2024 NBA Mock Draft: March Madness arrives, as does Kentucky's backcourt

An updated look at the 2024 NBA Draft landscape as March Madness gets underway.

Rob Dillingham, Kentucky Wildcats
Rob Dillingham, Kentucky Wildcats / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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. 10. 149. 10. player. Donovan Clingan. C. Connecticut. Donovan Clingan.

Donovan Clingan has anchored the defense for college basketball's best team. Standing all of 7-foot-2 and 265 pounds, it's not difficult to decipher Clingan's appeal. He's an elite shot-blocker, able to stretch vertically before he even leaves the ground (7-foot-7 wingspan). Clingan lacks the lateral mobility more modern schemes demand, but he's no stiff. The 20-year-old can guard up on pick-and-rolls and cover a ton of ground in the paint. He is the elite drop coverage anchor of the 2024 draft.

On offense, Clingan relies mostly on simple finishes around the basket. He's a huge threat on the offensive (and defensive) glass, using his wide frame to seal off angles and inhale boards. The passing is legitimate, too. Blessed with soft hands and great feel, Clingan reads the floor at a high level and is capable of a variety of moves around the basket. He has ventured outside for the occasional jump shot attempt in 2024, but optimism is limited — primarily due to his lowly 56.4 percent free throw clip.

Few teams need size and physicality in the frontcourt more than OKC. The Thunder have made peace with their shortcomings in the rebounding department, and Chet Holmgren is more than adequate as the sole defensive anchor in the middle. Even so, Clingan can help the Thunder scale up for certain important matchups (Denver, Minnesota). Holmgren is versatile enough to share the court with Clingan when necessary, and at worst, Clingan takes over backup center duties.