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2024 NBA Mock Draft: Round 1 Picks & Predictions

2024 NBA Mock Draft: Round 1 Picks & Predictions

The book on the current NBA season will barely be closed when the league gathers on June 26 and 27 in Brooklyn, New York for the annual NBA Draft. With only a couple of pick-swap decisions left to be made, the order for the 2024 NBA Draft is set and the anticipation of the picks can begin.

Compared to last year, this NBA Draft class is largely thought to be underwhelming, especially at the top. But with a shake-up already occurring that put Play-In Tournament participants Atlanta Hawks in the top spot, chaos is sure to follow. The Houston Rockets are also a surprise winner, taking the number three spot after the Brooklyn Nets pick they possess jumped several spots. Detroit will pick fifth for the third year in a row despite having the worst record last season.

The outcomes of this NBA Draft are one of the more wide-open in recent memory, but we at FantasyPros will attempt to match players with team needs and see who might impact fantasy basketball for the 2024-2025 season. Here is our latest 2024 NBA Mock Draft, including picks and predictions for each first-round selection.

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2024 NBA Mock Draft

Here are first-round picks and predictions for our latest 2024 NBA Mock Draft.

1. Atlanta Hawks: Zaccharie Risacher (F – JL Bourg)

The top two prospects (Zaccharie Risacher and Alexandre Sarr) are jockeying for a position at the top this year with both being athletic, rangy, longer-term projects out of France. Since the Hawks have Onyeka Okongwu locked up cheaply through 2028, the thought is that Risacher can replace what Saddiq Bey (restricted free agent) and Jalen Johnson (restricted free agent after 2025) can do. He’s a 3-and-D savant who can thrive, especially if the Hawks trade Trae Young.

2. Washington Wizards: Alexandre Sarr (C – Perth Wildcats)

The Wizards, who have about as many losses in the last two years as D.C. has crooked politicians, need a defensive stopper in the worst way. They would be thrilled to have Alexandre Sarr fall to them at pick number two as someone who can replace the Marvin Bagley/Richaun Holmes nightmare at center. At barely 19 years old, Sarr is NBA-ready as a rebounder and defender, and his jump shot is improving.

3. Houston Rockets (via BKN): Reed Sheppard (G – Kentucky)

The prevailing thought is Houston will look to trade this pick to someone like Memphis while the Rockets gain assets and continue to develop their young core of five players. If they keep this pick, however, they could end up with the best shooter in the draft (52% from three) in Reed Sheppard. The Rockets were 23rd in the league in three-point shooting last season (35.2%).

4. San Antonio Spurs: Matas Buzelis (F – G-League Ignite)

Matas Buzelis is often described as a point-forward who can create his own space and has a knack for making tough shots. He needs to improve his three-point shot but he would help space the floor for Victor Wembanyama and whatever point guard the Spurs take with their next pick.

5. Detroit Pistons: Donovan Clingan (C – Connecticut)

If a team like Memphis or Oklahoma City moves up into the third pick, Donovan Clingan will be long gone by pick five. If he is there for Detroit, however, the Pistons could move Jalen Duren to more of a beefy power forward position and put Clingan in at center. That would move Simone Fontecchio to the bench, which should upset absolutely no one.

6. Charlotte Hornets: Nikola Topic (G – Crvena zvezda)

Picking Nikola Topic is more complicated now that he has a partially torn ACL. A team that takes Topic needs to be a long way away from contending, which means the Hornets fit the mold perfectly. They may not want to pair Topic with their of-injured point guard LaMelo Ball, but Topic is an accomplished scorer who has incredible ball-handling skills.

7. Portland Trailblazers: Tidjane Salaun (F – Cholet)

Yes, that’s potentially five foreign prospects in the top seven picks of this year’s draft. Tidjane Salaun is the most raw of the group but is still just 18 years old. The Blazers have their backcourt of the future in Scoot Henderson and Anfernee Simons, so why not take on a project that could become a two-way star at one of the forward positions? Shaedon Sharpe and Jerami Grant are walking injuries, so Salaun could get playing time his rookie season.

8. San Antonio Spurs (via TOR): Stephon Castle (G – Connecticut)

Dan Hurley, who just turned down millions from the Los Angeles Lakers, does know he is losing his two best players, right? The San Antonio Spurs are in desperate need of a point guard and distributor who can get Victor Wembanyama the ball at the right spots. Stephon Castle thrives in the pick-and-roll and is an adept passer who could challenge Tre Jones for the starting spot immediately.

9. Memphis Grizzlies: Kel’el Ware (C – Indiana)

Imagine Jaren Jackson Jr. shifting back to power forward and shot-blocking extraordinaire Kel’el Ware partnering with him to guard the paint. Would teams against them ever score in the restricted area? Guard is not a problem for Memphis who (should) have Ja Morant and Desmond Bane healthy and ready to go next year. Whether it’s Donovan Clingan or Ware, Memphis may be getting ready to deploy its version of the Twin Towers.

10. Utah Jazz: Cody Williams (F – Colorado)

The brother of uber-athlete Jalen Williams, Cody Williams is right up there with him in terms of hustle, playmaking and three-point shooting (41.5% last year). Put him next to Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler and the Jazz have their frontcourt set for the next five years (if Markkanen re-signs, of course).

11. Chicago Bulls: Devin Carter (G – Providence)

The asking price for Zach LaVine has reportedly dropped in recent weeks, which means it seems inevitable Chicago will be looking for a guard to fill that spot for 2024-2025. Alex Caruso could fill that role, but why not let him play the Energizer Bunny role off the bench and bring in Devin Carter, who could provide the scoring (19.7 points per game) LaVine leaves behind? As a bonus, Carter is a fantastic rebounder for someone who is 6-foot-2. Carter averaged a crazy 8.7 rebounds per game last season.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Zach Edey (C – Purdue) 

What was the one thing the Thunder could not do against the Dallas Mavericks in their playoff matchup? Grab a rebound when they needed it most. How will Zach Edey gel with Chet Holmgren? I don’t know, that’s the coach’s job. Edey could presumably bang in the middle while Holmgren floats on the outside and plays the baseline, weak-side help defender role.

13. Sacramento Kings: Ron Holland (G – G-League Ignite)

Malik Monk is likely heading to a more lucrative contract elsewhere next season. Kevin Huerter was a fiery-red bench warmer at the end of last season thanks to injury, but his three-point shooting was the lowest of his career before that. Enter Ron Holland, who is an accomplished, attacking scorer in the G-League and could cover the hole likely to be left at the shooting guard role.

14. Portland Trail Blazers (via GS): Dalton Knecht (G – Tennessee)

Portland was dead last in three-point shooting last year, so why not draft a sharpshooter who can come off the bench and get instant long-range buckets? As a senior, Dalton Knecht scored over 21 points per game at about 40% shooting from distance.

15. Miami Heat: Jared McCain (G – Duke)

Assuming they still have Jimmy Butler next year, the Heat will want to make another run with the Butler-Bam AdebayoTyler Herro trio leading the way. The Heat struck gold last year by picking up Jaime Jaquez Jr. so why not swing for the fences again with a player who scored more than 14 points per game on 41% from three as a true freshman at Duke?

16. Philadelphia 76ers: Rob Dillingham (G – Kentucky)

The first 76ers priority in the offseason is extending Tyrese Maxey. The second is to figure out a way to get faster and more athletic now that Tobias Harris, Kyle Lowry and Kelly Oubre are all likely out of town. Rob Dillingham has been described as shifty, dynamic and fast in all areas, but I would call him perfect for the new-look 76ers. He and Maxey paired together would be trouble for opposing defenses.

17. Los Angeles Lakers: Carlton Carrington (G – Pittsburgh)

The Lakers are locked into every one of their rotation players except Spencer Dinwiddie next year (assuming LeBron James stays), so they have to find places where they can make cheap upgrades. Looking at you, D’Angelo Russell. Carlton Carrington is strong inside, in the mid-range and from outside, but also can set guys up where they need to be (4.1 assists per game).

18. Orlando Magic: Tyler Kolek (G – Marquette)

Orlando needs shooting and playmaking in the worst way possible, so Tyler Kolek almost seems like an inevitability here. Kolek shot 39% from three, dished out seven assists per game and is a decent shooter all over the court.

19. Toronto Raptors (via IND): Tristan da Silva (F – Colorado)

With Pascal Siakam long gone, the Raptors need size in the worst way. Bringing in a big body who can move all over the floor like Tristan da Silva would allow Scottie Barnes to go back into more of a playmaker role, especially since the team might lose Gary Trent or Immanuel Quickley to free agent deals elsewhere.

20. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bobi Klintman (F – Cairns Taipan)

What does Cleveland not need? Big men. With Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, the paint is covered. They don’t need guards. If Donovan Mitchell is happy, he and Darius Garland are one of the best backcourts in the league. The time has come to an end for guys like Isaac Okoro, Dean Wade and Sam Merrill to get minutes at small forward. At almost 6-foot-9, Bobi Klintman can provide the defense they want from that role, plus he shot 34% from three in Sweden this year.

21. New Orleans Pelicans (via MIL): Yves Missi (C – Baylor)

Jonas Valanciunas is not likely to re-sign with the Pelicans, so they will be in the market for a cheap center so they can extend guys like Trey Murphy and Brandon Ingram. Yves Missi has a 7-foot-2 wingspan and can rebound and block shots with anyone in the country. At just 19, he is still getting bigger and stronger as well.

22. Phoenix Suns: Ja’Kobe Walter (G – Baylor)

The Suns desperately need scoring in their second unit and Ja’Kobe Walter can provide that spark while also giving Devin Booker and Bradley Beal a breather when needed. He’s also an accomplished defender who would give the Suns additional value.

23. Milwaukee Bucks (via NO): Isaiah Collier (G – USC)

The current Milwaukee Bucks depth chart lists Patrick Beverley (SUSP) as their shooting guard heading into 2024-2025. That’s likely to change in free agency, but the Bucks can also cover that need with the “other” USC guard in this draft. He’s a big-time playmaker and scorer whose shot should continue to improve.

24. New York Knicks (via DAL): Tyler Smith (F – G-League Ignite)

Tyler Smith looks like he was built in a lab to play for Tom Thibodeau and the New York Knicks. He is a 3-and-D savant who can jump out of the building and provide that length the Knicks love to deploy.

25. New York Knicks: Pacome Dadiet (F – Ratiopharm)

Taking someone like Tyler Smith at 24 can give the Knicks some latitude to draft someone like Pacome Dadiet here at 25. He is an 18-year-old developmental project but can play three positions and shot 36% from three as an 18-year-old professional in France.

26. Washington Wizards (via LAC): Johnny Furphy (F – Kansas)

In what is a theme of this mock draft, teams that need three-point shooting are drafting three-point shooters. Washington ranked 24th in three-point percentage last year. Johnny Furphy shot over 35% in limited minutes as a freshman.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves: KJ Simpson (G – Colorado)

It’s time to start grooming the Mike Conley replacement since he is now over 27 and has just two years remaining on his deal. KJ Simpson would be a perfect understudy as he knows how to score (19.7 points per game), shoot (43% from three) and dish (4.9 assists). Most importantly, he knows when to defer, which is something he would have to do with Anthony Edwards in town.

28. Denver Nuggets: Daron Holmes II (F – Dayton)

There are reports Denver might have made a wink-wink, nudge-nudge promise to Daron Holmes II because he canceled his remaining workouts. That could just be a promise that he won’t slide past here if he makes it, but Denver could certainly benefit from a big man who can provide scoring off the bench or in place of Aaron Gordon soon.

29. Utah Jazz (via OKC): Kyle Filipowski (C – Duke)

It appears the Jazz want to give Walker Kessler more like 22-24 minutes per game at this stage of his career. That’s ok as they can pair him with another seven-footer in Kyle Filipowski. Filipowski is a hard-working, smooth-shooting interior player who is not afraid to bang around inside for rebounds.

30. Boston Celtics: Bronny James (G – USC)

This is a mock draft, so we can have some fun, right? With the Boston Celtics on the doorstep of another title and all of their core pieces locked in for at least another year, why not have some fun here and stick it to the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James? James has famously said he hates the Celtics and would never play there.

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