2024 NBA mock draft: Donovan Clingan rises to no.2 and Lakers to draft Anthony Davis' future partner

Alex Sarr remains at 1 on 2024 NBA mock draft, Donovan Clingan leaps all the way to no. 2. Do the Lakers really pick a center to partner up with Anthony Davis?
Alex Sarr at 1, Donovan Clingan at 2. Lakers to pick a versatile big in the form of DaRon Holmes II?

With the 2024 NBA draft rapidly approaching, let’s dive into another mock draft. Teams are working out players and the international NBA combine has passed, adding new data points for scouts to consider.

As always, this 2024 NBA mock draft is predictive and combines my player evaluations with synthesizing available intel around the league.

The first round of 2024 NBA Mock Draft

1. Atlanta Hawks - Alex Sarr, C, Perth

Sarr continues to make the most sense for Atlanta at one, assuming they don’t trade the pick. His ceiling is sky high, as Sarr’s freakish mobility could let him switch onto the perimeter and cover massive swathes of ground. The Hawks need Sarr’s defense and rim protection badly after their poor defensive season, and Trae Young’s elite playmaking will put Sarr in spots where he can best exist offensively.

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2. Washington Wizards - Donovan Clingan, C, UConn

Clingan seems to be rising in draft circles, with teams banking on his elite defense translating to the pros. The Wizards will look to Clingan as their center of the future, anchoring the defense with his excellent rim protection and pick-and-roll defensive ability. If Clingan can expand his range and improve as a mover on offense, he could serve as a solid play finisher and complementary weapon on that end.

Donovan Clingan's elite defense is just what the Wizards need at no.2
Donovan Clingan's elite defense is just what the Wizards need at no.2

3. Houston Rockets - Zaccharie Risacher, F, Bourg

Houston snatches up the highly regarded Risacher, as he falls out of the top two in the scenario. Some scouts view Risacher as a ‘sure thing,’ as his shooting, cutting, and defense project him cleanly into a three-and-D role at the next level. Though Risacher’s upside is limited, the Rockets already have their stars of the future in place, allowing for Risacher to focus on shooting and defense.

4. San Antonio Spurs - Rob Dillingham, G, Kentucky

The Spurs pair Victor Wembanyama with the most electric guard in the draft. Dillingham possesses a special handle, shaking defenders out of their shoes en route to jumpers, floaters and passes to his teammates. Dillingham’s small frame causes some concern, especially on the defensive end of the floor. Fortunately, San Antonio’s alien in the middle will make life easier as Dillingham adjusts to NBA speed.

5. Detroit Pistons - Reed Sheppard, G, Kentucky

The Pistons must add a positive shooter with their pick this season, as floor spacing was a massive problem around Cade Cunningham this past season. Though Sheppard adds to an already crowded guard room, the Pistons are a team in transition and could value his offensive skillset. He’d pair well with Cunningham, shooting off of the ball and passing off of his gravity.

6. Charlotte Hornets - Matas Buzelis, F, Ignite

Charlotte still needs an infusion of talent on the wing and Buzelis is one of the most enticing bets there in the draft. Though he isn’t a consistent shooter yet and needs to develop his frame, the 6’10" wing stars as a driver and a shot blocker. He’s a unique talent, creating with great size and timing in the mid-range area. If he bulks up, Buzelis could evolve into a fearsome off-ball defender as well.

7. Portland Trail Blazers - Tidjane Salaun, F, Cholet

With the consensus top center prospects off of the board, the Blazers swing on one of the highest-upside prospects in the draft. Deep into a rebuild, Portland can wait for Salaun to mature offensively. If he can, Salaun’s incredible athletic twitch suggests all-defensive upside as an off-ball wrecker in the style of Matisse Thybulle, hopefully with a more reliable jumper. His impact as an 18-year-old in the French league has been commendable.

8. San Antonio Spurs - Stephon Castle, F/G, UConn

Stephon Castle seems set on playing point guard for his future team, making the Spurs one of the possible options in the lottery. Dillingham excels off of the ball, opening up a slot for Castle to play on the ball. If he can progress into a competent shooter and scorer, his handle and playmaking should allow him to set up his teammates. If he can’t develop into a PG, his defense and playmaking should let him contribute in a complementary role.

9. Memphis Grizzlies - Dalton Knecht, G, Tennessee

The Grizzlies sit in a unique position, picking in the lottery (due to injuries) with an already stacked roster. Memphis could look to add a ready-made product and Knecht should contribute offensively from the jump. He’s a versatile shotmaker on and off of the ball with enough athletic juice to pressure the rim and score at all levels. There might not be star upside, but Knecht will thrive playing off of Memphis’ stars.

10. Utah Jazz - Ron Holland, F, Ignite

As the Jazz continue to stack young talent, they take a chance on the sliding Holland. Holland produced at a high level for the G-League Ignite, showcasing elite driving upside with his strength, burst and finishing ability. He’s a quality playmaker and defender as well, creating the foundation for an excellent two-way wing. If Holland develops into a competent shooter, Utah would find the steal of the draft.

Ron Holland continues to slide but at no. 10 he could be the steal of the 2024 NBA draft for Utah Jazz
Ron Holland continues to slide but at no. 10 he could be the steal of the 2024 NBA draft for Utah Jazz

11. Chicago Bulls - Nikola Topic, PG, Red Star

Topic’s partially torn ACL might push him down the board, letting Chicago scoop up an otherwise top talent in the draft. If they’re confident in his future medical outlook, Topic’s elite driving and finishing at the bucket paired with good pick-and-roll playmaking build the foundation of his potential ceiling. A healthy Topic could develop into the star the Bulls so desperately need, making him a worthwhile risk outside of the top 10.

12. OKC Thunder - Cody Williams, F, Colorado

It’s hard to imagine the Thunder passing on Cody Williams if he falls to 12, as the idea of pairing him with his superstar brother is enticing. Williams fits OKC’s type given his long wingspan and athleticism, showcasing incredible touch finishing around the basket and flashes of creation and playmaking on the perimeter. The Thunder will bet on Chip Engelland’s shooting development mastery to turn Cody Williams into a threatening shooter as well.

13. Sacramento Kings - Kel’el Ware, C, Indiana

Rim protection has been an area of concern for the Kings over the last few years and Ware might be the best shot blocker in the draft. He’ll need to clean up his effort level and playmaking, but Ware showcases true spacing potential as a seven-footer, indicating the potential to play next to Domantas Sabonis on the perimeter. He’d supercharge Sacramento’s defense if Ware hits his potential, rendering him an enticing upside pick late in the lottery.

14. Portland Trail Blazers - Yves Missi, C, Baylor

Portland missed out on a center in the top 10, so it should draft Missi as its defensive anchor of the future. The 6’11 big skies above the rim to catch lobs and block shots. His defensive upside is superb, as Missi moves like a wing and exhibits the potential to switch and defend all pick-and-roll coverages. He’ll feast off of Scoot Henderson and the rest of the Blazers’ guards and clean up on the defensive interior.

15. Miami Heat - Isaiah Collier, PG, USC

Beyond the lottery, Isaiah Collier will be the best talent available, perfect for a team like Miami with an excellent player development environment. They’ll work to develop his shooting as Collier stars with his powerful, explosive driving and creative playmaking. If everything breaks right for the Heat, Collier could develop into their next superstar guard with a high upside on both ends of the floor.

16. Philadelphia 76ers - Devin Carter, G, Providence

Some scouts view Carter as one of the most league-ready players in the entire draft, perfect for a Sixers team hoping to extend their title window. His shooting evolution this season makes him an ideal second guard next to Tyrese Maxey, focusing most on defense and shooting off of the ball. Carter’s incredible defense on and off of the ball will be supremely valuable, allowing him to play whatever defensive role Philadelphia needs from him.

17. Los Angeles Lakers - DaRon Holmes II, C, Dayton

With the Lakers rumored to be hiring UConn’s Dan Hurley, they’ll draft an elite college center in Holmes. He’s a supremely versatile big, thriving on the perimeter with his tight handle and 3-point shooting ability. Holmes can also bang on the interior, drawing fouls and scoring in the post. Holmes’ versatility on both ends of the floor will allow him to play the four next to Anthony Davis and hold down the paint as a lone big at times.

DaRon Holmes 2 (L) could be a great backcourt partner for Anthony Davis and Lakers
DaRon Holmes 2 (L) could be a great backcourt partner for Anthony Davis and Lakers

18. Orlando Magic - Ja’Kobe Walter, G, Baylor

As one of the league’s worst shooting teams, Orlando will prioritize shotmaking with its first-round pick. Walter’s shot versatility is NBA level, sprinting off of movement into jumpers and pulling off of the dribble. The Magic will hope Walter can develop into a positive defender as he ages, as well as improve his handle, passing and finishing at the basket. He wouldn't need to do much outside of shooting, though, making his life easier in Orlando.

19. Toronto Raptors - Zach Edey, C, Purdue

Toronto selects the Canadian Edey as the center of the future, betting on his size and touch around the bucket. Some scouts have questions about how Edey’s game will translate to the NBA, but his size and scoring in the paint are undeniable. The Raptors will bet on Edey’s college dominance transferring over to the NBA, feeding him post touches and parking him at the basket to cover the paint with his monster frame.

20. Cleveland Cavaliers - Tristan Da Silva, F, Colorado

In the playoffs, Cleveland’s poor injury luck exposed its lack of wing depth. Instead of Georges Niang and Marcus Morris, the Cavs could draft Da Silva to operate on the perimeter. The 6’9 wing shoots off of the dribble and off of the catch, showcasing secondary pick-and-roll playmaking rare for a player of his height. Though he’s not the strongest or most physical player, Cleveland’s menacing defense would help counter that.

21. New Orleans Pelicans - Jared McCain G, Duke

The Pelicans built their roster full of athletic wings and forwards, lacking the guard depth necessary to maintain a consistent offensive presence. Jared McCain’’s size shouldn’t deter teams from betting on his bonafide elite shotmaking paired with already solid driving and playmaking. McCain works both on and off of the ball and would thrive passing and shooting off of Zion Williamson and working as a bench initiator.

22. Phoenix Suns - Kyle Filipowski, F/C, Duke

The Suns don’t have the depth to compete with the best teams in the West, especially struggling on the interior. Kyle Filipowski’s size, passing skill and dribbling would be hugely beneficial for a Suns team that often runs stagnant offense and struggles against taller teams. If Filipowski develops into a solid shooter, he’d fit as a perimeter threat who could play off of the gravity of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.

Kyle Filipowski for the Suns at 21. could be a good steal for in the 2024 NBA draft
Kyle Filipowski for the Suns at 21. could be a good steal for in the 2024 NBA draft

23. Milwaukee Bucks - Jonathan Mogbo, C/F, San Francisco

Milwaukee desperately needs an injection of youth, talent and athleticism to its aging roster. Mogbo might be the best dunker in the draft, skying above the rim as a lob catcher, roller, and driver. Mogbo’s lack of shooting for a big is cause for some concern, but the passing, defense and finishing above the rim project him well to a complementary role.

24. New York Knicks - Tyler Smith, F, Ignite

Smith profiles as a high-upside throwback stretch four, shooting the ball at an NBA level. He’s dynamic shooting off of the pop or off screens and can pull up off of the bounce from deep and from the mid-range. He’s a developing defender, which the Knicks' excellent defensive coaching and infrastructure should help accelerate as much as possible. New York’s excellent depth will allow it to wait for Smith to be ready to contribute.

25. New York Knicks - Jaylon Tyson, F, Cal

New York doubles up on exciting offensively slanted forwards, adding the 6’7 wing out of Cal. Tyson is one of the draft’s best pull-up shooters, creating shots with his handle and footwork to shoot over defenders with his height. The Knicks have an excellent recent track record for player development and should be able to squeeze the best out of Tyson, helping him progress his consistency as a playmaker and defender.

26. Washington Wizards - Bub Carrington, G, Pittsburgh

After drafting their center of the future in the top two, the Wizards swing for a young, high-upside guard in Carrington. The 18-year-old is one of the draft’s most dynamic playmakers with the ball, flashing versatile shooting and pick-and-roll playmaking ability. He’ll need to add strength to better pressure the rim and defend, but the Wizards should feel fine taking a project with a high ceiling at this stage of the rebuild.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves - Dillon Jones, G/F, Weber St

In their series loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the Timberwolves struggled to score consistently when the defense took away Anthony Edwards. In the draft, the Wolves should search for projects to inject energy into their offense and Dillon Jones is just that. The 6’4 guard sports an enormous frame and wingspan and pairs that with excellent playmaking, ball handling and downhill scoring.

28. Denver Nuggets - Johnny Furphy, F, Kansas

Furphy’s youth, 3-point shooting and athleticism in the open court have enticed some scouts, possibly indicating some future three and D upside. The Nuggets will hope to bolster their wing rotation and get Furphy ready to play as soon as possible, spacing the floor for Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

29. Utah Jazz - Nikola Djurisic, F/G, Mega

Late in the first, Utah swings on Djurisic, who rose in the eyes of scouts after a strong combine and late-season performance. As the Jazz hope to continue stacking talent, a 6’8 wing who’s flashed advanced shotmaking, playmaking and driving makes sense here.

30. Boston Celtics - Kyshawn George, G, Miami

The Celtics are on track to win the NBA Finals. It’s a testament to their talent and depth, so they can afford to add a more developmental piece. George’s rare shotmaking and passing for a 6’8 guard could entice Boston, letting him sit and develop for a few years.

Boston Celtics are looking to win the 2024 title and secure a draft steal in Kyshawn George
Boston Celtics are looking to win the 2024 title and secure a draft steal in Kyshawn George

Top 10 picks from the second round of 2024 NBA Mock Draft

31. Toronto Raptors - Ulrich Chomche, C, NBA Academy Africa

The Raptors love raw, high-upside prospects, and Chomche’s athletic tools are tantalizing

32. Utah Jazz - Pacome Dadiet, F, Ulm

The Jazz land another high-upside international prospect who they could possibly stash while he develops.

33. Milwaukee Bucks - Ryan Dunn, F, Virginia

Dunn is one of the best defenders in the draft, perfect for an aging Milwaukee wing/forward room.

34. Portland Trail Blazers - Cam Christie, F, Minnesota

Cam Christie’s shooting on the wing will entice teams to buy into his potential upside.

35. San Antonio Spurs - Baylor Scheierman, F, Creighton

To pair with their growing young roster, the Spurs draft one of the best wing shooters in the class.

36. Indiana Pacers - Harrison Ingram, F, UNC

Ingram is a do-it-all all wing with the potential to slot into Indiana’s rotation early in his career.

37. Minnesota Timberwolves - Ajay Mitchell, G, UC Santa Barbara

Minnesota adds more offense, drafting the dynamic driving Mitchell.

38. New York Knicks - Melvin Ajinca, G, Saint Quentin

New York continues to add shooting and size, betting on Ajinca’s three-and-D skillset.

39. Memphis Grizzlies - Kevin McCullar, F, Kansas

McCullar’s two-way skillset could let him contribute in Memphis from the get-go.

40. Portland Trail Blazers - KJ Simpson, PG, Colorado

Portland bolsters its guard depth with the dynamic KJ Simpson who scores at all levels.

KJ Simpson was the most impressive player at the 2024 NBA draft combine, he could go at no. 40
KJ Simpson was the most impressive player at the 2024 NBA draft combine, he could go at no. 40

The Final list of players for the 2024 NBA mock draft

Projected pick PlayerTeam
1Alex SarrAtlanta Hawks
2Donovan ClinganWashington Wizards
3Zaccharie RishacherHouston Rockets (via BKN)
4Rob Dillingham San Antonio Spurs
5Reed SheppardDetroit Pistons
6Matas BuzelisCharlotte Hornets
7Tidjane SalaunPortland Trail Blazers
8Stephon CastleSan Antonio Spurs (via TOR)
9Dalton KnechtMemphis Grizzlies
10Ron Holland Utah Jazz
11Nikola TopicChicago Bulls
12Cody WilliamsOklahoma City Thunder (via HOU)
13Kel'El WareSacramento Kings
14Yves MissiPortland Trail Blazers (via GS)
15Isaiah CollierMiami Heat
16Devin CarterPhiladelphia 76ers
17DaRon Holmes IILos Angeles Lakers
18Ja'Kobe WalterOrlando Magic
19Zach EdeyToronto Raptors (via IND)
20Tristan Da SilvaCleveland Cavaliers
21Jared McCainNew Orleans Pelicans (via MIL)
22Kyle FilipowskiPhoenix Suns
23Jonathan MogboMilwaukee Bucks (via NOP)
24Tyler SmithNew York Knicks (via DAL)
25Jaylon TysonNew York Knicks
26Bub Carrington Washington Wizards (via LAC)
27Dillon JonesMinnesota Timberwolves
28Johnny FurphyDenver Nuggets
29Nikola DjurisicUtah Jazz (via OKC)
30Kyshawn GeorgeBoston Celtics
Round 2
31Ulrich ChomcheToronto Raptors
32Pacome DadietUtah Jazz
33Ryan DunnMilwaukee Bucks
34Cam Christie Portland Trailblazers
35Baylor ScheiermanSan Antonio Spurs
36Harrison Ingram Indiana Pacers
37Ajay Mitchell Minnesota Timberwolves
38Melvin AjincaNew York Knicks
39Kevin McCullar Memphis Grizzlies
40KJ SimpsonPortland Trailblazers

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