Wednesday, June 19, 2024

NBA mock draft: Zaccharie Risacher and Alex Sarr remain 1-2; Reed Sheppard climbing

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UConn center Donovan Clingan had a strong NCAA Tournament and impressed teams with his skills and interview at the draft combine, turning into a potential top-five pick.

Kentucky lost to in the first round of the tournament, but guard Reed Sheppard’s ability to shoot and impressive measurables at the draft combine moved him up in mock drafts.

Players move up and down draft boards for various reasons.

Two French-born players (Zaccharie Risacher and Alex Sarr) remain at 1-2 in USA TODAY Sports’ latest mock draft. Who will go No. 1? Will San Antonio find the right player to put alongside 2023-24 Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama? Where will Purdue two-time national player of the year Zach Edey get drafted?

The first round of the NBA draft is June 26 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and here is USA TODAY’s latest NBA mock draft:

2024 NBA mock draft

1. Atlanta Hawks: Zaccherie Risacher, JL Bourg (France)

Forward, 6-feet-8, 195 pounds, 19 years old

2023-24 stats: 11.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 48.7% FG, 42.4% 3PT, 71.6% FT

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.

2. Washington Wizards: Alex Sarr, Perth (Australia) Wildcats

Forward-center, 7-0, 224, 19

2023-24 stats: 9.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 51.6% FG, 71% FT

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. His brother player, Olivier, is on two-way G League contract with Oklahoma City.

3. Houston Rockets, Reed Sheppard, Kentucky

Guard, 6-2, 182, 19

2023-24 stats: 12.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 4.1 rpg, 2.5 spg, 53.6% FG, 52.1% 3PT, 83.1% FT

Can flat out score, especially off screens, using floaters or pulling up in transition. Lacks elite athleticism but handles ball well enough to warrant look at point guard. Will compete defensively, and rebounds well for his size. Performed well at the NBA draft combine with his shot and impressive 42-inch vertical leap.

4. San Antonio Spurs: Stephon Castle, UConn

Guard, 6-6, 210, 19

2023-24 stats: 11.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.9 apg, 47.2% FG, 26.7% 3PT, 75.5% FT

While his stats don’t jump out, he is a big guard, especially at the point who can play multiple positions. Can create own shot but will be most useful on the defensive end to start career. He doesn’t force shots, picks his spots and was tough to defend in the tournament, scoring 21 against Alabama in the semifinals and 15 against Purdue in the final on a combined 13-for-26 shooting. Becoming a solid NBA shooter is a requirement.

5. Detroit Pistons: Matas Buzelis, G League Ignite

Forward, 6-9, 197, 19

2023-24 stats: 14.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.9 bpg, 45.3% FG, 26.1% 3PT, 69.6% FT

Good leaping ability, surprises with his dunks, soft shooting touch, plays through contact. Tested well at the combine with agility, vertical leap and other drills.

6. Charlotte Hornets: Dalton Knecht, Tennessee

Guard, 6-5, 212, 23

2023-24 stats: 21.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 45.8% FG, 39.7% 3PT, 77.2% FT

Strong on catch-and-shoot 3s, can drive to the basket with power and finesse and is athletic. Will need work defensively, and yes, he’ll be 23 years old by the draft, but that shouldn’t be a detractor. He delivered great offensive performances late in the season, scoring 40 against Kentucky and 37 against Purdue in the Elite Eight.

7. Portland Trail Blazers: Donovan Clingan, UConn

Center, 7-2, 282, 20

2023-24 stats: 13.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.5 bpg, 63.9% FG, 58.3% FT

Clingan really improved his draft position as UConn won its second consecutive title. A strong big man with capable hands who is tough to defend in the low post; a worker on the glass, especially offensively and can operate in pick-and-rolls as the screener going to the basket. Has rim protecting skills. Playing away from the basket on both ends will be his challenge in the NBA.

8. San Antonio Spurs: Tidjane Salaun, Cholet (France)

Forward, 6-9, 217, 18

2023-24 stats: 8.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.1 spg, 36.7% FG, 32.2% 3PT, 74.7% FT

Another athletic and lengthy wing from France who has immense offensive potential as a scorer. Can handle the ball and is focused on making the right play. The success of NBA rookies Victor Wembanyama and Bilal Coulibaly this season has put a spotlight on these young French players.

9. Memphis Grizzlies: Ron Holland, G League Ignite

Guard, 6-6, 196, 18

2023-24 stats: 19.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.4 spg, 45.5% FG, 23.7% 3PT, 72.8% FT

Sustained season-ending thumb injury but showed his potential as a high-flying wing who flourishes off the dribble and in transition and likes to score; solid shot-blocker for his size; good body control while in the air. His 3-point shot needs improvement.

10. Utah Jazz: Nikola Topic, KK Crvena Zvezda

Guard, 6-6, 203, 18

2023-24 stats: 18.4 ppg, 7.3 apg, 3.9 rpg, 50% FG, 25.8% 3PT, 86.2% FT

The Serbian point guard, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, has great size for his position; loves to drive to the rim and can finish with either hand; can shoot the 3 but will need to improve his percentage. Strong passer, not flashy, but sees the court and can make the right pass

11. Chicago Bulls: Rob Dillingham, Kentucky

Guard, 6-1, 164, 19

2023-24 stats: 15.2 ppg, 3.9 apg, 2.9 rpg, 47.5% FG, 44.4% 3PT, 79.6% FT

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. Kentucky lost in the first round and Dillingham measured less in height and weight than he was listed in college, Dillingham remains a projected lottery pick.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cody Williams, Colorado

Forward, 6-6, 178, 19

2023-24 stats: 11.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, 55.2% FG, 41.5% 3PT, 71.4% FT

Williams’ perimeter defense and scoring ability make him a prime candidate for a top-10 pick. Can get to the rim with ease, and finishes with power although listed at 6-6, 178 pounds. Has 3-point range, and his mid-range game is solid at the college level.

13. Sacramento Kings: Devin Carter, Providence

Guard, 6-2, 193, 22

2023-24 stats: 19.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.8 spg, 47.3% FG, 37.7% 3PT, 74.9% FT

Strong, physical guard who can score from multiple spots on the court and will post-up smaller guards. Provides outstanding rebounding and shot-blocking from his position. Son of former NBA guard Anthony Carter.

14. Portland Trail Blazers, Ja’Kobe Walter, Baylor

Guard, 6-4, 197, 19

2023-24 stats: 14.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.1 spg, 37.6% FG, 34.1% 3PT, 79.2% FT

Typical 3-and-D player who will fit NBA teams looking for a shotmaker. Will need to make up deficiencies, such as questionable ball-handling skills. He competes defensively and rebounds well for a two-guard.

15. Miami Heat: Jared McCain, Duke

Guard, 6-2, 203, 20

2023-24 stats: 14.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg, 46.2% FG, 41.4% 3PT, 88.5% FT

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.

16. Philadelphia 76ers: Kel’el Ware, Indiana

Center, 7-0, 230, 20

2023-24 stats: 15.9 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 1.5 apg, 58.6% FG, 42.5% 3PT, 63.4% FT

Solid defender and rebounder and runs the floor well for a 7-footer. Has tendency to disappear in games but is effective on pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops. Tends to struggle defensively against bigger, stronger foes, but has an offensive game that can translate.

17. Los Angeles Lakers: Isaiah Collier, Southern California

Guard, 6-2, 205, 19

2023-24 stats: 16.3 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.9 rpg, 1.5 spg, 49.0% FG, 33.8% 3PT, 67.3% FT

Should be healed from hand injury suffered during season. Has an NBA-ready frame and gets to the rack and finishes. Still needs to work on inconsistent jump shot and can be a shut-down defender if he puts his mind to it. Has lottery-caliber talent and could end up being a really strong pick for a team in this range.

18. Orlando Magic: Tristan da Silva, Colorado

Forward, 6-8, 217, 23

2023-24 stats: 16.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.1 spg, 49.3% FG, 39.5% 3PT, 83.5% FT

Displays a versatile and savvy skillset offensively, including ability to shoot 3s, cut to the rim, post up and run the offense. He played well in the tournament, making 9 of 16 3s

19. Toronto Raptors: Zach Edey, Purdue

Center, 7-4, 299, 22

2023-24 stats: 25.2 ppg, 12.2 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 62.3% FG, 71.1% FT

Edey was outstanding in the tournament, leading Purdue to the title game where had 37 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in the loss to UConn. Had 40 points and 16 against Tennessee in an Elite Eight game. Edey is a bear to defend in the low post, and is a two-time college player of the year. But in the NBA, is he mobile enough, especially defensively, to keep up with style and pace? He had a solid showing with his shooting and measurables at the draft combine.

20. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyshawn George, Miami

Guard, 6-7, 208, 20

2023-24 stats: 7.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.2 apg, 42.6% FG, 40.8% 3PT, 77.8% FT

Born in Switzerland, George is inconsistent as a scorer and playmaker, but has the ability to knock down 3s. Has shown enough as a scorer and rebounder with his size to attract first-round attention.

21. New Orleans Pelicans: Yves Missi, Baylor

Center, 6-11, 230, 20

2023-24 stats: 10.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 61.4% FG, 61.6% FT

Good athlete and is an effective rim protector and rebounder, but must work on offensive game, especially establishing post moves, to justify a possible lottery pick. Has trouble at free throw line and could add pounds to body to boost draft stock.

22. Phoenix Suns: Kyle Filipowski, Duke

Center, 6-11, 230, 20

2023-24 stats: 16.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.5 bpg, 1.1 spg, 50.5% FG, 34.8% 3PT, 67.1% FT

A low-post big who uses his size, strength and athleticism. As the screener on pick-and-rolls, he can step outside and hit 3s and go to the bucket for dunks and layups.

23. Milwaukee Bucks: Carlton Carrington, Pittsburgh

Guard, 6-4, 195, 18

2023-24 stats: 13.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.1 apg, 41.2% FG, 32.2% 3PT, 78.5% FT

Great size for guard who can play point and off the ball. Has range with his shot (he needs to become more proficient) and does a little bit of everything offensively, keeping teammates involved with his passing. He is a solid rebounder.

24. New York Knicks: Johnny Furphy, Kansas

Guard, 6-8, 188, 19

2023-24 stats: 9.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 46.6 FG%, 35.2% 3PT, 76.5% FT

Has moved up draft boards, especially with his play in Big 12 regular-season games but dropped a bit after conference and NCAA tournaments. Runs the court well, finishes in transition and can knock down spot-up 3s.

25. New York Knicks: Tyler Smith, G League Ignite

Forward, 6-9, 224, 19

2023-24 stats: 13.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 bpg, 47.4% FG, 36% 3PT, 73.2% FT

Definition of a stretch 4 and as a lefty, he can pick his spots and extend shooting range beyond free-throw line. Ability to space floor, but improvement on defensive end could set him apart from other bigs in this draft class

26. Washington Wizards: Tyler Kolek, Marquette

Guard, 6-1, 196, 23

2023-24 stats: 15.3 ppg, 7.7 apg, 4.9 rpg, 1.6 spg, 49.6% FG, 38.8% 3PT, 85.1% FT

A playmaker and scorer, especially off the dribble, Kolek sees the court well, operates with savvy in the pick-and-roll and is clever with his finishes at the rim. He has six double-doubles in points and assists this season.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves: Terrence Shannon, Illinois

Guard, 6-6, 219, 23

2023-24 stats: 23.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.0 spg, 47.5% FG, 36.2% 3PT, 80.1% FT

Shannon can score and proved that in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments, putting up at least 26 points in five of his final six games, including 40 against Nebraska. However, he faces a rape charge from an alleged incident in Lawrence, Kansas, and that trial was expected to begin Monday.

28. Denver Nuggets: Bobi Klintman, Cairns (Australia) Taipans

Forward, 6-9, 212, 21

2023-24 stats: 9.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 44.3% FG, 79.3% FT

Likes to run the court, can score in transition or on drives to the bucket; does not have a textbook jump shot, but gets it to go down. Played one season at Wake Forest before going to Australia to start his pro career.

29. Utah Jazz: DaRon Holmes II, Dayton

Forward, 6-9, 236, 21

2023-24 stats: 20.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.1 bpg, 54.4% FG, 38.6% 3PT, 71.3% FT

Holmes combines strength, finesse and footwork for a game that works well at the rim. He can finish with either hand, operates in the pick-and-roll. He’s a not a high-volume 3-point shooter, but has shown improvement and an ability to make the shot.

30. Boston Celtics: Baylor Scheierman, Creighton

Guard, 6-6, 201, 23

2023-24 stats: 18.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 3.9 apg, 44.8% FG, 38.1% 3PT, 87.6% FT

Scheierman can shoot the 3, displaying that in college and at the draft combine where he made execs believe he is a first-round pick. He has range, gets his shot off from outside quickly either off the dribble or on catch-and-shoots and can finish at the rim with either hand. Reads the pick-and-roll and sees the court well.

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