The NBA draft is over six months away, but it’s never too early for mock drafts projecting players to fan’s favorite teams. Some teams and fans are hopeful the draft will bring a franchise-altering player that will change their trajectory. For others, they are simply looking to get a solid prospect that will complement their current stars.
Whatever the need may be, mock drafts are always enjoyable mostly due to their volatility and uncertainty. A LOT will change over the next six or so months, and this will especially be true for the draft order of teams. This mock is based on NBA standings as of December 11th, 2023.
2024 NBA Mock Draft 1.0
1) Detroit Pistons: Ron Holland
The Pistons are in the number one spot here for this mock draft, and they take Ron Holland with the G-League Ignite. Holland’s physical traits, combined with how great he can be if the shooting and creation come along, make him the number one selection.
Off to a historically bad start, the Pistons could most use some shooting help on the wing. While that isn’t Holland’s particular strength, he more than makes up for it with his effort and energy. Holland’s floor as an athletic wing who can play in transition or on defense helps make him a safer bet at the number one spot here.
2) San Antonio Spurs: Isaiah Collier
The Spurs get the perfect blend of the best available and fit for this mock draft in Isaiah Collier. Without a true starting point guard, forward Jeremy Sochan has oftentimes been the initiator on offense for the Spurs. Collier will be able to run the show immediately and make a great pick-and-roll partner for superstar Victor Wembanyama.
3) Washington Wizards: Nikola Topic
At number 3, the Wizards take Nikola Topic out of the same league that brought the NBA Nikola Jokic in Serbia. Topic’s ability to be good in a variety of different roles makes him too appealing for the Wizards at three. The six-foot-six Topic looks to be the next successful jumbo-guard similar to the mold of Josh Giddey or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. His ability to run the show or play complimentary basketball will give the Wizards a solid piece to build with.
4) Portland Trailblazers: Alex Sarr
In this mock draft, the Trailblazers are ecstatic to see Alex Sarr fall to the number four spot. The best on the board at this point, Sarr may very well end up being the number one pick when it’s all said and done. The seven-foot-one big man can make an immediate impact on the defensive end of the floor, and offensively has plenty of upside to work with.
5) Memphis Grizzlies: Matas Buzelis
Pending the return of Ja Morant, it’s very plausible the Grizzlies begin to win more games and get bumped down in draft positioning. At the fifth pick in this mock draft, however, the Grizzlies take Matas Buzelis with the G-League Ignite. Buzelis should help provide some immediate perimeter shooting prowess for the Grizzlies on the wing, with upside to become more. As a mobile six-foot-ten wing, Buzelis should play in a variety of lineups anywhere from shooting guard to power forward. If the aggressiveness and shot creation pick up, Buzelis could prove to be incredible value at the fifth pick.
6) Utah Jazz: Ja’Kobe Walter
Ja’Kobe Walter goes to the Utah Jazz here as an athletic wing out of Baylor. Baylor’s undefeated through their first nine games and in part it can be attributed to the success of Walter as a freshman. Standing at six-foot-five with a plus wingspan, Walter’s profile is an easy projection for teams. He’s an elite three-point shooter who can also compete defensively with the other team’s best guy.
7) Charlotte Hornets:
Stephon Castle was off to a promising start with the Huskies before a knee injury slowed him down. He’s back in the lineup now and scouts are excited to see the six-foot-six guard with two-way ability. In a draft lacking high-end upside or star power, Castle’s development will be of interest to many.
8) Chicago Bulls: Zaccharie Risacher
With Zach Lavine and Demar Derozan’s future uncertain, the Bulls take Zaccharie Risacher out of France. Risacher isn’t a finished product, but he’s a six-foot-nine wing with a ton of upside. He’s flashed some playmaking ability to go along with dynamic shooting that’s really excited scouts recently.
9) San Antonio Spurs (Via Raptors): Cody Williams
With their second pick, the Spurs take a young talent with a ton of upside in Cody Williams. Williams is still raw as a slender six-foot-eight wing, but that’s never stopped the Spurs before. He’s off to a great start at Colorado putting up 14 points per game. He’s also the younger brother of Oklahoma City Thunder rising star Jalen Williams.
10) Atlanta Hawks: Donavan Clingan
The Hawks don’t overcomplicate things and take what should be one of the best on the board here in Donovan Clingan. Clingan will have a clear and defined role in the NBA as a frontcourt anchor. The seven-foot-two big man will serve as a strong building block going forward in what may be a shaken-up Hawks roster after the season.
11) Portland Trailblazers (Via Warriors): Ryan Dunn
Ryan Dunn out of Virginia is a special defensive player and a ridiculous athlete. He’s shot up mock drafts averaging close to three steals and three blocks per game this year. The Blazers will feel comfortable that even if his offensive game never comes along, he can compete defensively from day one.
12) New Orleans Pelicans: Justin Edwards
The Pelicans roster doesn’t have many holes on paper. What they could most use is consistent health from their current players. With that flexibility, they take a gamble on Justin Edwards out of Kentucky. Edwards was in the conversation for the number-one pick before the season began. His physical tools and smooth game certainly pass the eye test, but he hasn’t looked the part so far at Kentucky this season.
13) Oklahoma City Thunder (Via Clippers): Kel’el Ware
The Thunder take Kel’el Ware out of Indiana with the 13th pick. Having rising stars at pretty much every position except center, the Thunder will pair Ware’s physical gifts with Chet Holmgren in the frontcourt. A combination of Holmgren and Ware should result in great rim protection and block numbers.
14) Miami Heat: Kyle Filipowski
Heat culture will hope to draft a Kevin Love protégé in Kyle Filipowski for this mock draft. Filipowski needs to show better efficiency and shooting percentages, but the seven footer’s game passes the eye test.
15) Oklahoma City Thunder (Via Rockets): Baba Miller
Having just picked at 13, the Thunder take a big swing on Baba Miller out of Florida State. Miller is still extremely raw, but his physical profile reminds you a lot of Scottie Barnes. He moves extremely well for being six-foot-eleven, and so far, he’s shot 40 percent from three on a little over three attempts per game.
16) Phoenix Suns: Reed Sheppard
With Grayson Allen’s contract set to expire after this season, the Suns draft Reed Sheppard out of Kentucky. Sheppard is a sharpshooter who’s burst onto mock drafts after statistically being Kentucky’s best player through nine games. You can never go wrong surrounding the current Suns stars with more high-level shooting and basketball IQ.
17) New York Knicks: Izan Almansa
The Knicks take G-League Ignite Izan Almansa, as he’s one of the best players on the board at this point. Almansa is a completely different player from current big man Mitchell Robinson. He’s not your elite athlete, but Almansa plays with a ton of feel and IQ at either frontcourt position. They will hope to grow him into a high-energy, frontcourt chess piece on both ends.
18) Houston Rockets (Via Nets): Rob Dillingham
Rob Dillingham has moved higher on mock drafts after initial questions regarding a role that didn’t involve volume shooting. To this point, he’s answered those questions with great assist numbers while still showing good scoring ability.
19) Cleveland Cavaliers: Carlton Carrington
The Cavaliers hope to hit a home run here in freshman Carlton Carrington. Carrington sky-rocketed into mock drafts after a triple-double performance in his first collegiate game. Since then he’s come down to earth but scouts are still excited about what he could become. He’s a six-foot-five lead guard who’s flashed great playmaking shot-creation up to this point.
20) Atlanta Hawks (Via Kings): Tyrese Proctor
At pick 20, the Hawks stop a small slide down the draft board for Tyrese Proctor. Proctor hasn’t shown that he’s really a different player in his sophomore season, but he already had a lot to like. He’s a plus-sized lead guard that has good perimeter shooting and ball-handling ability.
21) Indiana Pacers: Adem Bona
The Pacers get some Myles Turner insurance in Adem Bona here. Bona will be valued for his effort and high-end athleticism at six-foot-ten. He should be able to come into games and provide shot-blocking and lob-dunk talent from day one.
22) Denver Nuggets: Tidjane Salaun
The Nuggets have a great player development record in recent draft history such as Christian Braun, Michael Porter Jr, and of course Nikola Jokic. Here they take Tidjane Salaun out of France, who isn’t a finished product but has a ton of upside. As a tall, slender wing on the perimeter with sneaky athleticism, he will remind the Nuggets a lot of Porter Jr.
23) New Orleans Pelicans (Via Lakers): Dalton Knecht
With no guarantees at the back end of the first round, the Pelicans take Dalton Knecht out of Tennessee. Knecht burst onto the scene very recently with a 37-point performance against North Carolina. He’s a six-foot-six wing that has what the Pelicans will like on offense. He’s a sharpshooter who also has flashed highlight dunks when given a runway. He still needs to improve defensively, but big game performance gets him selected in the first round for this mock.
24) New York Knicks (Via Mavericks): DJ Wagner
DJ Wagner hasn’t lived up to the hype coming into Kentucky, but it’s too early to bail on him as a prospect. His speed and ball-handling ability are still good attributes to bet on at the next level. To turn his draft stock around, he needs to shoot the ball better and show more in the playmaking department.
25) Indiana Pacers (Via OKC): Kevin McCullar
The Pacers take Kevin McCullar out of Kansas as someone whose skillset should lead to a defined role for any team. He’s always been a great defender, but with increased usage this season, he’s shown better shooting as well as taking on the offensive initiator role for Kansas.
26) Philadelphia 76ers: Tyler Smith
Tyler Smith has flashed intriguing talent through what is still a winless G-League Ignite team. Smith is a six-foot-ten combo forward who’s solid at everything with above-average mobility. If he can refine his game into a more precise role, he will move higher in more mock drafts.
27) Milwaukee Bucks: Trey Alexander
The Milwaukee Bucks take Trey Alexander out of Creighton. At this point, Alexander has shown enough improvement athletically and making plays for others to justify a pick here. Milwaukee will hope to develop him into a rotational guard who can bring perimeter shooting and possibly a spark off the bench.
28) Orlando Magic: Alex Karaban
The Magic take a chance in this mock draft on the sophomore sharpshooter out of UCONN, Alex Karaban. Karaban has limitations athletically, but he’d be surrounded by teammates in the Magic who don’t have that issue.
29) Boston Celtics: Bobi Klintman
Bobi Klintman has had an interesting path as a draft prospect. He played a season at Wake Forest before leaving to go to the NBL in Australia. Being in the NBL has allowed him to showcase more of his game overall. He can become a valuable ‘stretch-four’ if he continues to develop.
30) Minnesota Timberwolves: Trevon Brazile
After tearing his ACL in the middle of what looked to be a breakout season at Arkansas, Trevon Brazile is back. He’s an uber-athletic forward who’s shown that he can stretch his game to the perimeter more than people may have guessed.