To contextualize just how uninspiring the top of the 2024 NBA Draft class really is -- and to further explain where the real strength of the draft lies, which is somewhere in the mid lottery to the 20s -- our prospect capsules and rankings for the 2024 cycle below come bearing a handy-dandy grading system.

The system, seen below, is used to categorize players based on how we project them into future career categories. They are as follows:

  • 100-96 -- Hall of Fame
  • 95-90 -- All-Star
  • 89-85 -- High-Level Starter
  • 84-80 -- Starter
  • 79-75 -- Part-time Player
  • 74-70 -- Part-time contributor
  • 69-60 -- Role Player
  • 59-50 -- Roster Depth

No player cracked the Hall of Fame tier for me. And only four made the cut as potential future All-Stars, though the highest-ranked prospect landed at 93 -- somewhere in the potential All-Star level but close to the High-Level Starter tier.

As you can see below, though, and as you will see soon when we release our final prospect rankings within the next week with grades and scouting reports for our ranked prospects, there is a lot to like when you get into the middle of the lottery into the late lottery and late teens. The draft somewhat flattens before falling off. 

It's not seen as a great draft because there is no known great prospect -- no Victor Wembanyama, no Zion Williamson, etc. -- but good teams who have done their homework will come away with good players at good values from this draft. Historically that much is true, and this year that feels especially true.

So below is our current top 10 -- and penultimate prospect rankings, replete with scouting reports and prospect grades. Our final prospect rankings next week will be a consensus ranking from all of our experts at CBS Sports. 

1. Alex Sarr | Perth | C | 7-0

Summary: In a wide-open 2024 NBA Draft class, Sarr – literally and figuratively – stands above the competition with his big frame, movement skills and long-term potential. He's a center with a blend of guard skills who can play in the post and out to the perimeter. He also has very good shot-blocking skills and projects to be an impactful defender in the NBA as a back-end anchor to a defensive unit. 

Rating: 92.5


  • Modernized skillset to fit neatly into the NBA as a hybrid center. Can space the floor and shoot it, put the ball on the floor and create, and bang down low in the paint if needed.
  • Immense positional versatility. A true 1-5 defender because of his ability to cover ground and defend in space. 
  • Improving jumper with good touch. Rates in the 98th percentile on runners, according to Synergy data, and 93rd percentile in shots within 17 feet.
  • Size of a center with the skill of a guard. Can attack closeouts with an advanced handle for his position and shows playmaking upside in terms of his ability to create his own looks. 


  • Not yet a consistent shooter. Played the entire season with Perth in the NBL at 18 years old and struggled shooting it from 3-point range – sub-30% – and also shot just 71.4% from the free-throw line. 
  • Lacks confidence in pick-and-roll scheme as roll man. This is likely a role he will be asked to serve in frequently. He's hesitant to pull up and shoot jumpers, but doesn't attack the basket with confidence in these situations, either. The flashes of playmaking and dribbling are nice but at this point still hit-or-miss. An area of improvement. 
  • Center primarily in size only. Not a polished product playing out of the post and struggled this season playing in post-ups/isos down low. Needs more reps and needs to add strength to sharpen this part of his game. Too frequently settles for fadeaway jumpers and gets pushed out of his position.

Pro comparison: Jaren Jackson Jr.

About / accolades

  • Played two seasons at Overtime Elite, the first with Team Overtime and the second with YNG Dreamerz. 
  • Grew up in France before moving to Spain to join Real Madrid's Youth Team in 2019.

2. Zaccharie Risacher | JL Bourg | SF | 6-9 

Summary: The latest in a long line of star French prospects that includes 2023 No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama, Risacher – a former teammate of Wembanyama's – has a long frame and a developing game worthy of going top five in the 2024 draft. Risacher has spent the last few years playing with ASVEL in EuroLeague and most recently with Bourg in the LNB Pro A, where his long frame and fluidity has made him a coveted wing prospect in the frame of a modern-day big.  

Rating: 92


  • Has an ideal frame of a modern-day NBA wing with a plus-wingspan. 
  • Developing shooter with range beyond the 3-point line. Has shown willingness and confidence to take more shots and steadily improved his consistency from beyond the arc.
  • Excellent catch-and-shoot weapon. Playing primarily off the ball for Bourg has allowed him to flourish as a spot-up threat. He has great fundamentals and is automatic when he catches and fires in rhythm. 
  • Good perimeter defender on the ball. Slides his feet well and can stay in front of his man. Uses his leverage well and knows how to force the issue. 
  • Smart team defender who has a good awareness of when to help. Shows smartness in sliding over to rotate for help.


  • Has desirable traits to develop into a plus defender but needs to develop more strength. Tends to die or get hung up on ball screens at the top of the key that allows his man easy looks.
  • Struggled shooting the ball down the stretch of the season for Bourg, a concern for a prospect whose rise has largely been spurred by his improvement in that area. 
  • Shows flashes of being useful off the dribble but still very raw in terms of his short-term production profile. Mostly a catch-and-shoot weapon in the NBL who has room to grow with his physicality and finishing. 

Pro comparison: Harrison Barnes


  • Earned the 2023-24 French League Best Young Player Award and 2023-24 EuroCup Rising Star Award.
  • Played one season on French club ASVEL with 2023 No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama.

3. Reed Sheppard | Kentucky | PG | 6-2

Summary: Sheppard is the most lethal 3-point shooting prospect in the 2024 NBA Draft class and had an historically great shooting season as a freshman at Kentucky. He's more than a one-trick pony, too, with a balance of elite defensive playmaking and passing. 

Rating: 90.5


  • Dynamic shooter. Rated in the 100th (!) percentile in jump shots as a true freshman at Kentucky, including: 99th percentile in catch and shoot and 99th percentile on dribble jumpers; also made 52.1% of his 144 3-point attempts, which led college basketball  
  • Immense feel and anticipation. Led SEC in steals at 2.5 per game and finished eighth nationally in steals across all college players. When asked to be a creator, showed great vision as passer.
  • Shooting touch that extends to anywhere on the floor. Has excellent touch around the rim with runners and mid-range jumpers, and can extend it well beyond the 3-point line. 


  • Sometimes struggled in big moments or in big games and can disappear during stretches on offense. Had just three points in NCAA Tournament first- round loss to No. 14 seed Oakland. Was also held to four points vs. No. 13 Auburn.
  • Can improve consistency and also aggressiveness. Smart player capable of getting others involved but sometimes unaware that his team's best option is for him to push through funks even when he has a slow start.

Pro comparison: Davion Mitchell


  • Led college basketball in 3-point shooting percentage at 52.1% in 2023-24.
  • Parents Jeff and Stacey Sheppard both starred in basketball at Kentucky. Jeff won two national championships with the Wildcats and was named MOP of the 1998 Final Four.

4. Donovan Clingan | UConn | C | 7-2

Summary: A modern-day big man who was a potential first-round one-and-done center who came back to UConn as a sophomore to lead the Huskies' charge to a second straight title. Elite defensive prospect and rim-protector who is still scratching the surface of what he could become as a finished product.

Rating: 90


  • Efficiency darling. Finished second in all of college basketball last season in Player Efficiency Rating behind only player of the year Zach Edey. Also ranked second in total box/plus minus. UConn was a team-high 36.09 points per 100 possessions last season when Clingan was on the floor.
  • Otherworldly interior presence on defense. Ranked sixth in college basketball in block percentage and was eighth in blocks per game at 2.5. 
  • Knack for the ball. Very effective at using his body and leverage to squeeze out and produce offensive rebounds/second-chance opportunities. 


  • Limited offensive arsenal at this stage. Took just eight 3-pointers all season and made two. Scoring was primarily limited to in the paint on hooks, dunks and layups. Needs to add a consistent jumper to his bag and extend his range.
  • Concerning string of injuries the last year. Began the season with a right foot tendon injury and suffered another injury on same foot in December. Came back and played brilliantly, but history of foot injuries could be something NBA teams dig deeper into for a 7-footer.

Pro comparison: Walker Kessler

About / accolades

  • Ranked second among all college basketball players in 2023-24 in Player Efficiency Rating (PER), box plus/minus and win shares per 40 minutes
  • Ranked eighth in the country in both blocks and field-goal percentage in 2023-24 as a sophomore.
NCAA Basketball: Final Four National Championship
Stephon Castle was a key part of UConn's run to the NCAA title. USATSI

5. Stephon Castle | UConn | C | 7-2

Summary: Castle is a mystery box prospect whose ceiling may be as high as anyone in this year's draft class. A former McDonald's All-American and five-star recruit, Castle starred in his role for UConn as a lockdown defender and clutch scorer in its run to win the national championship. He has the size, skill, defense and playmaking to become a star in the NBA.

Rating: 90


  • Lockdown defensive prospect. Consistently drew the toughest perimeter defensive assignments for a UConn team that went 37-3 and finished No. 4 in adjusted defensive efficiency metrics. 
  • Universally praised by teammates and coaches as a selfless player who sacrificed for the loaded Huskies team that won the title. Could have been a No. 1 option at just about every school in the Big East, but instead embraced his role as an overqualified role player, winning Big East Freshman of the Year honors while tantalizing NBA teams with the combo of his size and smooth game. 
  • Never plays hurriedly. Has a great feel for the game and cerebral enough to make adjustments in games. If his offense was needed, he recognized; if his defense was most required, he locked in and took a backseat on offense. Rarely forces the issue to accumulate stats.


  • Needs to develop his outside shot. He made just 26.7% from 3-point range on 75 attempts and frequently looked timid taking those shots. He lacks confidence shooting from outside and lacks efficiency shooting those shots, too.
  • Long athlete whose size is appealing, but he lacks an elite athletic burst that could ding him in the NBA. Combine that with his low threat of shooting and NBA teams will cheat down on screens, making him somewhat one-dimensional until his shot improves.
  • Good, but not elite, playmaker. Has good court vision but may not have the vision to be a true No. 1 playmaking option. More of a 1.5 than a 1, and closer to a 2. Makes selling him as a point guard challenging if he's not an elite passer and makes selling him as a shooting guard challenging given his struggles shooting.

Pro comparison: Jrue Holiday

About / accolades

  • Helped UConn win the national championship in 2023-24 and was selected to 2024 NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team.
  • Named unanimous 2023-24 Big East Freshman of the Year.

6. Dalton Knecht | Tennessee | SG | 6-5

Summary: In line to be the oldest top-10 NBA Draft pick since 2016, Knecht took the road less traveled to the NBA Draft. He started his career with two seasons at Northeastern Junior College in Colorado before bouncing to Northern Colorado the next two years, where he blossomed into an All-Big Sky performer. Knecht then went one-and-done at Tennessee, earning All-American honors while averaging 21.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Vols. 

Rating: 88.5


  • Vertical pop machine. Has outstanding leaping ability and tested well at the combine, showing off a 39.0 vertical jump. The athletic pop shows in his game, where he can create highlights as a flashy dunker and has the swiftness to create for himself separation on offense. 
  • Great shooter almost across the board that projects well for him to fill numerous roles in the NBA. He rated in the 88th percentile as a catch and shoot shooter, 79th percentile as a jump shooter and 86th percentile on 3-pointers, per Synergy data. 
  • Smart cutter. Showed at Tennessee he can be an alpha scorer and go-to weapon in crunch time but has the wherewithal and smarts to play off the ball as well. 


  • Struggled at Tennessee shooting at the rim. He was efficient finishing at the basket at Northern Colorado but the leap to the SEC and facing more athleticism and length hurt his overall efficiency. 
  • Doesn't have the shooting touch inside the arc you'd hope to see from a prospect who profiles best as a shooting role-player. Rated 47th percentile on runners at Tennessee and was 13th percentile on such shots the year prior at Northern Colorado. 

Pro comparison: Josh Hart

About / accolades

  • Turned 23 years old earlier this spring, putting him in line to be the oldest lottery pick since Buddy Hield in 2016
  • Spent five years at college level – two in junior college, two at Northern Colorado then one final year at the University of Tennessee
  • Earned SEC Player of the Year and All-American honors in one and only season with Vols in 2023-24

7. Rob Dillingham | Kentucky | PG | 6-1

Summary: Twitchy guard from Kentucky who first developed at Overtime Elite before blossoming into a star in one season under John Calipari. He's a firecracker with the ball in his hands who can be a microwave scorer and dynamic offensive weapon with an array of acrobatic finishing angles and body contortion ability. He puts the ball in the basket at a high level.

Rating: 88


  • Versatile offensive weapon who flashed brilliance in nearly every department at Kentucky. His shotmaking in particular pops off the page; he rated in the 98th percentile as a catch-and-shoot weapon and 93rd percentile in jump shots, per Synergy data
  • Excellent touch around the basket as a finisher. He lacks ideal size of an NBA 2-guard but compensates for it well with imaginative finishing ability. He can contort his body and weave around defenders in the lane and has excellent touch to convince the ball to scoot through the hoop. Very creative.
  • Underrated passer and playmaker. He can create offense for himself as an electric pull-up weapon or score it as a secondary option, but showed strong development as a playmaker over the last season. He led Kentucky in assist rate and in usage rate yet finished fourth on the team in turnover percentage. 


  • Room for improvement on the defensive side of the floor. UK defense gave up 110 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor, per Pivot Analysis, which was eighth on the team. 
  • Gets hung up or lost when defending in space. Dies on screens and takes chances that frequently burn him. Has the pep to be a good defender but his mechanics of understanding of defending need to improve. He can be an average defender at the point of attack with development.
  • Acrobatic finishes and shooting touch around the basket have buoyed an otherwise unappealing scoring profile at or around the hoop. He rated in the 34th and 36th percentile in shots at the rim and on layups, respectively, according to Synergy data. His runners and touch on those attempts are breathtaking but mask an underlying issue that could be problematic in the NBA.

Pro comparison: Kyrie Irving

About / accolades

  • Spent one season prior to his time at the University of Kentucky playing for Overtime Elite
  • Appeared in 32 games at Kentucky but made just one start all season

8. Nikola Topic | Crvena Zvezda | PG | 6-6

Summary: Big guard with big playmaking ability. Advanced passer with a big frame who can see over the top of defenses and plays with great anticipation. Plays with a poise and confidence that translates to success as an offensive hub. Never plays sped up.

Rating: 87.5


  • Ideal frame for a big playmaking guard.
  • Savvy scorer and finisher. Not a bull in the china shop; has great feel for when to accelerate and decelerate to create space for passing and shooting inside the arc.
  • Good dribbler and general high-feel player who oozes poise. Consistently makes "wow" passes and reads looks routine, and makes routine passes and reads with frequency. 
  • Someone you can trust to carry your offense and someone who excels running a modern offense as the lead man in pick and roll.


  • Not a consistent scoring threat. Teams sag off him from deep and dare him to shoot. He shoots with hesitancy and is below 25% from 3-point range the last three seasons. 
  • Needs to improve his shooting across the board, but in particular on dribble jumpers and pull-ups. Too frequently he is pass-first to a fault and shows little willingness to make defenses pay for cutting under screens.

Pro comparison: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander


9. Matas Buzelis | G League Ignite | SF | 6-9

Summary: If you constructed the ideal frame and game of a modern-day NBA wing, it'd pop out of the oven looking a whole lot like Buzelis. He's pushing 7-feet tall with a game that fits a wing with his shooting and attacking ability and the size of a power forward. Buzelis began the cycle as a potential No. 1 pick and struggled early before playing his way back into the top five conversation. 

Rating: 87.3


  • Excellent positional size and uses his size to his advantage to defend multiple positions and is a go-go-gadget type weapon in transition with his ability to cover space and handle the ball.
  • Shot it well at Sunrise Christian prior to G League Ignite; Synergy data put him in the 96th percentile on dribble-jumpers, 87th percentile in jump shots and 83rd percentile in catch and shoot situations. Has shown promising development to foretell future upside as a weapon here.
  • Smart defensive player. Very engaged and seems to understand concepts well. Can be impactful when he wants and defends multiple positions. Good ability to slide feet and stay in front as defender.
  • Highlight-reel finisher. Can throw down spectacular dunks and putbacks above the rim and has a knack for finding space and crouching behind defenders to sneak up and put a big jam back.


  • Love his flashes of playmaking in the open floor but still room to grow as a creator. An ideal path for him to stardom would be developing his offensive game on the ball as a passer/playmaker/hub. He's not quite polished enough there on any of those fronts.
  • Ideal frame, but with a significant downside: he's not yet filled it out. Needs to add strength and weight to hold up against NBA competition. This will (hopefully) allow him to improve in other areas of weaknesses in his game where lack of strength show up such as his finishing ability, playing downhill and defending against longer or stronger players.

Pro comparison: Andrew Wiggins


  • Born in Chicago, Buzelis is of Lithuanian descent, with parents Aidas and Kristana both former professional basketball players in Lithuania.
  • He spent one season (2023-24) playing with G League Ignite in preparation for the 2024 NBA Draft. Prior to that he played his senior year at Sunrise Christian Academy and earned McDonald's All-American honors.

10. Ron Holland | | G League Ignite | SF | 6-9

Summary: A former five-star recruit, Holland initially signed with Texas before spending the 2023-24 season with G League Ignite developing in its program. Holland led the team, which was put together for top prospects, in both scoring and steals. He has electric athleticism and leaping ability and has above-the-rim finishing that makes him one of the most exciting talents in the class. 

Rating: 87


  • Top-shelf athlete who excels in transition. Checked in with 38.0 inch max standing vertical at the NBA Draft Combine, which was top 10 (including ties). Consistently plays big and with confidence and serves as a threat to dunk on someone's head at any moment.
  • Wingspan of nearly 6-11 is promising. For a combo forward, his length, movement and standing reach (8-8) bodes well for his ability to defend multiple positions at the NBA. 
  • Improved attacker and dribbler. Polished and made strides in his game in attacking closeouts and finishing at the rim. Also averaged 3.2 assists per game at G League Ignite.


  • Could stand to improve his jump shot and become more efficient as an outside scoring threat. Made less than 25% of his 3-pointers with G League Ignite and struggled in catch-and-shoot situations where he'll likely be asked to deliver in the NBA, albeit on a team hastily put together. 
  • Passing flashes come and go but his vision is below average. He struggles to see passing lanes and juggling between attacking and being a creator.  
  • Can get too jittery with the ball in his hands when asked to be a playmaker or initiator. Often loses his balance or gets pushed off his spots. An improvement in strength will help, but he remains raw and is unlikely to ever be a creator combo wing. 

Pro comparison: Mikal Bridges

About / accolades

  • Finished the 2023 recruiting cycle as the No. 1 prospect in 247Sports' recruiting rankings.
  • Signed with Texas as a recruit before getting out of NLI and signing with G League Ignite. 
  • Led G League Ignite in scoring and steals in 2023-24.