2024 NBA Draft prospects

Top Four 2024 NBA Draft Prospects

The league announced that the 2024 NBA Draft will be a two-day event this year, starting on June 26th with the first round and concluding on June 27th with the second round. This year’s class isn’t particularly the strongest. There’s no number one consensus pick and the collective thoughts on these prospects are all over the place. The selections are going to be very unpredictable but that’s what will make this an interesting draft. The Atlanta Hawks jumped all the way up to pick first followed by the Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets (via BKN), San Antonio Spurs, and Detroit Pistons. With the NBA Finals behind us, it’s time to take a look at which top prospects will meet Adam Silver at the podium.

Top Five 2024 NBA Draft Prospects


1. Alex Sarr (Center)

There’s been some back and forth between who should go number one overall in the 2024 NBA Draft but 7-foot-1 Center Alex Sarr might be the prospect to do so. He has the potential to impact games on both ends of the floor, which is so coveted in today’s game. On offense, his size and athleticism allow him to attack and be an effective finisher. Sarr is a skilled passer as well with his ability to make incredible deliveries in the half-court and off the dribble along with finding the open man when he grabs an offense rebound. Although he has the potential on offense, he’s still a work in progress on that end of the floor. His decision-making can be iffy and he has to work on his shot. If he can clean some of that up and become an effective shooter, his offensive game will be that much better.

Though Sarr has the ability to improve his offensive game, his calling card is his defense. His length allows him to be more than an impactful rim protector while his quickness and mobility enable him to switch effectively onto players. He also thrives in space. His compete effort and non-stop motor is what also make him stand out on defense. A couple of things he can improve on are his lateral movement at the rim and his positioning. Other than that, he can change the outcome of games based on his defense alone. If he cleans up some of his offense, his two-way threat ability and tools would make him a real problem in the NBA.

2. Zaccharie Risacher (Forward)

Some think that Zaccharie Risacher could also go number one over Sarr and there are multiple arguments that could be used for that. His shooting ability is what stands out, most notably his catch-and-shoot game. His shooting skill set includes backpedaling into threes, the ability to hit baskets off of screens, and capitalizing on shots while running on the wing in transition. When Risacher gets hot on the offensive end, he is tough to stop.

He has promise on the defensive end of the floor as well. Risacher’s lateral movement helps him to guard multiple positions and attack the opposition. The speed he has to cover ground and contest/alter shots is also what teams will love about him on defense. Risacher is still developing his frame and on-ball ability while also working to clean up his ball-handling skills. There are things to improve on but he can be a pivotal piece to a team’s future if these things are corrected.

3. Donovan Clingan (Center)

What sticks out right out of the box about Donovan Clingan is his defensive impact. His intimidating presence in the paint on that end of the floor is what makes him a projected high lottery pick. His size and length allow him to protect the rim at an elite level and block shots, a lot of times without even leaving his feet. Clingan’s positioning inside the paint intimidates the opposition into avoiding him when possible. The 7-foot-2 center also can defend in the pick-and-roll and absolutely dominate on the glass.

Questions surrounding Clingan are on offense but with his defensive game, what he does on offense to start out with is just fine. His presence and positioning also impact his game at the rim on offense, allowing him to score easy baskets. He also has great awareness in the paint to create space and get open. Clingan has soft hands to handle tough passes and finish them at the basket. His soft touch has allowed him to add a hook shot to his arsenal. While he has some potential upside on offense, that’s not going to be his strong suit right away when it comes to jump shots and shooting beyond the paint but his game inside the paint as a center on both ends of the floor is what has teams excited about Clingan’s game.

4. Reed Sheppard (Guard)

Reed Sheppard might be the most NBA-ready player in the 2024 NBA Draft. He’s the best shooter in this draft, having a quick/high release and a long-range shot. What also makes up his sharp-shooting ability is his off-dribble shot and catch-and-shoot game. He’s a lethal threat given time and space. Sheppard’s efficiency from deep at Kentucky backs this up as this past year in college, he led all of NCAA in three-point percentage by shooting an outstanding 52.1 percent. He can not only shoot but there are other parts of his offensive game that he can lean on. He can be a playmaker as well, dishing the basketball on outlet feeds and making high IQ decisions that turn into positive plays. Sheppard is efficient in the pick-and-roll offense too.

Not only can he be a playmaker on offense but his skills on defense allows him to create havoc as well. Sheppard is great at reading the next play whether it’s disrupting passing lanes, intercepting cross-court feeds, or getting in front of screens. His quick hands also help him excel in these types of situations. His motor and grit allow him to also be aggressive and create frustration for the defender. He’s a typical three-and-D player who can be a weapon off the bench or as a starter.

Main Image: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

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