With three weeks left before the draft, and the NBA Finals starting up, we take a fourth look at the extended mock. With rumors swirling, draft workouts going on and evaluation events for future years in full swing, here is a fourth look at the first round, as the 2024 draft is fast approaching. No change at the top with Atlanta taking the sweet shooting forward out of France.

1. *Atlanta Zaccharie Risacher 6-9 200 SF/PF France Intl.

Risacher actually made a late push at the very end of the year with three 20 point games in his last four.  It is not a draft with a great deal of talent at the top so teams and their fan bases like Atlanta’s will have to go into next season with realistic expectations. Risacher has one of the most effortless strokes you will find. He reminds some of a bigger version of Klay Thompson with his pure shooting ability. While he’s had some ups and downs over the past 12 months, he’s been on the radar for some time as a top prospect for the 2024 draft, due to his shooting, mobility and excellent size. He has basketball bloodlines with a father that played, and has shown steady improvement following the move to Bourg-en-Bresse. He put up 10 points per game on efficient shooting numbers for much of the season and won player of the month early on, following a number of big performances. Detractors contest that he lacks the ability to self create. They also worry that he lacks toughness and shies away from contact. He struggled to shine at the 2023 Hoop Summit game in Portland, but scouts commented that they loved the talent during the week of practices. He rebounded nicely as the season progressed, showing ability as both a shooter and shot blocker. Gaining strength and finding a good situation will be key, as there are plenty of indications that he may struggle initially at the NBA level.

Why the Hawks select Zaccharie Risacher: Atlanta is less in rebuild mode than other teams drafting at the top of this draft, but that doesn’t change the fact that they have to try to both draft for upside as well as minimize risk. Risacher has the best combination of the two any player available here. He fills a need as a versatile forward who can play stretch four for them and also potentially help out a team that struggles defensively. He may not be the savior a team generally would like to get at 1, but not every draft has one.

NBA Comparison: Rashard Lewis

2. Washington Alexandre Sarr 7-1 205 C France Intl.

Sarr has a lot of intrigue with his length, fluidity and shooting stroke. He shows very good ability to move his feet and defend on switches, a real necessity in today’s game and something missing from the other top centers from this year’s draft. Where he seems to be lacking is he’s not a big scorer, and may never be one. He doesn’t play with much consistency yet, and there are some questions related to his ability to dominate for long stretches. He had a solid season, but his play dropped off some as the season went on. He did not receive consistent minutes and it caused a real drop off in his productivity. The NBL is a solid league, and while he showed flashes, his age, and lack of experience, certainly kept him from being a dominant force. Currently at just over 200 lbs, Sarr may always be on the light side as an NBA center.  Sarr shows some star potential, but is a long ways from being NBA ready. Whether he can add significant weight to his frame is another key question.

Why the Wizards select Alexandre Sarr: Sarr is a boom or bust type of player and while there are plenty of question marks surrounding him and he will need a lot of time to realize his talent, the makings are there for him to be very good. Washington has essentially gutted the team and cannot afford to draft for need and are likely to move Kyle Kuzma for a younger player and/or picks. Their lottery pick from last year, Bilal Coulabaly is their main building block, so adding Sarr gives them a young French tandem to continue their rebuild.

NBA Comparison: Mitchell Robinson

3. Houston (from Brooklyn) Reed Sheppard 6-2 190 SG/PG Kentucky Fr.

Sheppard has some real question marks, having come off the bench on a loaded team where he was protected with star level talent around him at all times. Regardless, Sheppard is one of the highest rated prospects for the 2024 draft for a number of reasons. First and foremost he has one of the best shooting strokes in the draft and also plays with incredible IQ showing passing and ball handling ability. He’s bound to struggle to play to his draft position, but that’s the reality of the 2024 NBA draft. While the eye test does him no favors, his analytic numbers put him right at the top of this year’s draft. Every year, a player becomes the “analytics darling” of that specific draft. Detractors look at him as a limited, undersized athlete and question how much of his game will translate and whether he will be able to get shots off going against longer athletes at the next level. The name Jimmer Freddete gets mentioned, granted Sheppard does a lot more with steals, rebounds and even blocked shots. Is he Mark Price or is he Seth Curry? Probably somewhere in the middle.

Why the Rockets select Reed Sheppard: Three would seem to be extremely high for a player that did not start this season and comes into the NBA with positional question marks. But Sheppard might actually be one of the safest options available here. His shooting and steady playmaking would work well with Houston’s young, athletic core and he could potentially help with culture and maturity for a team attempting to move in that direction, having added Fred Van Vleet. Matas Buzelis is thought to be another possibility here.

NBA Comparison: Mark Price

4. San Antonio Cody Williams 6-8 180 SF/PG Colorado Fr.

Cody possesses as much upside of any player in this year’s draft. But he has yet to prove that he has the strength and determination to maximize his abilities. There are a number of players with higher floors and more sure bets, and going too high could easily be a detriment to Cody. He’s an unfinished product but his real intrigue is his ability to run the point position at 6-8 with a 7-1* wingspan. He has the ability to impact games by creating offense for himself and others off the dribble. He’s a humble kid, who prefers to let his play do the talking. His choice of Colorado, over the high profile programs, is a reflection of his personality, and probably an indication that he would thrive more easily with a smaller market team like San Antonio.

Why the Spurs select Cody Williams: Williams is a player that the Spurs scouted heavily during the year. He offers them a lot of upside at this pick, granted plenty of risk as well. San Antonio would seem to be an ideal fit for him as a player suited for a low key city and media market, and a coaching and development staff set up to get the most out of a high character, upside player. if the Spurs decide they really like one of the point guards, like Sheppard (if available) or Castle (if they consider him a PG), they could possibly roll the dice on Cody falling to them at 8. Would the Spurs package 4 and 8 for 1? It probably depends how highly they value Risacher, but the pick value would actually seem to work. It obviously adds pressure to getting the pick right, plus a higher salary. Perhaps having two swings at adding another building block is the better philosophy. Atlanta and Charlotte are two teams that have shown interest in Cody, so it’s possible Atlanta could actually entertain the 4 and 8 for 1 deal, and Charlotte’s interest at 6 could make it difficult for Cody to slip to the Spurs pick at 8.

NBA Comparison: Lamar Odom

5. Detroit Matas Buzelis 6-10 210 SF/PF Ignite Fr.

Buzelis has been one of the highest rated players in his age group for a number of years. He’s finally added some weight to his frame and has room for more growth. He possesses scoring potential as a stretch four, which makes him intriguing. He had some big games, although questions remain about his lack of consistency and strength. His season with the Ignite gainemomentum, giving his stock a boost. Matas is intriguing due to his ability to face the basket and score in a number of ways. Playing in the G League for the Ignite didn’t instill much confidence about his season, but teams are forced to take a lot of leaps of faith in this year’s draft.

Why the Pistons select Matas Buzelis: Detroit has athletes but continues to struggle to surround former first overall pick Cade Cunningham with enough talent to turn things around. Buzelis is one of the higher upside players in this draft. And while it’s questionable whether he can develop into a difference maker. he at least has the chance to develop into a contributor. His ability to score and become a floor spacer would help a team lacking in that area.

NBA Comparison: Austin Croshere

6. Charlotte Stephon Castle 6-6 220 SG/SF UConn So.

After a slow start to his freshman season, Castle’s impact took flight in the second half of the year. He was UConn’s top performer in their Final Four win over Alabama, and made a name for himself as many people’s top prospect on the Huskies Championship team. He lacks a consistent jumper, which fell to 26% by the end of the year, but his stroke doesn’t show any major flaws, aside from a slow release. which means he needs time to get it off, a la the Ball brothers, and accounts for his struggles over the season. On the positive side, he’s a versatile wing, showing some lead guard attributes, plus he’s the top wing defender among the lottery projected prospects.

Why the Hornets select Stephon Castle: Castle sees himself as a point guard and wants to be taken by a team that will allow him to compete at the position. Charlotte already has a point guard with a long term deal in place with LaMelo Ball. Whether they can compliment each other is the question. Castle could be seen as best player available here and drafted for his versatility to play multiple positions.

NBA Comparison: Iman Shumpert

7. Portland  Dalton Knecht 6-7 215 SG/SF Tennessee Sr.

With a number of bigtime highlight dunks and big performances, Knecht (pronounced “connect”) was one of the breakout draft prospects this season. He wasn’t high on team’s lists coming into the season, but following a transfer from Colorado State, Knecht proved it at the SEC level with a monster senior season in which he demonstrated the ability to impact games with his outside shooting and athleticism. He’s an older player who turned 23 in April so it caps his upside to an extent, but in the post COVID era of drafts, being 23 no longer carries the stigma that it once did. Knecht could be this year’s Jaime Jaquez, with his scrappy style and mature game.

Why the Blazers select Dalton Knecht: Portland has added a number of high level athletes in their post Lillard rebuild. Their last couple of picks have been uber explosive players with Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe, so they may decide to put more of a premium on readiness and skill set with this year’s first lottery pick. Anfernee Simons, along with Sharpe and Scoot are the team’s nucleus. Adding a tough minded, ready to contribute shooter to compliment those players would conceivably help them improve their shooting efficiency (29th in the league).

NBA Comparison: Mike Miller

8. *San Antonio (from Toronto) Rob Dillingham 6-2 165 PG Kentucky Fr.

Dillingham is a scrappy lead guard who was impressive all year coming off the bench for Kentucky. He built a reputation as a fierce competitor on the high school level, and reinforced that with his play in Lexington. He’s a very focused kid and proved to be an efficient offensive player who can really get into the zone and put up points in bunches. He’s a fearless type of competitor and never shies away from taking big shots. His ability to create is good, although at times he can force things and take bad shots. He did a solid job of distributing the ball for UK without turning it over to the tune of a 2-1 a/to ratio. There’s speculation that both he and teammate Reed Sheppard are an inch or so shorter than their listed 6-3 height. It Dillingham measures well, 6-3 in shoes, it certainly helps his cause.

Why the Spurs select Rob Dillingham: The Spurs could target a point guard at 4 with either Sheppard or Dillingham, or even Castle if he’s seen as a 1. However if Cody Williams is legitimately one of their targets, it would seem the odds of him sliding to 8 would be lower than one of the point guards. Dillingham would benefit in a structured system like San Antonio and has the competitiveness to ultimately overcome the size disadvantage to succeed,

NBA Comparison: Kemba Walker

9. Memphis Ronald Holland 6-8 205 SF G-League Ignite Fr.

Holland came into the season as a near consensus top 5 pick. But his deficiencies were exposed as he has turned the ball over at an extremely high rate, and his scoring and shooting abilities proved to be slightly below advertised. He’s a solid defender, but not elite, and a work in progress on the offensive end. Playing in the G League for the Ignite’s final season gave him exposure with NBA scouts, but the general feeling became that the program did not replicate the college experience and no longer necessary with NIL possibilities. Holland is still seen by some as a default mid lottery pick, but could slide some on draft night with fears about his upside an high motor player with below average skill and readiness.

Why the Grizzlies select Ronald Holland: The Grizzlies will try to maximize value here after a lost season following Ja Morant’s lengthy suspension and injury. Holland brings energy, defense and versatility to a team that should bounce back well with two of the game’s top young talents (Ja and JJJ) entering their prime.

NBA Comparison: Will Barton

10. Utah Tidjane Salaun 6-9 205 PF France Intl.

Salaun is a raw bigman who played this season for Cholet in France. Despite not being a consistent outside shooter yet, he had a string of games where he hit at a high clip from three point. He has a huge wingspan and generally gives amazing effort. But his feel for the game is still a work in progress. In Treviso, at the 2023 Eurocamp, he attempted to show some aspects of his game that just weren’t there yet. He drove the ball from the perimeter on a number of occasions, exposing his high dribble and lack of creation skills. But when he focuses on doing the dirty work and using his athleticism around the basket, he is a handful. His spirit for the game is apparent and if you need a wall run through, he’s your man. It’s clear that he’s more of an energy four than a perimeter player, but the fact that he’s begun to knock down spot up threes at an increasing rate put his stock on the rise.

Why the Jazz select Tidjane Salaun: Salaun arguably offers the most upside here for a team in rebuild mode. He’s a few years away with a lot of development in front of him, but there’s a lot to like about his ceiling. His timeline works well with a team that is building for the long term under Danny Ainge.

NBA Comparison: Dorain Finney-Smith

11. Chicago Devin Carter 6-2 200 SG/PG Providence Jr.

Carter has NBA bloodlines and had a breakout season at Providence. His 6-9 wingspan allows him to play bigger than his 6-2 size. He’s got a little bit of a slow release but his shot shows good form and touch otherwise. He really gets after it on the defensive end using his big wingspan to his advantage, While he has late lottery grades from some scouts and early second round grades from others, it’s a weaker draft meaning teams will be looking for more role rtpe players as opposed to stars with their mid-late first round picks. Carter has a chance to be a contributor on both ends of the floor, despite being a bit of an undersized two.

Why the Bulls select Devin Carter: Sources have indicated that the Bulls have a promise in place with Devin Carter at 11. Carter is a high flying combo guard with a big wingspan and defensive prowess. He adds some athleticism and energy to a backcourt in need of an infusion of talent.

NBA Comparison: Ayo Dosunmu

12. Oklahoma City (from Houston) Kel'el Ware 7-1 230 C Indiana So.

The sophomore transfer from Oregon put up impressive statistics at Indiana this year. He has doubled his output in both minutes and points and has an ideal NBA center frame. He also shoots the ball with good form. He remains a project for the NBA level due to his focus and intensity still being inconsistent. But you won’t find many athletic 7-footers averaging a near double double, 14.7 and 9.3, with three point shooting potential (7-19) 27 percent and the ability to rim protect (1.5 blocks per game). If he can land in the right situation with a great passer setting lobs for him regularly, he could maximize his upside at the next level.

Why the Thunder select Kel’el Ware: The Thunder are in need of a bigman and could go in a number of different directions including moving up or moving back. Donovan Clingan is an option. however, Ware is the superior athlete, and has a massive frame in his own right. Ware would fit in well with OKC’s young core, adding some floor spacing from the center position as well as rim protection.

NBA Comparison: Ivica Zubac

13. Sacramento Donovan Clingan 7-2 270 C UConn So. 

Two seasons, two NCAA titles, there’s no knocking the results. Clingan has really excited teams with his defensive dominance, great size and perceived upside. He’s well liked as a bigman who runs hard, and can defend and pass too. He’s still young at just 20 years of age and the thought is that his determination and toughness will allow him to continue to gain mobility and expand his skill set. His 2.5 blocks per game in just 22 minutes of action is certainly intriguing. It’s not a strong draft so he has garnered interest in the top 10. But he finished dead last in the NBA Combine speed and agility drills. And with a lack of great foot speed to defend on switches, plus concerns about his offensive potential, just a 55% career FT shooter, he could be a player that gets over-drafted based on the tourney hype.

Why the Kings select Donovan Clingan: Clingan received top 5 hype, and while there’s a chance he could go in the top 10, his lack of athleticism and mobility was exhibited in the combine testing. On the positive side, Clingan has massive length, adds depth behind starting center Domantas Sabonic and could over time potentially allow Sabonis to slide down to the 4 position against some bigger match ups,  like Minnesota.

NBA Comparison: Jakob Poeltl

14. *Portland (from Golden State) Ja'Kobe Walter 6-5 180 SG Baylor Fr.

Walter was among the best freshmen in the country from an efficiency standpoint, but his efficiency deteriorated some at the end of the year. While his athleticism doesn’t jump off the screen, he’s got good length and a solid skill set, with the ability to shoot and create as well as some combo guard potential. Playing for one of the elite programs in the country, he’s averaged solid scoring and efficiency numbers overall. He played some point guard in high school, and while he’s not really seeing any time at the position at Baylor, the fact that he’s got a history at the position helps his cause. Walter is not elite in terms of athleticism, more of a smooth athlete, but his skill set is advanced for his age and he performed consistently throughout much of the season.

Why the Blazers select Ja’Kobe Walter: The Blazers, with two lottery picks, can look to add more depth to the backcourt here. Portland was in the bottom 2 teams in shooting percentage last season. Walter is a good shooter and an underrated athlete. He would provide depth behind Shaedon Sharpe and Anfernee Simons. Ayton has two more years on his deal and has not worked out in Portland so he could be on the way out. They could potentially target a big like Clingan or Ware here.

NBA Comparison: Reggie Bullock

15. Miami Terrence Shannon 6-5 220 SG Illinois Sr.

Following his mid-season suspension, due to an assault charge, and reinstatement, Shannon went on an absolute tear over the final couple months of the season. He is the only player in college or pro, other than Luka Doncic, to average seven made free throws and 2 made three point shots. Shannon shows the ability to score proficiently on all three levels. He attacks the defense relentlessly, using his powerful build, and speed in the open floor. Despite being one of the older players being projected in the first round, his readiness gives him an element of security for teams looking for some instant impact. Shannon looked like the best player in all of college basketball towards the end of the season. His assault trial is now underway, and it may ultimately derail his draft stock if the trial lingers or he is found guilty.

Why the Heat select Terrence Shannon: The Heat have been making a habit of finding the diamond in the rough in recent drafts, Jaime Jaquez being a great example. Shannon figures to be a steal in this year’s draft wherever he falls as his off court legal case figures to diminish his stock from where it should be. Shannon has a chance to be a major contributor for a team as early as next season, provided he legal case doesn’t derail his playing ability.

NBA Comparison: Donovan Mitchell

16. Philadelphia Nikola Topic 6-7 200 PG Serbia Intl.

Topic is a point guard with good, not great, size with a 6-7 frame and a 6-5 1/2 wingspan. He’s an absolute maestro with the basketball, and has a great feel for the game at a young age. He’s one of the best pick and roll players to emerge in the draft in a number of years. He’s in the running along with Kolek as the best passer in this draft and he’s four years younger. At 6-7, he has the size to see over defenders and plays with great confidence for an 18 year old. The shooting is not there yet, as he really struggles from the perimeter, but there is some hope he improves from 3 in time, as he does have good form on his shot and hits his FTs. Topic missed a large portion of the season due to injury which raises questions about development and readiness, and it could cost him a few spots on draft night.

Why the Sixers select Nikola Topic: it was announced Wednesday that Topic cannot run or workout and is dealing with a partially torn ACL. He was widely considered a lottery pick for much of the season, but struggled to both develop and prove himself at the Euroleague level for Red Star. The Sixers had success with a similar type of player in TJ McConnell who now plays for the Pacers, and Topic could provide a possible successor and depth behind an aging Kyle Lowry. With Topic’s ACL concerns, and lack of length (6-5.5 wingspan, not 7-foot as once reported), it’s possible he slides further down the board than here.

NBA Comparison: Vasilije Micić

17. Los Angeles Lakers Carlton Carrington 6-6 190 PG/SG Pittsburgh Fr.

Carrington had a hot start to the year and also finished strong. In the middle of the year the Baltimore native struggled with his shooting efficiency, but never lost focus of his goal as a leader and team player. Carrington is a thin point guard with excellent size and playmaking ability. He’s got a very nice looking shooting stroke and does a good job of getting his own looks in the flow of the game and only after getting his teammates looks. His 4.1 to 1.9 assist to turnover ratio show that he’s an excellent decision maker. While his shooting seemed to hit a wall, his numbers on the season are not so bad when you consider scoring was his second responsibility after running the team.13.2 ppg on 41.2 32.2 78.5 while not sensational show a lot of promise as just a freshman, who came into the season barely seen as a top 100 recruit.  5,2 rebounds per game is also an excellent stat from a guard. He also plays excellent on ball defense and should only get better as he adds strength. Carrington could end up one of the top 10 players out of this draft and may end up a steal in the teens to early 20s.

Why the Lakers take Carlton Carrington: The Lakers outlook is in flux following the huge offer to Danny Hurley. A rebuild could be in the works if Hurley is hired. Carrington gives the Lakers added shooting in the backcourt and a young point guard to groom for the future.

NBA Comparison: Shaun Livingston

18. Orlando Jaylon Tyson 6-7 225 SG California Jr.

Tyson was one of the breakout stars of the NCAA season. The Plano, Texas native put up monster stats for Cal with 19.6 ppg and 6.8 boards to go along with great efficiency numbers. his calling card is his tremendous outside shooting ability. He’s an above average athlete with a big frame for a wing and shows a very polished floor game. He’s extremely adept at creating offense in isolation and has a lot of ways to get defenders off balance whether it be pump fakes or jab steps. He’s not the fastest or most explosive athlete, but he plays a very controlled style and should be able to find success considering his ability to get shots off without much space. Defensively, he’ll need to work on becoming better at anticipation and using his strength to overcome a lack of ideal foot speed.

Why the Magic select Jaylon Tyson: Orlando is in need of better shooting in the backcourt, making players like Carrington and Jaylon Tyson real possibilities. Tyson adds maturity for a team in the midst of a culture change with a young core making a push to be a perennial playoff team.

NBA Comparison: Desmond Bane

19. *Toronto (from Indiana) KyShawn George 6-8 200 SF Miami Fr.

George is one of this year’s wildcards. The Swiss born wing benefited from some added minutes due to injuries to starters at Miami around New Years and has took advantage of the opportunity, displaying versatility and smooth shooting ability. He is still raw and needs experience, and is already 20 years of age. Despite that he oozes upside with his smooth offensive skills and shooting ability.  While there are certainly questions about readiness, the first round of this year’s draft consists of a number of players that will be drafted on upside. As well as having a similar physical appearance, Brooklyn’s Cam Johnson comes to mind as a player comp considering he’s a versatile forward with high level shooting ability.

Why the Raptors select Kyshawn George: Toronto finally moved on from what remained of their title core with late season trades of  Pascal Siakum and OG Anunoby. The team is building around Scottie Barnes and has Immanuel Quickly as their point guard going forward. George is an upside pick who could ultimately develop into a playmaking wing.

NBA Comparison: Cameron Johnson

20. Cleveland Johnny Furphy 6-8 200 SF Kansas Fr.

While possessing intrigue, Furphy is one of the less NBA ready players potentially available. Furphy improved his play at Kansas as the season went along. He fits in best with a team with a long term outlook as he figures to take some time, but the fact that he is a hardworking kid that showed a lot of improvement in a short amount of time is encouraging. He plays with a lot of spirit and energy and his ability to knock down shots with good size on the wing gives him a chance to make it at the next level.

Why the Cavaliers select Johnny Furphy: With a young core that is talented but probably a few players away from really contending, an upside wing like Furphy that can develop into a contributor over the next few seasons would make sense at 20.

NBA Comparison: Julian Strawther

21. New Orleans (from Milwaukee) Tyler Kolek 6-4 195 PG Marquette Sr.

Kolek turned 23 on March 27th which makes him one of the older, and more experienced players available. At 6-3, he’s got pretty good size for the point guard position. He’s an absolute wizard with his ball handling and particularly passing,running the pick and roll like a maestro. His creativity to find teammates with passes and at just the right time is at an advanced level. He led the nation in assists at 7.7 per game. His 4.9 rebounds per game show his willingness to get his nose dirty and play physical. He’s also an excellent shooter, with scoring ability from all three levels as his shooting splits indicate: 49.3 fg%, 39.5 3p% and  83.5 ft%. His three point shooting was very consistent throughout his four year college career, knocking down a good volume at roughly 1.5 three per game.

Why the Pelicans select Tyler Kolek: After taking Carrington at 17, New Orleans doubles up with another sweet shooting point guard, only this time one with a little more readiness. Kolek is a natural playmaker and will add poise and maturity for a team such as New Orleans.

NBA Comparison; TJ McConnell

22. Phoenix Kyle Filipowski 7-0 245 PF/C Duke So.

The sophomore bigman for Duke had a solid if unspectacular season. He shows solid mobility, body control and toughness for a 7-footer. While not the most athletic player, he has shown some advancement in his shooting during his two seasons in Durham. He will need to improve a bit more to really be a factor at the next level. Filipowski had offseason surgery to improve his hips and it has resulted in some additional mobility.  Considering that he is hardworking, it a safe bet that he will develop into a solid shooter at the NBA level. Where he figures to struggle is defensively, as he lacks lateral quickness and is not much of a rim protector for a near 7-footer. While his scoring output has not improved tremendously, his efficiency in A/TO and his shooting splits have shown improvement.

Why the Suns select Kyle Filipowski: The Suns are severely handcuffed as far as making moves to add talent to their aging roster following the deals which sent away their depth, picks and salary space for KD and Beal. They are said to be looking for a big that can shoot, making guys like Filipowski and DaRon Holmes possibilities.

NBA Comparison: Isaiah Hartenstein

23. Milwaukee (from New Orleans) Yves Missi 7-0 230 PF/C Baylor So.

Missi is somehow a stiff and an athlete at the same time. Missi impressed scouts this year with his high motor and intensity. He showed a willingness to compete and perform well in big games. He also showed the ability to use his length to impact both ends of the floor.  And while there are certainly concerns related to his fluidity and coordination, he is an explosive athlete. He has some rim protection ability as well as some ball handling that scouts took note of as he was, at times, able to take slower bigs off the dribble and create baskets in isolation. Missi figures to find a spot somewhere in the second half of the first round.

Why the Bucks take Yves Missi: The Bucks have an aging frontcourt and could use an injection of energy and athleticism. Missi may take a few seasons for things to click and really be counted on, but the upside is apparent with his shooting. athleticism and motor. Milwaukee has some turnover in their aging front court and will hope he can develop into something similar to what Derrick Lively is becoming in Dallas.

NBA Comparison: Gorgui Dieng

24. *New York (from Dallas) Isaiah Collier 6-4 210 PG/SG USC Fr.

Collier exploded out of the gates and rose up to the tops of draft boards with a 40% three point percentage and a number of big performances. Unfortunately his hot start was not indicative of his true ability as a shooter. He proved in high school that he was a good distributor of the ball, but at USC he proved to be turnover prone with a tendency to get out of control when attacking the basket. Despite being the consensus number one player in the class following his senior season, there are concerns about how his game translates to the next level. Collier is probably a little shorter than his listed 6-5 height, he lacks a huge wingspan, and is seen by NBA scouts as a bit of a below the rim athlete, despite his great speed off the dribble. He’s still a potential lottery pick and potentially gives a team size and speed at the lead guard position.

Why the Knicks select Isaiah Collier: Considering Collier became the consensus top rated prospect in his senior class, the Knicks getting him at 24 should be considered a steal. After trading away Immanuel Quickly to Toronto, Collier gives them a fast, young combo guard to possibly groom into a similar player.

NBA Comparison: Marcus Banks

25. New York Tyler Smith 6-11 215 PF G-League Fr.

While Smith was the less heralded of the three main GLeague Ignite players coming into the year, a strong season put him in the mix with teammates Matas Buzelis and Ronald Holland as a prospect. He has good length and used two seasons at OTE, prior to this season with the Ignite, to refine his jumpshot. He has become a deadly mid-range and outside shooter, the best aspect of his game, but struggles to impact the game much in other areas. He’s a little like a smaller Myles Turner with his lack of great speed and athleticism but a very composed and mature game and the ability to play as a stretch big. Smith lacks huge upside, but is intriguing due to his length and shooting stroke. Late lottery is a possibility for the sweet shooting bigman.

Why the Knicks select Tyler Smith: Word is there’s a good chance a team like Brooklyn will make a deal to grab one of the Knicks picks. Tyler Smith is considered a player that could be targeted. If they keep the pick, Smith would help bolster the Knicks’ frontcourt, adding shooting ability.

NBA Comparison: Kelly Olynyk

26. Washington (from LA Clippers) Jared McCain 6-3 190 SG Duke Fr.

McCain was Duke’s top player all season. He’s a very solid performer who excellent in catch and shooting. He’s got tremendous range on his shot and very good body strength. There are still question marks surrounding his ability to play the point guard position. While not  bad passer and solid decision maker (1/9 TO 1.3 A/TO), his feel for playing the point guard position and pick and roll needs polishing.

Why the Wizards select Jared McCain: The Jordan Poole experiment has blown up in their faces so far, meaning there’s plenty of possibility for a guard to come in and get minutes. McCain figures to be a shooting specialist and Washington can definitely use depth and shooting in the backcourt. The Wizards are in need of talent, but following their pick at 2, drafting at 26  in a weak draft limits their ability to do so. Finding a contributor here would suffice, and McCain could surprise.

NBA Comparison: Bryn Forbes

27. Minnesota Pacome Dadiet 6-7 210 SF Ratiopharm Ulm 2005

One of the youngest players available, Dadiet is a player who has made a late push up draft boards and has a shot to grab a spot in the late first round. He’ll turn 19 after the draft in July. While not the flashiest of prospects, he is a guy that connects the team with his all around skills and ability to bring what’s needed to the table. A solid athlete who is very smart and has good feel for the game. He shows good ball skills, with the ability to handle it, find teammates with great vision and passing, as well as knock down open shots with touch and shooting ability.

Why the Timberwolves select Pacome Dadier: The young 18 year old Frenchman is best described as a “connector” or a “glue guy”. The Wolves have a ton of talent and a real window of opportunity, with how close they came to reaching the finals this season. If Dadier can tap into his all around ability from the wing coming off the bench, he could become a contributor.

NBA Comparison: Jaime Jaquez

28. Denver DaRon Holmes 6-10 220 PF Dayton Jr.

Holmes had a strong post season build up to the draft. He’s added some strength to his frame and tested well in the combine with strong vertical numbers. He’s got excellent length and has proven to be a consistent outside shooter. While he does not look especially fluid running the floor,, he shows an excellent ability to explode around the basket off of two feet. Holmes was extremely productive as a junior, putting up 20 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 2.6 apg, shooting 38% from three point range. Holmes also measured with an impressive 7-1 wingspan and a 34 inch max vertical at the NBA Draft combine.

Why the Nuggets select DaRon Holmes: In one of the worst kept secrets, we have confirmed that the Nuggets are likely to have a promise in place for Holmes. The Nuggets have had promises in place in the last few seasons. Holmes is an athletic frontcourt player who should be ready to provide one of the league’s title contenders with some quality minutes off the bench.

NBA Comparison: Nic Claxton

29. *Utah (From Oklahoma City) Trey Alexander 6-4 190 PG Creighton Jr.

Alexander is one of the more experienced guards without being past the standard expiration point. he returned to school and focused on showing that he’s a capable lead guard on top of the scoring ability. While questions remain about his speed and ability to get by defenders off the dribble, he’s got an intriguing set of skills in the late first to early second round range. His 6.2 rebounds per game at the guard position is a valued asset and enhances his analytics projections. He has a 6-8 wingspan, giving him a plus 3-4 inches on his height. Alexander also played well in the NCAA tourney, showing that he’s able to step up to the moment when called upon.

Why the Jazz select Trey Alexander: Alexander adds another piece to the Utah rebuilding project. He should be able to come in and contribute something right away. Alexander also has some potential left to develop as he gets stronger. Alexander can provide depth and compete with Keyonte George and Collin Sexton for minutes.

NBA Comparison: Alec Burks

30. Boston Tristan da Silva 6-9 215 SF/PF Colorado Sr.

The Brazilian by way of Munich is one of the more experienced forward prospects in this year’s draft with four years at Colorado under his belt. The upside is not as intriguing as with a younger player, Da Silva turned 23 on May 15th, however his ability to contribute sooner is the tradeoff. da Silva shows a very nice shooting motion and ability to stroke the long ball. He’s a decent athlete in the open floor with long arms and gets some dunks on loose balls and back doors. While not a big time isolation guy, he can create baskets at times when called upon and should continue to expand in this area. While not the highest upside pick in the late first round area, his shooting and length give him a nice combination of floor and ceiling.  While his scoring and efficiency were pretty even from his junior year, 16 ppg on 49.3 fg% 39.5 3p%m 83.5 dt%, his a/to going from a 1/2 negative number to 2.4 to 1.8 was his biggest jump in efficiency.

Why the Celtics select Tristan da Silva: da Silva is a floor spacer and one of the more NBA ready players, which works well for a team that looks like it may be on the precipice of winning another NBA title, and has a window over the next few seasons. da Silva could turn into a better version of Sam Hauser.

NBA Comparison: Cody Martin


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