Most Promising 2024 NBA Draft Prospects

Last Updated on May 30, 2024

With many NBA teams already done for the season, it’s time to start thinking about the second most magical time of the year for basketball fans – the NBA draft. The draft gives teams the opportunity to add fresh talent from college teams. We’ve evaluated some of the top prospects from their recent college and semi-pro performances.

Nikola Djurisic

At 6‘8”, Djurisic has the size to pull off an effective pick and roll, making him instrumental for the offense of his future NBA home. Nikola did well in the NBA Draft Combine, putting up 16 points in 20 minutes of the final scrimmage. He also showed flashes of being a great passer with an epic no-look and behind-the-back assist. Overall, he isn’t quite a freak athlete, but he plays with the basketball intelligence needed to lead a team on offense while contributing with physicality on defense.

Additionally, his field goal percentage is stable at around 50%, which proves he has the overall tools to become both a first-round pick and an NBA-caliber player.

Baylor Scheierman

Scheierman plays college ball for Creighton and has shown up this season with a 38% completion rate on three-pointers, in part from his ability to get the ball out quickly and smoothly. Scouts also noted that his first scrimmage at the draft combine went quite well. At 6’6”, he can play all over the court and is known for doing so at South Dakota State University.

Baylor also has the motor needed to have consistent energy throughout a game, as he played nearly 40 minutes per game toward the end of his college career. If we had to guess, a team seeking a player who can cover space well and drain the three-pointer will pick him up.

Alexandre Sarr

Many are projecting Sarr, brother of former college star Olivier Sarr, to go first overall. Despite being 7‘1”, Sarr is more than a tall player; he has unexpectedly good movement for his height and specializes in using his reach and exceptional hand-eye coordination to block shots without fouling. Alex isn’t a three-pointer aficionado yet, but his prowess on defense and in the paint makes him a worthy choice for any team.

Sarr also lit up a G League series with an average of 21.5 points per game and six blocks, showing that he is a well-balanced player who doesn’t just focus on one part of his game. Alex still managed to hit 18 three-pointers in 27 games this season. What’s more, he has developed a fair amount this season when he played for the NBL Next Stars program, especially with his defense and ability to read situations.

Zaccharie Risacher

Competing with Alexandre Sarr for a top three, and potentially even first overall pick, is Zaccharie Risacher. Risacher isn’t quite as tall as Sarr, but 6’9” still fits well in the NBA. Zaccharie excels at three-point shooting and defense, which has become increasingly valuable in an NBA driven by hitting the long ball more often, then heading back to organize the defense.

Risacher’s three-point shooting percentage fluctuates but has remained around 38% in recent games, though he has slumped before, causing his anticipated draft position to fall a bit. Teams will still be pursuing him as a top pick because he has been making threes consistently for longer than most college players, playing over 55 games in semi-pro and pro preparatory leagues. We look forward to seeing Risacher nailing shots from beyond the arc for professional-level money. In fact, we’d bet on it with wagers that can be played using coins.

Donovan Clingan

According to a few sports sites like ESPN and NBA Draft Room, Clingan is expected to be drafted around third overall. Clingan is a big man at 7’2” and has some muscle, weighing 260 pounds. Don’t let the size combination fool you, though, as he can feather a shot and has the athleticism to get into the paint without an offensive foul. With his height, he is a great rebounder, though he doesn’t have an especially fast jump. We don’t expect him to dominate the three-point line, but get him in close, and he’ll make the shot. When an opponent misses, Donovan will be ready.

Stephon Castle

Castle is projected as a top-five pick. He does well as a forward playmaker who can move the defense into off-balanced positions through smooth dribble and moves. Once in the NBA, his energy and smarts will also make him capable at defense, making him valuable on both ends of the court. Stephon isn’t huge, but he doesn’t need to be, as he throws formidable energy into his opponents to wear them down. With that said, don’t expect Stephon to go outside the arc much, though his other talents will be appreciated by whoever gets him.

Dalton Knecht

The Detroit Pistons, who really need shooting skills, are eyeing Knecht for his ability to connect on shots. Dalton is known for clutch plays, which are essential in a game’s closing moments. Knecht has a couple of traits that will make him NBA-ready. First, he can get open quickly. Second, even if he doesn’t get open, he can drive right through anyway, as he is tough and fast enough to go through contact.

Conclusion

With spring and summer league performances still going on, we could see draft talent rise and fall. Using research like ours, NBA general managers are evaluating player performances with their eyes and stat sheets. We look forward to seeing these up-and-coming players on TV soon.

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