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NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Post-March Madness Edition

With the men’s basketball NCAA Tournament now concluded, we can begin our 2024 NBA Mock Draft. Projecting these picks are never easy. But this year could be especially tough as we have a pool of equally talented players. While we have two prospects with short odds to be chosen first overall, the third pick onward is a crapshoot. It will be tough to lay out an NBA best bet here.


NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Post-March Madness Edition
French basketball player Alexandre Sarr/COLIN MURTY/AFP

2024 NBA Mock Draft: Europeans Dominate Lottery

Stephon Castle and Donovan Clingan led the University of Connecticut (UConn) to a second consecutive national championship. And that boosted their draft stock a bit. But, even with both players moving up draft boards, Europeans – namely the French – are the top prospects in the NBA Draft.

We rolled the lottery odds of our first NBA Mock Draft. And Portland leap-frogged Detroit to win the chance to pick first overall. And with that pick ….



Pick 1: Portland Trail Blazers select F/C Alexandre Sarr, 19, Perth

For a second consecutive year, a Frenchman is the top prospect in the NBA Draft. While Alexandre Sarr does not possess the Victor Wembanyama type of hype, he has one of the shortest NBA odds (+120) to be taken first overall. At 6-foot-11 with a 7-4 wingspan, he is highly versatile and skilled with plenty of upside. Portland is in it for the long run and won’t think twice with Sarr.


Pick 2: Detroit Pistons select F Zaccharie Risacher, 19, JL Bourg

Zaccharie Risacher is the most intriguing prospect. On one hand, the sportsbook has him at +110 to be taken first overall. On the other, some experts have him projected as low as the 10th pick. He projects to be a lanky scorer with high upside like Michael Porter Jr. Detroit has a void in that position and will gladly select him.


Pick 3: Toronto Raptors select G Stephon Castle, 19, Connecticut

Many will automatically link the Toronto Raptors with Nikola Topic as this franchise loves to draft European talent. But following his performances in March Madness, Toronto may take Castle as a more proven leader. He is 6-6 and can do it all. On top of that, he’s “got that dog in him” and Toronto wants to make a quick turnaround. Castle is the man to help the Raptors.


Pick 4: San Antonio Spurs select G Nikola Topic, 18, Red Star

Nikola Topic won’t wait too long after “falling” to the fourth pick. The Spurs will take him as they need all the shot-creators they can get. San Antonio ranks first in the NBA in assist percentage but only 26th in offensive rating. Topic can be this team’s guard of the future.


Pick 5: Washington Wizards select C Donovan Clingan, 20, Connecticut

Washington drops to fifth but will take the best pure center in the draft. Clingan’s name will be in plenty of NBA news and rumors after the notoriety he received in the NCAA Tournament. He’ll help the Wizards turn around their 28th-ranked defense.


Pick 6: Charlotte Hornets select G Reed Sheppard, 19, Kentucky

Steve Clifford steps down as the Hornets’ head coach but will take on an “advisory” role. If that’s the case, we can see him influencing Michael Jordan and Mitch Kupchak into drafting a player like Reed Sheppard. His tenacity and high basketball IQ may just be what this team needs.



Pick 7: Memphis Grizzlies select F Dalton Knecht, 23, Tennessee

The Grizzlies plan to get back to contending next season. So it makes sense for the team to draft the most NBA-ready prospect in Dalton Knecht. The Volunteer is a do-it-all type of offensive player who can be a spark plug off the bench.


Pick 8: Utah Jazz select F Matas Buzelis, G League

The Jazz have plenty of options to go with here. They could take on a more “stable” prospect to help push their playoff chances. Or they could take the player with the highest remaining upside and that is Buzelis. He is 6-11 with a sharp feel for the game. Utah may either pair him with Lauri Markkanen or have him replace the Finnish star.


Pick 9: Houston Rockets (via Brooklyn) select F Ron Holland, 19, G League

Ime Udoka turned the Rockets around in one season. This team is now more disciplined and plays tough defense, as evidenced by their 10th-ranked rating. A player like Holland, a hard-nosed defender with some playmaking skills, fits into this team’s identity.


Pick 10: Atlanta Hawks select F Cody Williams, Colorado

The Hawks once infamously replaced Taurean Prince with De’Andre Hunter. We can see them doing something similar by drafting Williams and then trading Hunter or vice versa. Hunter is signed until 2026-27 but is often unavailable. Williams is younger, offers more upside and $20 million less expensive.


Pick 11: Chicago Bulls select G Ja’Kobe Walter, 19, Perth

The Bulls are a top NBA pick to do something crazy in the draft. The team could finally trade Zach LaVine and move up in the top five to replace him. It could also let DeMar DeRozan walk. Either way, Walter has the best offensive skill set of the remaining players and Chicago should take him.


Pick 12: Oklahoma City Thunder (via Houston) select G Rob Dillingham, 19, Kentucky

The Thunder remain solid NBA predictions to continue contending thanks to their explosive offense. Adding a speedy scorer like Dillingham will make them even scarier. The Wildcat can either be an instant bucket off the bench or change the pace as OKC sees fit.


Pick 13: Portland Trail Blazers (via Golden State) select F Tidjane Salaun, Cholet

This is the point in the NBA Draft when teams take shots at raw prospects. Salaun is that type of player who oozes with potential as an athletic 6-9 forward with two-way skills. Landing in Portland is ideal for him as the franchise can take its time properly developing him alongside Sarr.


Pick 14: New Orleans Pelicans (via LA Lakers) select F Tristan Da Silva, 23, Colorado

Like Memphis, New Orleans is a team looking to win now. Da Silva is a senior with prolific shooting skills. At 6-9, he also offers positional versatility and has a good feel for the game. He’ll fit right in with the Pelicans and become a key contributor from Day 1.


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Questions Of The Day

Is Bronny James going to the NBA Draft?

Bronny James, son of LeBron James, has declared for the 2024 NBA Draft. But he is unlikely to be drafted.

How do you bet on the 2024 NBA Draft?

You can bet on the NBA Draft by logging in to BetUS, selecting “basketball” and then “NBA.”


The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.

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