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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7. 29. KK Crvena Zvezda. Nikola Topic. player. 7. . G. . Nikola Topic

It'll be fascinating to see how Nikola Topic's draft stock evolves. He has missed a significant chunk of time with a knee injury, but he is expected to return in the near future. The Serbian 18-year-old is the youngest projected lottery pick, a point in his favor, but he's also one of the most unique in terms of skill set. He projects as the most strictly on-ball creator in this range — a ball-dominant slasher who thrives at pressuring the rim and creating out of pick-and-rolls.

Limited 3-point volume is the big knock on Topic, and it limits his utility away from the ball. It's easy to project improvement over time based on his feather-soft touch, but his rigid mechanics are a major obstacle. He can hit open 3s, but he's not shooting under duress and he doesn't offer much of a pull-up threat either. He relies heavily on penetration and layups around the rim.

That said, it's easy to see the outline of stardom with Topic. He's 6-foot-6 at the point guard position, which is a major plus. He's easily the best advantage-creator on the board, blessed with a great sense of when to change speeds and direction moving downhill. His footwork and agility is off the charts, and there are few more creative finishers around the basket. He can find angles to the rim just about anywhere, and his feel as a playmaker pops. He would give the Spurs their much-needed perimeter initator.

Read our full Nikola Topic scouting report here.