Proctor doesn’t have great explosiveness with his first step, but he boasts positional size at 6-foot-5 and soft touch around the rim. His scoring efficiency was not great last year but his numbers perked up late in the season. Another year of experience and development could lock him into the first round.

18. 18. Wing. Colorado. Cody Williams

Cody Williams is already being pitched as the “theoretical” top prospect of this draft class — a slippery, fluid 6-foot-8 athlete who competes hard on defense and who flashes all kinds of upside on offense. He doesn’t have the most refined skill set, but Williams is comfortable handling the rock and he can torch defenders with a quick first step. His jumper looks better than others in this range. He’s the younger brother of reigning Rookie of the Year runner-up Jalen Williams.

Kentucky. Reed Sheppard. 19. 19. Guard

To the surprise of many, Reed Sheppard has been the most positively impactful freshman on the Kentucky roster. He doesn’t boast great physical tools, but he’s a versatile sharpshooter who elevates those around him with sharp processing and a selfless approach. He’s a smart team defender and the Wildcats are noticeably better when he’s on the floor.

20. 20. Guard. Kentucky. Rob Dillingham

Rob Dillngham is a bundle of fun. He’s worryingly small, but the shifty handles, efficient three-level scoring, and passing creativity make it easy to envision NBA upside. He’s one of the best offensive talents on the board. He drives and finishes without fear, despite being generously listed at 6-foot-2. He’s a legitimate playmaker on defense, too.

21. 21. Wing. USC. Kobe Johnson

A 6-foot-5 wing who earned Pac-12 All-Defense honors as a sophomore, Kobe Johnson should earn NBA attention with his activity level and preternatural instincts. He contributes mostly as connective tissue on offense, but there’s hope for a shooting and scoring leap in year three.

Cholet. Tidjane Salaun . 22. 22. Wing

An explosive 6-foot-9 wing who displays appealing fluidity on drives to the rim, Tidjane Salaun will have a chance to wow NBA scouts against quality professional competition in France. He needs to smooth over inconsistencies with his jumper, but the flashes of shot-making, combined with a strong foundation of athleticism, make Salaun a compelling prospect.

Big. UCLA. Adem Bona. 23. 23

Adem Bona is one of several returnees hoping to benefit from the perceived weakness of the 2024 draft. Originally pegged as a second-round pick in 2023, Bona has a strong opportunity to leap into the first round — and potentially into the lottery conversation, if all goes to plan. He’s a tremendous interior defender with light feet and bounce that has earned him comparisons to Clint Capela.

24. 24. Big. Duke. Kyle Filipowski

Kyle Filipowski was a potential top-20 pick in 2023 before his surprise decision to return to Duke for a sophomore season. He brings a lot of interesting skills to the center position. He can shoot, pass, handle the rock, and finish above the rim — a lot of teams will salivate over his offensive potential. That said, 7-footers with negative wingspans who struggle to defend in space and lack discipline can present serious downside risk too. Filipowski will have to convince scouts his offensive dynamism can offset the defensive limitations.

Izan Alamansa. 25. 25. Forward. G-League Ignite

Spaniard Izan Almansa spent last season in the Overtime Elite league showcasing the kind of size, athleticism, and skill intersection that gets NBA scouts out of bed in the morning. Almansa doesn’t quite space the floor yet, but he’s comfortable working out of pick-and-rolls and exploding downhill for finishes at the rim. His passing touch at 6-foot-9 is highly impressive and he profiles as a versatile defensive forward who can slide over to small-ball five in certain matchups.

Guard. Syracuse. Judah Mintz. 26. 26

The Syracuse sophomore presents ample upside with his rim pressure and in-between scoring. Plus, the 3-point shooting is on the right path. Judah Mintz is a bursty downhill attacker who has solid point guard instincts and enough defensive oomph to overcome his slender 6-foot-3 frame. 

27. 27. Guard. Creighton. Trey Alexander

There are concerns about Trey Alexander’s limited size at 6-foot-4, but he’s one of the most efficient and versatile 3-point shooters in college basketball. Plus, the junior has made noticeable strides as a passer and driver who could supply invaluable connective tissue at the next level. 

Guard. Arizona. Kylan Boswell. 28. 28

A bulky 6-foot-2 guard who presents intriguing versatility as a shooter, Kylan Boswell is embracing an expanded role as a sophomore. The Wildcats traditionally have little trouble drawing NBA eyeballs. Boswell is torching nets and making quick, connective decisions on offense, all while scrapping his way to a positive impact on defense.

Oso Ighodaro. 29. 29. Forward. Marquette

The Marquette senior presents a unique set of skills that screams useful (if atypical) NBA role player. At 6-foot-9, he’s a hard-nosed defender and a genuine passing hub on offense. He can spray passes all over the court facing up from the elbow and he’s a fixture in DHO actions for the Golden Eagles. He scores efficiently at the rim, too. The absence of a 3-point shot is a strike against him, but Ighodaro is young for a senior and the fundamentals are razor-sharp.

Forward. UCLA. Berke Buyuktuncel. 30. 30

 At 6-foot-9, Turkish import Berke Buyuktuncel plays solid fundamental basketball, splashing 3s on the perimeter, operating comfortably as a screener, and making impressive passing reads from various spots on the floor. He processes the game quickly on both ends and while he doesn’t offer star upside, he projects as a rock-solid role player.

Trevon Brazile. 31. 31. Forward. Arkansas

Trevon Brazile was well on his way to first round consideration in 2023 before a torn ACL tanked his season. The junior has a prime opportunity to bounce back with an expanded role, allowing his explosive rim finishing and shot-blocking to shine. Brazile’s reliance on athleticism rubs up uncomfortably against his knee injury, but assuming he’s back to full speed, NBA teams will line up around the block.

32. 32. Wing. Florida . Riley Kugel

Riley Kugel broke out late in his freshman season with the Gators. Now, he’s primed for the spotlight in year two, and NBA scouts will monitor him closely due to his shot-making chops and ball-handling creativity from the wing. He loves to explode down the lane with a head of steam and his pull-up shooting pops, even if the efficiency marks aren’t great right now.

Ratiopharm Ulm. Juan Núñez. 33. 33. Guard

He will have to prove that he can score and defend well enough to stay on the floor in the NBA, but Juan Núñez is one of the smartest players on the board – an expert manipulator with the ball in hand, lulling defenders to sleep with stop-start handles before rocketing perfectly-placed passes from anywhere, to anywhere on the court.

Guard. Virginia. Reece Beekman. 34. 34

Reece Beekman, a 6-foot-3 senior, doesn’t possess flashy athleticism or great physical tools. He simply knows how to play ball. He gets after it on defense and presents a useful balance of instinctual playmaking and 3-point shooting on offense. He can play on or off the ball and he should be ready for day-one contributions at the next level due to his experience.

35. Guard. Miami . Wooga Poplar . 35

Wooga Poplar loves to run out in transition, where he puts his elite burst and penchant for high-flying acrobatics to use. He’s a quality defensive guard with positional size at 6-foot-5. Now, the 3-point shooting is spiking as a junior. If Poplar can combine his downhill explosiveness with a dynamic jumper, there’s real offensive upside to tap into. He will need to improve as a decision-maker and creator for others, though.

Guard . Duke. Jared McCain. 36. 36

 He’s not the best athlete on the board, but 6-foot-3 freshman Jared McCain has carved out a starting role at Duke. He’s a talented shooter with versatility off the dribble or off the catch. He’s also skilled in the playmaking department, blessed with shifty handles and a great sense of pace. He will struggle to generate advantages against length due to his average first step, but the skill level and I.Q. earns him draft board status.

Baylor. Yves Missi. 37. 37. Big

One of the best freshman shot-blockers in college basketball, Yves Missi has a streamlined-but-effective skill set NBA teams should gladly buy into. He won’t offer much traditional upside, but he hammers the glass on both ends, protects the rim at a high level, and finishes efficiently in the paint on offense.

38. 38. Big. Kentucky. Aaron Bradshaw

Aaron Bradshaw is an athletic 7-footer with genuine rim protection equity and shooter’s touch on mid-range jumpers and fadeaways. That said, he needs to put on muscle and operate more forcefully around the basket. A fractured foot could impact his draft stock.

Saint-Quentin. Melvin Ajinca . 39. 39. Wing

 A solidly built 6-foot-7 wing who torched nets from 3-point range in France, it’s not hard to see teams buying Melvin Ajinca’s high 3-and-D floor in a draft class plagued with uncertainty. He doesn’t create his own shots on a regular basis, but he can pop on drives to the rim and the 3s will fall fast and furious in the NBA.

Guard. Kansas. Elmarko Jackson. 40. 40

A 6-foot-4 point guard with advanced athleticism and burst, Elmarko Jackson presents enticing two-way potential to NBA scouts. He’s already a crafty self-creator with range out to the 3-point line and a solidified defensive reputation. As he progresses as a playmaker for others, he could rise into genuine first round consideration — especially if he finds a way to pop in a crowded Kansas backcourt.

41. 41. Guard. Duke. Caleb Foster

A bursty scoring guard with pull-up range and shifty handles, Caleb Foster is going to compete for minutes in a deep Duke backcourt. His ability to create for teammates, as well as his utility off the ball with the Blue Devils, will make or break his NBA Draft stock as the season progresses. But, have no doubt — the man can generate buckets.

Baba Miller. 42. 42. Wing. Florida State

After a rocky freshman season at FSU, 6-foot-11 Baba Miller will get a renewed opportunity to make his case to scouts in 2023 on the heels of a strong U19 World Cup performance. The perfect Seminoles prospect on paper — lanky with ball skills and projectable defensive versatility — Miller’s progress will be closely monitored by NBA scouts as he works his way into game shape and a consistent role under head coach Leonard Hamilton.

43. 43. Guard. Arizona. KJ Lewis

A heady, versatile off-guard who can connect dots with his passing and defense. NBA scouts will want to see KJ Lewis shoot more 3s and impact the game as a scorer eventually, but his sharp-edged defense and rapid-fire processing suggest role player upside. He finishes well at the rim and has the strength to emerge as a legitimate slashing threat.

Forward. G-League Ignite. Tyler Smith. 44. 44

Tyler Smith has been the top scorer on the G-League Ignite roster. He’s 6-foot-10 and absolutely scorching the net from 3-point range, so there’s first round upside — especially if his flashier Ignite teammates continue to struggle.

Dillon Jones. 45. 45. Wing. Weber State

Dillon Jones is averaging a 22-point double-double. He was a Combine standout before withdrawing from the 2023 draft, but the senior appears to be elevating his stock even higher now. He’s a bit of a tweener on defense at 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds, but Jones competes hard and his skill set screams useful role player. He crashes the boards, makes quick passing reads in the flow of the offense, actively screens and cuts — some NBA team is going to fall in love.

46. 46. Wing. Illinois. Terrence Shannon Jr.

Terrence Shannon Jr. needs to iron out the 3-point shot, but he’s a dynamic 6-foot-6 athlete whose defense really pops. He will have one final chance to showcase enough offensive improvement to lock up a first-round draft slot as a 22-year-old, fifth-year senior at Illinois.

47. Guard. Syracuse. JJ Starling. 47

JJ Starling is a gifted off-guard scorer. He can hit movement jumpers and make quick work of defenders ducking under screens or DHOs. His bursty first step and capacity for finishing in traffic suggests upside as a secondary creator and slasher and he competes hard defensively at 6-foot-4. He will be younger than most sophomores. The percentages are way down right now, but he passes the eye test.

Bobi Klintman . 48. 48. Wing. Cairns Taipans

Sporadic playing time at Wake Forest limited Bobi Klintman’s exposure to national audiences as a freshman. He has a ways to go developmentally, but fluid 6-foot-10 athletes who can grab-and-go in transition, navigate traffic off the bounce, and shoot the 3 aren’t easy to find. His upside is significant. He will be a big prospect to watch in 2024 after leaving the college ranks for a professional opportunity in Australia’s NBL.

49. 49. Big. Dayton. DaRon Holmes II

DaRon Holmes has been Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year for two years running to start his college career. A bouncy shot-blocker who can catch lobs and run the floor on offense, Holmes should be able to transition smoothly to a backup role in the NBA.

50. 50. Wing. Creighton. Baylor Scheierman

A future role player who can impact the game with shooting, passing, and hustle despite his lackluster athleticism and limited frame. Scheierman’s unfettered confidence and creativity oozes off the screen. He will bury deep contested 3s, whip beautiful passes on the move, and finish with touch in the paint.

Wing. Miami. Matthew Cleveland. 51. 51

Matthew Cleveland is an athletic wing who should be capable of guarding multiple positions at the next level. He’s quite good at getting downhill or out in transition, using his frame to initiate contact and finish at the rim. His touch close to the rim has finally translated to 3-point success, at least early in the season. His decision to transfer from Florida State to Miami appears to be paying dividends.

52. 52. Forward. Colorado. Tristan da Silva

The 6-foot-8 senior should impress scouts with his shot-making and discipline. He shoots a clean 3-pointer and he’s excellent at attacking errant closeouts and angling his body for finishes at the rim. There are concerns tied to his athleticism, but skill and productivity should get Tristan da Silva into the second round.

Zach Edey. 53. 53. Big. Purdue

At 7-foot-4 and 285 pounds, Zach Edey occupies quite a lot of space on both sides of the ball. There are obvious and valid concerns about his potential to hold up defensively in the NBA — he doesn’t move very well in space — but he can still wall off the paint, inhale rebounds, and contribute with surprising skill on the offensive end. He’s one of the most dominant players in college basketball and is going to earn some looks at the next level.

Alabama. Jarin Stevenson. 54. 54. Big

A lanky 6-foot-11 big, Jarin Stevenson should capture the attention of NBA teams with his 3-point stroke and rangy defense. He doesn’t offer much outside of simple finishes and spot-up jumpers right now, but the size, athleticism, and potential skill intersection has definite pro upside

Terrance Arceneaux. 55. 55. Wing. Houston

Terrance Arceneaux was a significant riser early last season before tapering off of draft boards and moving his stock to 2024. He fits the 3-and-D archetype teams covet, but the inefficiency has been a bit troubling early in his sophomore campaign.

56. Wing. Tennessee. Dalton Knecht . 56

He’s a middling athlete as a 6-foot-6, 22-year-old senior, but Dalton Knecht looks ready-made to fly around screens, bomb 3s, and provide connective tissue in an NBA offense. If he can defend, he has a future in the association.

Forward. Connecticut. Alex Karaban. 57. 57

Alex Karaban is a strong 6-foot-8 forward with a skill package that should translate to the next level. He’ll have to prove that he can defend in the NBA, but Karaban is a versatile shooter who looks right at home in DHO and pick-and-pop actions on the perimeter. He’s also a capable driver with some face-up juice. He doesn’t generate much separation in the lane, but he possesses tremendous touch and creative footwork.

58. 58. Guard. Marquette. Tyler Kolek

With limited burst at 6-foot-3, there are serious creation doubts with Tyler Kolek. Still, he’s a brilliant passer and ridiculously confident 3-point bomber who should be scrappy enough to stick on NBA radars. He won’t put a ton of pressure on the rim, but he will connect dots and stretch defenses with his jumper.

59. Big. Kentucky. Zvonimir Ivisic. 59

Zvonimir Ivisic hasn't been cleared to play in the NCAA yet, but the 7-foot-2 Croatian is due to impress NBA scouts with his size, mobility, and skill. He’s a competent 3-point shooter and shot-blocker, who flashes immense upside attacking off the dribble and carving out shots around the paint. He needs to get much more disciplined on both ends, but the tools for success are there. NBA teams will monitor his progress closely.

Iowa State. Omaha Biliew. 60. 60. Wing

Omaha Biliew is built strong at 6-foot-7 with explosive athleticism and great length on the wing. He just physically overwhelmed high school defenders and he should find similar success in college. While he’s still developing as a perimeter scorer, Biliew can feast on finishes around the rim with his power and workable touch, and he’s a tremendous defender with plus-plus intensity. Iowa State is a team to watch.

2024 NBA MOCK DRAFT. Isaiah Collier, Ja'Kobe Walter on the rise early. Isaiah Collier, Ja'Kobe Walter on the rise early. dark