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NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Spurs Trade Up for Another French Star

The 2024 NBA Draft is set with the Atlanta Hawks moving up nine spots to win the first overall pick. With that, it’s easier to make a mock draft now with the spots all set. But they’re not set in stone as we may see a blockbuster deal or two that will shake things up. Keep an eye on the NBA Draft odds as we boldly predict the San Antonio Spurs to pull off a trade.


NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Spurs Trade Up for Another French Star
Zaccharie Risacher/Ian LANGSDON/AFP

2024 NBA Mock Draft: Spurs Make a Splash

This upcoming NBA Draft is not like last year when there was a consensus top pick. While the talent pool is deep, it is otherwise humdrum compared to 2023. So our next mock may look entirely different depending on how the top prospects perform for the next few weeks.

San Antonio, which holds two top-10 picks, is the team to watch. And we see it making an aggressive move to pair superstar Victor Wembanyama with a compatriot.



Pick 1: Atlanta Hawks: Zaccharie Risacher, 19, JL Bourg

We also contemplated if Atlanta will trade away its first overall pick to land an NBA star. The Hawks are a playoff contender at best and a rebuilding team at worst. That makes it difficult to see how they manage this draft. But if they stay put, drafting Zaccharie Risacher first overall is the logical choice. His upside projects to be a Kevin Durant of sorts.


Pick 2: San Antonio Spurs (via Washington): F/C Alexandre Sarr, 19, Perth

Trade alert! The Spurs trade their two first-round picks for Washington’s No. 2 overall selection. With that move, San Antonio selects Sarr to pair with Victory Wembanyama, thus giving them their “French Connection.” Sarr is a 7-foot-1 center with the same defensive acumen as “Wemby.” While he’s more limited offensively, pairing the two gives San Antonio the best big-man duo since the “Twin Towers” pairing of David Robinson and Tim Duncan

Pick 3: Houston Rockets: C Donovan Clingan, 20, Connecticut

As a team on the cusp of playoff contention, the Rockets may just deal this pick. But with Risacher and Sarr projected to go 1-2, the expected return may not be what general manager Rafael Stone desires. If they stick with this, the 7-2 Clingan makes the most sense. He will anchor Houston’s burgeoning defense and give the franchise a tantalizing frontcourt trio with Jabari Smith Jr. and Alperen Sengun.


Pick 4: Washington Wizards (via San Antonio): G Rob Dillingham, 19, Kentucky

Washington needs to collect all the draft capital it can muster so dealing the second pick for two top-10 choices is not bad. With this pick, Washington can just go “B.P.A.” (best player available), which is Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham. He is described as an “electric” bucket-getter and potentially the man who fills Bradley Beal’s role in the next few seasons.


Pick 5: Detroit Pistons: G Reed Sheppard, 19, Kentucky

The Pistons have a horde of lottery picks on the team but nothing to show for them. This team should be drafting a new medical team or some hex-protecting device to keep them healthy. Otherwise, they could go any direction here. UK’s Reed Sheppard will give them a consistent scorer besides Cade Cunningham. And he can play some D, too.


Pick 6: Charlotte Hornets: G Stephon Castle, 19, Connecticut

Speaking of not being able to stay healthy, the Hornets need to find LaMelo Ball something to keep him on the court. Otherwise, it may be time to deal with the oft-injured star. Whether or not they do that, Stephon Castle looks like an ideal choice for them. He’s a 66 ball-handler who’s also “got that dawg” in him. That’s something this team sorely needs.


Pick 7: Portland Trail Blazers: G Nikola Topic, 18, Red Star

Nikola Topic is regarded as the top point guard by many draft analysts. And he may just form the most electrifying backcourt with Scoot Henderson. More notably, he’s a pass-first guard who excels in the pick-and-roll. With Portland ranking dead-last in assist stats last season, he fills a glaring hole on the team.


Pick 8: Washington Wizards (via San Antonio via Toronto): F Matas Buzelis, G League

Again, Washington will pick via BPA and that’s Matas Buzelis. He’s a do-it-all forward who stands 6-10. Many compare him to Orlando Magic forwards like Franz Wagner or Hedo Turkoglu. This is a solid complement to Dillingham and Bilal Coulibaly. His adaptability will also make him indisposable given the franchise’s chaotic nature right now.


Pick 9: Memphis Grizzlies: F Dalton Knecht, 23, Tennessee

Memphis sticks out like a sore thumb here. The Grizzlies will look to get back to contending with a healthier team in 2023-24. Thus, it makes sense for them to grab the most NBA-ready prospect in Dalton Knecht. He’s limited in upside but he can contribute immediately. We even like him as a sleeper choice to win Rookie of the Year if he gets longshot NBA odds.

Pick 10: Utah Jazz: F Cody Williams, Colorado

Cody Williams is a tough prospect to judge given how he’s coming off a wrist injury. He can go as early as the fourth pick. But Utah may roll the dice on him here, especially if it can’t re-sign Lauri Markannen.h


Pick 11: Chicago Bulls: F Ron Holland, 19, G League

Chicago will remain atop NBA rumors as a team that may make big deals during or before the draft. Maybe if the Bulls finally deal Zach LaVine, but they won’t. So, expect Chicago to pick Patrick Williams 2.0 in the form of Ron Holland.


Pick 12: Oklahoma City Thunder (via Houston): G Ja’Kobe Walter, 19, Perth

The Thunder fell short of the conference finals and will want to get right back on the horse. Ja’Kobe Walter will provide the young team with an additional scorer, potentially off the bench. If he proves to be more than that, he may just make some other “young” talent expendable.


Pick 13: Sacramento Kings: G Jared McCain, 20, Duke

Sacramento also needs to re-tool to keep up with the ultra-competitive conference. McCain is the typical Duke prospect: boring but dependable. That’s not a bad pick for a team that’s got a good thing going but is likely too scared to go off the board.


Pick 14: Portland Trail Blazers (via Golden State): F Tidjane Salaun, Cholet

Our thoughts haven’t changed as per our last mock. Salaun is a solid NBA pick at this point of the draft. He could be the next Giannis Antetokounmpo or the next Bruno Caboclo. Who knows? That’s the fun with these middle first-round picks.


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Questions Of The Day

Who will be the first overall pick of the 2024 NBA Draft?

The NBA lines keep shifting for this one. But it will likely boil down to Zaccharie Risacher or Alexandre Sarr.

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