Wednesday, May 22, 2024

2024 NBA mock draft roundup: Where are Jared McCain, other top prospects predicted to go?

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Duke freshman point guard Jared McCain declared for the 2024 NBA Draft on Friday. Where might he end up?

McCain averaged 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in his sole year playing for the Blue Devils. He stepped up in a big way for Duke’s abbreviated March Madness run as well, putting up two 30-point games and averaging 21 points per game across the four-game stretch in the tournament.

The NBA postseason is set to begin on Tuesday with the start of the play-in tournament, but it’s already the start of draft season for 10 teams that fell short of a top-10 spot in their conferences. The draft lottery takes play May 12 in Chicago before the 2024 NBA Draft over June 26 and 27.

Here’s what experts are saying about this year’s top picks as well as where McCain might end up in this year’s NBA draft.

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2024 NBA Draft projections

No. 1 overall pick

Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY: Detroit Pistons – Alex Sarr, C, Perth (Australia) Wildcats

Zillgitt writes, “A strong defender and shot-blocker who plays with force on both ends; has good hands, uses his body well and though he doesn’t have the prettiest shot, he gets it to go in.”

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report: Detroit Pistons – Alex Sarr, C, Perth (Australia) Wildcats

Wasserman writes, “Alexandre Sarr may have the best case right now at No. 1 with physical tools, pro-level production and translatable defense that scream high floor, plus flashes of inside-out offensive skills that hint at room to improve and a path to higher scoring upside.”

Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: Detroit Pistons – Zaccharie Risacher, SF, JL Bourg (France)

Boone writes, “[A]s we sit here now I’d still project him to be the first pick because of his long-term upside. Wings at 6-9 who can handle and shoot with ease the way he can don’t slip far.”

No. 2 overall pick

Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY: Washington Wizards – Zaccharie Risacher, SF, JL Bourg (France)

Zillgitt writes, “Has the scoring ability, size, length, quickness and athleticism teams are seeking in today’s NBA. Quick release on catch-and-shoots, is able to create off the dribble and runs the court well.”

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report: Washington Wizards – Rob Dillingham, PG, Kentucky

Wasserman writes, “Rob Dillingham may have both a best-prospect-available case and the right opportunity in Washington to earn immediate point-guard reps and develop his lead-guard feel and decision-making.”

Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: Washington Wizards – Rob Dillingham, PG, Kentucky

Boone writes, “Despite coming off the bench the majority of the season for Kentucky, Dillingham flashed shades of Kyrie Irving with his twitchy ability and brilliant ball-handling skills. He can take over games when he’s hot and has the athletic pop to grow into a potent two-way player.”

No. 3 overall pick

Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY: Charlotte Hornets – Rob Dillingham, PG, Kentucky

Zillgitt writes, “As a smaller guard, he is elite at creating own shot, through spot-up shooting or dribble penetration because of his speed and ball-handling. Will need to get stronger and improve shot selection. Even though Kentucky lost in the first round, Dillingham is a hot prospect.”

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report: San Antonio Spurs – Reed Sheppard, G, Kentucky

Wasserman writes, “[T]he bigger full-season picture still shows an excellent pick-and-roll ball-handler thanks to his pull-up game, passing IQ and feel/timing slashing to the basket. And he graded out as college basketball’s most efficient spot-up scorer (1.5 points per possession).”

Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: San Antonio Spurs – Alex Sarr, C, Perth (Australia) Wildcats

Boone writes, “One of the most promising defensive prospects in this class, Sarr projects to be a shot blocking specialist in the NBA who has upside to switch onto multiple positions. It’s hard to put him into one box, though, because of the rare versatility he brings to the table on both ends.”

Where will Jared McCain be drafted?

Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY: New Orleans Pelicans – No. 14 overall

Zillgitt writes, “An efficient scorer on a talented team, McCain has range from 3 and can shoot it off the dribble or on the catch. Made eight 3-pointers in a game twice this season, including 8-for-11 against James Madison in the NCAA Tournament.”

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report: Oklahoma City Thunder – No. 12 overall

Wasserman writes, “He’s become one of the draft’s most convincing shotmakers, and though his size and athletic limitations do raise questions, he’s shown plenty of ways to compensate with his crafty ball-handling and pace, shooting versatility, touch shots in the lane and finishing adjustments.”

Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: Miami Heat – No. 16 overall

Boone writes, “McCain had a remarkable NCAA Tournament run before NC State bounced it out of the Elite Eight. Twice during the tourney he reached 30 or more points and he showed off his versatility as one of the most willing rebounders at the guard position in the class.”

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When is the 2024 NBA Draft?

Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

When: June 26-27, 2024

Cable TV: ESPN; ABC

Streaming: ESPN+; fuboTV

How to watch: Catch the NBA Draft with a subscription to ESPN+

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