2024 NBA Mock Draft: Donovan Clingan, Stephon Castle win big as UConn repeats

The UConn Huskies are back-to-back national champions. Here is how the NBA Draft landscape shapes up with the college basketball season officially complete.
Donovan Clingan, Stephon Castle, UConn Huskies
Donovan Clingan, Stephon Castle, UConn Huskies / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

The UConn Huskies are officially back-to-back champs. Dan Hurley has built the most sustainable program in college basketball. UConn lost several key pieces to the NBA after last season, and yet the team was just as dominant in 2024. Excellent use of the transfer portal, as well as bringing in the right freshmen, allowed Hurley to deploy the most well-rounded rotation in March Madness.

Now the real challenge begins for UConn. There's a chance all five starters are selected in June's NBA Draft. The seniors are leaving by choice. The underclassmen are potential — nay, probable — lottery picks.

We expected a battle of titans in the national title game. It was, to a certain extent. Zach Edey left it all on the floor with 37 points and 10 rebounds, even if that stat line is more impressive than his actual performance. Edey was recently named Naismith Player of the Year for a second straight season and he just put together one of the best March Madness runs ever. Whether you're a believer or not, the NBA has clearly warmed up to Purdue's 7-foot-4 bruiser.

Now, the pre-draft cycle can begin in full. We've already seen several high-profile declarations. Over the next few months, individual and team workouts will further inform how NBA front offices view the prospects available to them. This is considered a weak draft, especially at the top, but there is still plenty of intrigue. It's not hard to uncover interesting storylines or potential outcomes.

So, with college basketball in the rearview mirror, here's an updated look at the 2024 NBA Draft landscape. The order was determined via Tankathon simulation.

2024 NBA Mock Draft: 1-5 (DET, TOR, POR, CHA, WAS)

1. Detroit Pistons — Ron Holland, wing, G League Ignite

Of all the projected lottery picks, Ron Holland might have the most volatile draft stock. He has a chance to tumble outside the top-10 after an uneven campaign with the G League Ignite, but he could also reassure skeptical scouts with a strong pre-draft process. Holland finished his season on the sideline due to injury, but he will be healthy for individual workouts and the NBA Combine.

In the end, he's probably the best fit for Detroit out of all the realistic options here. The recent slump from France's Zaccharie Risacher has poured cold water on the No. 1 pick buzz, and neither Reed Sheppard nor Dalton Knecht feel like smart investments this high on the board. With Holland, he has all the prototypical athletic traits of an NBA wing, as well as enough offensive skill to convince the Pistons of his long-term fit.

Holland generally fits what the Pistons do, too. Detroit has long prioritized size and athleticism. Holland is possibly the best athlete on the board, blessed with a slippery first step, real vertical pop, and the length to cover tons of ground on defense. Holland needs to iron out the 3-point shot, but his slashing and rim pressure should translate straightaway. His stingy defense next to Ausar Thompson on the wing could transform Detroit on that end of the floor, too.

Read our full Ron Holland scouting report here.

2. Toronto Raptors — Alex Sarr, big, Perth

The Jakob Poeltl experience continues to sour in Toronto. It's unclear how exactly the Raptors plan to approach this next chapter, but Alex Sarr is the ideal fit on paper — the sort of mobile, hyper-versatile frontcourt defender the Raptors have always prized. At 7-foot-1, Sarr's lateral mobility is truly elite. He can switch screens, mirror ball handlers at the point of attack, and completely wall off driving lanes with his 7-foot-5 wingspan.

He's less dominant as a traditional rim protector, but Sarr still shows plenty of promise hanging around the paint and blocking shots. His ability to cover ground and anchor various schemes is immensely valuable, especially when paired with another multi-faceted defensive weapon like Scottie Barnes.

It will take time for Sarr to figure out his role on offense, but he flashes touch out to the 3-point line and impressive coordination on face-up drives. He needs to bulk up and operate more forcefully around the rim, but Sarr should be able to operate as a vertical threat. If he can hit spot-up threes, beat slow-footed bigs in space, and develop into a more reliable pick-and-roll partner, the upside is immense — maybe the highest of any prospect on the board.

Read our full Alex Sarr scouting report here.

3. Portland Trail Blazers — Cody Williams, wing, Colorado

Portland has to be a bit worried about Scoot Henderson. He deserves time and patience, to be clear, but Henderson has been historically inefficient, even by the low standards of high-usage rookie point guards. Still, the Blazers need to keep the faith, and the backcourt is quite crowded with Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, and Malcolm Brogdon also in the mix.

So, Portland opts to address their dire wing rotation, which currently involves far too few established NBA players. Williams was remarkably productive and efficient as a freshman at Colorado. His low 3-point volume has led skeptics to question the reliability of his jump shot, but Williams hit 41.5 percent of his 3s. Factor in his promising touch around the rim, and it's easy to buy Williams as a shooter long-term.

It's what the made 3s open up, however, that has scouts intrigued by Williams. He's a fluid athlete in the open court and a burgeoning playmaker on the wing. Colorado often entrusted Williams with point guard duties, allowing him to come off of screens and make decisions off a live dribble. Williams needs to polish his handle, and the lack of pull-up shooting is a concern. That said, his ability to finish at tough angles inside and score proficiently around the rim, in concert with his passing vision off of drives, is hard to ignore in a class so short on upside. How he fits off-ball in Portland's guard-heavy rotation is an open-ended question, but the athleticism, basketball I.Q., and competitiveness warrant investment.

4. Charlotte Hornets — Rob Dillingham, guard, Kentucky

Charlotte finally replaces Terry Rozier with Rob Dillingham, the Kentucky freshman who wowed scouts all season with mesmerizing displays of shot-making and live-dribble passing. He lacks size, generously listed at 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds, but Dillingham oozes star power in a draft that generally does not. His ability to create from scratch and elevate teammates should appeal to the Hornets.

LaMelo Ball is entrenched as Charlotte's nominal point guard, but he's best thought of as a super-charged connector. Ball doesn't put consistent pressure on the rim and he's not the most polished one-on-one creator. It's unclear how well Dillingham can finish against NBA length at the rim, but he has the speed and ball-handling creativity to poke holes in the defense and apply pressure in a halfcourt setting. Combined with the nutty shooting of Brandon Miller and Ball's rapid-fire passing chops, Dillingham could be the spark that ignites Charlotte's offense.

The Hornets would suddenly have three potent, dynamic shooters on the perimeter. Dillingham is plenty comfortable off the ball, running into movement threes and attacking off the catch. Ball and Miller can both diversify their approach as well. The Hornets would have the ability to beat defenses in various ways. Dillingham's individual defense is going to be a problem, but Charlotte has the size and length to aptly cover for him.

Read our full Rob Dillingham scouting report here.

5. Washington Wizards — Nikola Topic, guard, KK Crvena Zvezda

The Wizards have a nice collection of wings in Kyle Kuzma, Bilal Coulibaly, Deni Avdija, and Corey Kispert. Those are the foundational pieces moving forward, and Washington should approach the 2024 draft accordingly. With Tyus Jones on the cusp of free agency and Jordan Poole looking more like dead salary weight than the offensive leader we all expected, Nikola Topic is a wise pick.

At 6-foot-6, Topic brings appealing size and quickness to the point guard spot. There are some valid concerns about his low 3-point volume and rigid shot release, but Topic generally has no trouble getting to his spots. There isn't a more consistent source of rim pressure on the board, and Topic's frequent displays of touch and creativity around the rim should, in time, translate to a more palatable perimeter game.

The Wizards need to focus on defense and shooting as well, but Topic's advantage creation is a huge benefit in a weak draft. Washington needs star power as much as any franchise in the NBA. He's not there yet, but Topic has true All-Star upside tied to his downhill burst, finesse finishes, and heads-up playmaking. We continue to see the benefits of betting on skill level and feel at the point guard spot, not to mention plus positional size. Topic checks all three boxes, and he should elevate Washington's other core pieces in the process.

Read our full Nikola Topic scouting report here.

2024 NBA Mock Draft: 6-10 (SAS, MEM, UTA, HOU, ATL)

6. San Antonio Spurs — Jared McCain, guard, Duke

The Spurs land their point guard of the future in Jared McCain. It was an extremely productive March Madness for McCain, who managed two 30-plus point performances during Duke's Elite Eight run. He lacks the outlier athleticism of your traditional top pick, but NBA teams ought to buy into McCain's shooting and basketball I.Q. Especially the Spurs, who desperately need to pair Victor Wembanyama with a dynamic perimeter creator.

McCain spent a lot of time off the ball in Duke's crowded backcourt, relied upon for his ability to step into movement 3s and stretch the floor. Perhaps McCain's greatest skill, however, is his pull-up shooting. He's a constant threat off the dribble, with the ball-handling tempo and court vision to really thrive out of pick-and-rolls.

He will profile as a defensive liability to some extent at 6-foot-3 without elite quickness, but McCain guards his position well. He's strong at the point of attack with plus instincts. Wemby, meanwhile, is the ideal star complement to any undersized guard. McCain's ability to stretch the defense working two-man actions with Wembanyama should prove very fruitful, very fast for San Antonio. McCain scores efficiently at all three levels, and he plays the right way — the kind of prospect Gregg Popovich is sure to embrace.

Read our full Jared McCain scouting report here.

7. Memphis Grizzlies — Donovan Clingan, big, Connecticut

Donovan Clingan was the driving force behind UConn's dominant March Madness run. While talk of him as a potential No. 1 pick feels far-fetched, the 7-foot-2 sophomore — blessed with a 7-foot-7 wingspan and improved agility in the paint — shoud be able to help a team straight away. The Grizzlies are in win-now mode, ideally taking a brief one-year sojourn in the lottery. Clingan fills an immediate area of need with Steven Adams no longer in the mix.

There's a case for letting Jaren Jackson Jr. continue operating exclusively in the five spot, but Clingan's dominant rim protection could elevate the Grizzlies' defense to the next level. He's still mostly effective in drop coverage, but Clingan covers a ton of ground in the paint. His flexibility, lateral movement, and awareness have all improved since last season. In the NCAA Tournament, his presence shut the water off for some of college basketball's most explosive offenses.

Clingan would empower Jackson as a weak-side roamer and switchable forward. Meanwhile, he would help on offense too, filling the Steven Adams role of muscular screener and short roll passer. Clingan lacks the touch to score consistently away from the basket, but he's a physical at-rim finisher who can provide ample value as a pick-and-roll partner or vertical threat in the dunker's spot.

Read our full Donovan Clingan scouting report here.

8. Utah Jazz — Stephon Castle, guard, Connecticut

Stephon Castle had several standout moments during the Huskies' championship run. Questions persist about the lack of 3-point shooting, but Castle is a winner through and through. He competes hard on defense and offers plenty of dynamsim on offense, whether he's creating off of drives or operating in a connector role.

The Jazz would benefit from a proper defensive stopper on the wing. Listed at 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, Castle was UConn's answer to the opposition's best player on most nights. He fights over screens, pressures the point of attack, and offers versatility on switches. He didn't generate a ton of stocks, but Castle will get stops and make his presence felt with physicality.

Castle would benefit from Utah's egaletarian scheme on the offensive end. He's not the best shooter, which NBA defenses will try to exploit, but Castle's strength and creativity on drives helps make up for it. Castle compensates for limited downhill burst with horizontal wiggle and the strength to power through contact at the rim. He fires impressive dimes off a live dribble and a more consistent 3-point shot would fully unlock him as a slasher. His 75.5 percent free throw clip, while not elite, provides grounds for optimism about his jumper long term.

9. Houston Rockets — Matas Buzelis, wing, G League Ignite

The Rockets land another interchangeable wing in the form of G League Ignite's Matas Buzelis. Faced with Ron Holland's absence down the stretch, the Ignite elevated Buzelis into a more prominent offensive role. A lack of aggression has been used as a knock on Buzelis in the past, but he showed flashes of go-to scoring — perhaps best encapsulated by his game-winning turnaround jumper over Brandon Miller in the Rising Stars Challenge.

Buzelis checks a ton of boxes on the wing. He needs to bulk up and tighten the screws on his handle, but Buzelis flashes on slippery drives to the rim and buries plenty of mid-range, pull-up shots. He struggled beyond the arc with Ignite, but Buzelis was a bankable shooter in high school and the mechanics look clean. If Buzelis can emerge as at least a league average 3-point shooter at the next level, the slashing and connective passing should pop.

He won't provide the most resistance at the point of attack on defense, but Buezlis is 6-foot-9 with the ability to cover lots of ground as a weak-side helper. He blocked a fair amount of shots for Ignite and offered a persistant presence in passing lanes. As Buzelis bulks up and becomes more dependable on an island, he should provide Houston with valuable defensive playmaking in a lineup that already includes the likes of Tari Eason, Jabari Smith, and Amen Thompson.

10. Atlanta Hawks — Zaccharie Risacher, wing, JL Bourg

Zaccharie Risacher shot up draft boards this season with prolific 3-point shooting on the wing. Now, he's in a cold spell, which has led scouts to circle back to his sub-70 percent free throw shooting and his spotty history beyond the arc. If Risacher hasn't actually developed into an elite spot-up marksman, it's fair to wonder how his ceiling stacks up to others in the lottery.

That is why he takes a small tumble here to the No. 10 spot, where Atlanta can still take the swing on a talented connective wing. Risacher is 6-foot-10 with impressive movement skills, especially on defense. He covers ground as a roamer, but he's also comfortable guarding smalls on the perimeter and snuffing out drives at the point of attack. His high defensive floor at 19 years old will probably keep him in the lottery range.

How "real" Risacher's jumper is will determine his NBA outlook. He processes the game well and occasionally flashes as an open-court ball-handler, but Risacher doesn't have the explosiveness to consistently get to the rim, much less finish. He lacks the strength to combat physical defense too. Risacher is mostly limited to the role of connector and spacer. That should work for Atlanta, provided that the 19-year-old can actually find a measure of consistency from long range.

Read our full Zaccharie Risacher scouting report here.

2024 NBA Mock Draft: 11-15 (CHI, OKC, POR, NOP, MIA)

11. Chicago Bulls — Reed Sheppard, guard, Kentucky

Reed Sheppard was exposed to an extent in Kentucky's flameout loss to Oakland in the NCAA Tournament. One game shouldn't taint a brilliant freshman campaign, but it did open up past scars in terms of Sheppard's NBA Draft stock. He's listed at 6-foot-3 in shoes, but Sheppard looks smaller. Absent elite athleticism or length, he is a natural red flag on defense. Sheppard generates a ton of steals with his bloodhound instincts, but NBA teams will isolate him on switches and make him guard in space. That could go poorly.

Still, we haven't seen a freshman perform at Sheppard's level in a few years. He shot 52.1 percent from deep for the season, an absurd number elevated by his high-feel passing (4.5 assists) and legitimate on-ball creation. The Wildcats leaned more and more on Sheppard as the season progressed. He was able to run the offense, showcasing the downhill burst and court vision necessary to generate advantages and create for teammates.

Whether he is the Bulls' starting point guard or more of a connector alongside Coby White and Alex Caruso, Sheppard's potent mix of spot-up shooting, rapid-fire passing, and occasional slashing should work wonders for a Chicago offense in dire need of help. We don't really know what the Bulls' plans are moving forward, but Sheppard is a winning player who should fit into most lineups or schemes.

Read our full Reed Sheppard scouting report here.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder — Kyle Filipowski, big, Duke

Kyle Filipowski wasn't able to manufacture a signature moment during the Blue Devils' NCAA Tournament run, but he still submitted a compelling lottery case to NBA teams. In a weak class, Filipowski's star-level output for college basketball's premier program stands out. He was the glue that tied Duke's offense together — the rare 7-footer with legitimate dribble, pass, shoot equity.

That should set off alarm bells in the OKC front office. We know the Thunder prioritize skill at every position, but there is a stark lack of size and physicality in the OKC frontcourt. Flip can address that need with hard work on the glass and real brute-force ability on defense, but he's also agile out in space with enough offensive skill to fit the role OKC typically requries of its center.

Flip is a tremendous screener and short roll passer. He processes the game at a high level and regularly collapses the defense before spraying dimes to the open shooter. He lacks length — equipped with the rare minus-two wingspan — but Flip competes hard in the post and covers a lot of ground on defense. He can play next to or behind Chet Holmgren. When he's not creating from the intermediate range, Filipowski is a reliable 3-point shooter who would thrive in pick-and-pops with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. This is an obvious fit.

Read our full Kyle Filipowski scouting report here.

13. Portland Trail Blazers — Collin Murray-Boyles, big, South Carolina

Collin Murray-Boyles told reporters he will return to South Carolina for a sophomore season, but there's reason to believe the 19-year-old will (and definitely should) test the waters. In such a weak class, his combination of age and winning impact is hard to ignore. The Gamecocks turned their season around by inserting Murray-Boyles into the starting lineup and the result was a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

For Portland, there are plenty of boxes to check off here. He lacks traditional big man size, but even at 6-foot-7, Murray-Boyles provides a legitimate alternative to the combustable frontcourt options of Deandre Ayton and Robert Williams. CMB has the strength to guard the post in small-ball lineups, combined with the agility to switch onto the perimeter and snuff out drives. Murray-Boyles is one of the best all-around defenders on the board, with an unrelenting motor. He is going to win over coaches.

On the other end, Murray-Boyles presents a puzzle box of sorts. He's undeniably talented, with a knack for finishing at the rim and spraying passes from the elbow. That said, small "bigs" who don't shoot — and Murray-Boyles flat out doesn't shoot — don't tend to pop up very often in the NBA. There are creative ways to involve a connective passer and interior scorer like Murray-Boyles, though, and Portland's roster is well-positioned to benefit from his skill set.

14. New Orleans Pelicans — Dalton Knecht, wing, Tennessee

How high will the 23-year-old wing from Tennessee climb? After two years in JuCo and two years at mid-major Northern Colorado, Dalton Knecht arrived in Knoxville to muted expectations. Well, he ended up as one of the best players in college basketball, delivering several of the 2023-24 season's most impressive individual scoring displays.

Both in conference play and in the NCAA Tournament, Knecht proved that he can torch the top defenses in the country. At 6-foot-6, he has prototypical wing size and the athleticism to hang at the next level. Knecht's blend of perimeter shot-making and slashing is borderline infallible. He's not a prolific passer, but he reads the floor well and is capable of impressive dimes. At the next level, Knecht should benefit from more spacing and the inherent benefit of being the No. 3 or 4 option, rather than the top of every opposing scouting report.

With Knecht, the concerns generally boil down to age and ceiling. The track record for 23-year-old lottery picks in the modern age is rocky at best, and Knecht doesn't offer much resistance on the defensive end. He should splash 3s, exploit seams in the defense, and connect dots with his unselfish approach, but Knecht doesn't have the most room to grow. That shouldn't matter too much to a Pelicans team ready to win games right now.

Read our full Dalton Knecht scouting report here.

15. Miami Heat — Isaiah Collier, guard, USC

Isaiah Collier struggled immensely with turnovers and inefficiency early in the season. After missing four weeks with a hand injury he suffered in January, however, Collier started to turn his season around. USC failed to live up to collective expectations, but Collier was the wrecking-ball force we all expected at the point guard position.

In terms of pure physical tools and upside, few prospects compare to Collier. He is listed at 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, bearing uncanny physical similarities to the NFL's elite running backs. Collier plays and looks something like Derrick Henry, shedding defenders with explosive downhill drives and using his broad shoulders to plow through contact and create angles to finish at the rim.

Limited 3-point success and mild turnover woes continue to hang above Collier's head in NBA Draft circles, but his quick-twitch athleticism and advantage creation stands out in such a weak class. The Heat are a great development spot, and Collier would fill a need as a true point guard and table-setter.

Read our full Isaiah Collier scouting report here.

2024 NBA Mock Draft: 16-20 (PHI, TOR, ATL, CLE, PHX)

16. Philadelphia 76ers — Tristan da Silva, wing, Colorado

Few prospects boosted their stock more in March Madness than Tristan da Silva, even though he didn't last beyond the first weekend. Colorado is quietly loaded with NBA talent, but da Silva was the Buffs' best player all season. At 6-foot-10, his mix of spot-up shooting, passing, and positional defense is hard to overlook. The Sixers are about to enter free agency with two players under contract — Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. Their current wing depth will be wiped off the board, and da Silva has the feel of a day-one contributor who can plug holes for a competitive Philadelphia squad.

17. Toronto Raptors — Ja'Kobe Walter, wing, Baylor

The Raptors add another potent wing shooter in Ja'Kobe Walter, who can serve as either a complement to Gradey Dick or, in the worst-case scenario, a replacement. Walter doesn't offer much on-ball creation equity, but he's a dynamic shot-maker who can bury difficult jumpers with a hand in his face. Efficiency was a major issue for Walter, especially at the rim, but his dynamism as a shooter, combined with impressive strength, downhill burst, and defensive intensity, should appeal to Toronto's need to build out the rotation around Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley, and No. 2 pick Alex Sarr.

18. Atlanta Hawks — Kel'el Ware, big, Indiana

Atlanta plans for life after Clint Capela, landing Kel'el Ware to beef up their rim protection mechanism and (potentially) complement Trae Young on offense. Ware is a towering 7-footer who displays tremendous upside as a vertical threat and pick-and-pop shooter. Ware hit 42.5 percent of his 3s as a sophomore at Indiana. He needs to clean up his decision-making, and there are concerns about his ability to defend in space, but Ware's shot-blocking, spot-up shooting, and at-rim finishing are enough to provide substantial value to the Hawks' rotation.

19. Cleveland Cavaliers — Kevin McCullar Jr., wing, Kansas

Isaac Okoro's growth has been a pleasant surprise and Max Strus has been mostly as-advertised on the wing. Still, the Cavs would benefit from a proper do-it-all, Swiss Army Knife type who can defend his tail off. Enter Kevin McCullar Jr., whose defensive tenacity was matched by a sharp increase in offensive responsbility as a senior. There are still concerns about the 3-point shot, but McCullar has enough utility as a slasher and connective passer to inspire confidence from the Cavs front office.

20. Phoenix Suns — Yves Missi, big, Baylor

The Suns need a lot of help beyond the Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal trio, but the most glaring position of need is center. Jusuf Nurkic can still carve out driving lanes with his thundering screens and exploit mismatches in the post, but he's not a sustainable option for this Phoenix team. Yves Missi was one of college basketball's top rim protectors as a freshman, nimbly navigating drop coverage or switches and devouring space with his 7-foot-6 wingspan. Missi offers mostly simple finishes on offense, but he's a major athlete who can provide the Suns a reliable defensive anchor.

2024 NBA Mock Draft: 21-25 (NOP, NYK, ORL, MIL, NYK)

21. New Orleans Pelicans — Zach Edey, big, Purdue

Is this too low for Zach Edey? Maybe. The 7-foot-4 center from Purdue helped his stock in March Mandess, not to mention back-to-back historic, award-winning regular seasons. Edey's ability to guard in space and handle the rigors of NBA defense are open to debate, but he's a dominant interior scorer who blends brute-force power with impressive touch on hook shots and floaters. His defensive agility has improved meaningfully since last season and he's going to present a lot of problems to opposing offenses with his 7-foot-11 wingspan. He's a compelling option to replace Jonas Valanciunas in New Orleans.

Read our full Zach Edey scouting report here.

22. New York Knicks — Devin Carter, guard, Providence

The Knicks land the perfect Tom Thibodeau guard in Devin Carter. While limited burst at 6-foot-3 has led to questions about Carter's offensive fit at the next level, he's a good enough shooter and passer to operate in a connective role. What makes him stand out as a prospect, however, is the defense. Carter will eviscerate the point of attack and blow up passing lanes on a regular basis. He can even extend his arms for the occasional help-side block. Carter's rotations are on point and his effort never wavers. Thibs will love him too much to think about any potential overlap with Deuce McBride. Why not both?

23. Orlando Magic — Bub Carrington, guard, Pittsburgh

Bub Carrington is one of the youngest players on the board, which should encourage teams to look past present flaws and view the big picture. At 6-foot-5, Carrington has great positional size and physical tools for the point guard spot. He's a knockdown pull-up shooter with deep 3-point range, as well as a crafty, visionary passer out of pick-and-rolls. Carrington doesn't score at the rim hardly ever, which is a major issue, but Orlando can bet on Carrington's table-setting and 3-point volume paying dividends in the short term while the rest of his game develops over time.

24. Milwaukee Bucks — Tyler Kolek, guard, Marquette

The Bucks' title window is closing uncomfortably fast, so this pick will probably be used on a potential day-one contributor. Tyler Kolek has the basketball I.Q. and competitive spirit to carve out a role straight away, even with Doc Rivers as his coach. He's one of the smartest passers on the board, working magic out of pick-and-rolls and constantly leaking into the teeth of the defense before spraying an on-target pass to the open shooter. Kolek also hits over 40 percent of his spot-up 3s, so he can play off of Giannis Antetokounmpo as needed. He's a local kid too, and maybe the Marquette connection plays favorably with his new head coach.

25. New York Knicks — Johnny Furphy, wing, Kansas

Johnny Furphy is early in his developmental arc, but he stepped into a major role at Kansas and thrived. The appeal is fairly simple — at 6-foot-9, Furphy can bomb threes, cut, and supply defensive intensity. He needs to get stronger and more reliable at the point of attack on defense, but Furphy's effort level and athleticism should allow him to create events and earn Thibs' trust. On offense, even without much to offer on the shot creation front, Furphy should prove valuable as a spot-up shooter with a preternatural sense for off-ball movement. He has a nose for the ball and an unselfish attitude.

2024 NBA Mock Draft: 26-30 (WAS, UTA, MIN, DEN, BOS)

26. Washington Wizards — DaRon Holmes II, big, Dayton

Washington lost its only reliable source of rim protection with the Daniel Gafford trade. Enter DaRon Holmes, who has been one of college basketball's best shot-blockers across three years at Dayton. In addition to his long arms and agility in the paint, Holmes offers an intriguing blend of skills on offense. He's a legitimate spot-up shooter who spent real time working DHOs and handling the rock on straight-line drives for the Flyers. It's hard to imagine a better draft day outcome for Washington than landing Nikola Topic in the top five and Holmes in this spot.

27. Utah Jazz — Kyshawn George, wing, Miami

Utah splurges on another versatile wing-guard combo to conclude their first-round haul. At 6-foot-8, Kyshawn George has won scouts over with efficient 3-point shooting, strong defensive effort, and a knack for playmaking out of pick-and-rolls. His reps were extremely limited as a freshman at Miami, and George doesn't have the burst or strength to score consistently at the rim. Still, Utah is the right place for George to cultivate his connective traits and focus on bombing 3s at a high clip.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves — Ajay Mitchell, guard, UC Santa Barabara

Every year, we get a productive mid-major prospect who sneaks into the first round. Ajay Mitchell was utterly prolific for UC Santa Barbara last season, and he came on especially strong late. At 6-foot-4 with tremendous ball-handling craft and positional strength, Mitchell will get into the teeth of the defense and bury tough shots. He needs to up his 3-point volume and convince scouts on defense, but Mitchell's output at UCSB is easy to put stock into. The Wolves need to start thinking about Mike Conley's eventual successor.

29. Denver Nuggets — Ryan Dunn, wing, Virginia

Ryan Dunn is the best defensive wing on the board and probably the worst offensive player. That dichotomy is sure to cause raucous front office debates between now and the NBA Draft. Dunn's ability to cover ground, force turnovers, and provide help-side rim protection is genuinely elite, but it won't matter if he can't stay on the floor because of offense. Denver has the right offensive ecosystem to maximize Dunn's athleticism on cuts and simple at-rim finishes while benefiting from his defensive playmaking.

30. Boston Celtics — Cam Spencer, wing, Connecticut

Cam Spencer won over fans and scouts alike during UConn's impressive championship run. The fifth-year transfer from Rutgers hit 44.0 percent of his 3s for the Huskies and supplied all the dirty work a coach could ask for. He processes the game at a high level and competes like hell on defense. The Celtics are in win-now mode and could use a little bit of championship DNA on their roster.

2024 NBA Mock Draft: Second Round

31. Toronto Raptors — Tidjane Salaun, wing, Cholet

32. Utah Jazz — Justin Edwards, wing, Kentucky

33. San Antonio Spurs — Hunter Sallis, wing, Wake Forest

34. Portland Trail Blazers — Tyler Smith, big, G League Ignite

35. Milwaukee Bucks — Jalen Bridges, wing, Baylor

36. Indiana Pacers — Coleman Hawkins, wing, Illinois

37. Minnesota Timberwolves — Baylor Scheierman, wing, Creighton

38. New York Knicks — Jaylon Tyson, wing, California

39. Memphis Grizzlies — Dillon Jones, wing, Weber State

40. Portland Trail Blazers — Pacome Dadiet, wing, Ratiopharm Ulm

41. Philadelphia 76ers — KJ Simpson, guard, Colorado

42. Charlotte Hornets — Trevon Brazile, big, Arkansas

43. Miami Heat — Kwame Evans Jr., big, Oregon

44. Houston Rockets — Walter Clayton Jr., guard, Florida

45. Los Angeles Clippers — Adem Bona, big, UCLA

46. San Antonio Spurs — Melvin Ajinca, wing, Saint-Quentin

47. Sacramento Kings — N'Faly Dante, big, Oregon

48. Indiana Pacers — Harrison Ingram, wing, North Carolina

49. Orlando Magic — Tyrese Proctor, guard, Duke

50. Detroit Pistons — Bobi Klintman, wing, Cairns

51. Indiana Pacers — Oso Ighodaro, big, Marquette

52. Washington Wizards — Jamal Shead, guard, Houston

53. Golden State Warriors — Mantas Rubstavicius, wing, New Zealand

54. Boston Celtics — D.J. Wagner, guard, Kentucky

55. Los Angeles Lakers — Bronny James, wing, USC (Full Scouting Report)

56. Memphis Grizzlies — Tristen Newton, guard, Connecticut

57. Denver Nuggets — Alex Karaban, wing, Connecticut

58. Dallas Mavericks — Kam Jones, guard, Marquette