NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament Quarterfinal-Mississippi State vs Tennessee
USATSI

The 2024 NBA Draft is now less than three weeks away. At this point, it remains unclear which player the Atlanta Hawks will select with the first pick — or even if the Atlanta Hawks will keep the first pick.

It's just that kind of year.

Between this day and the moment commissioner Adam Silver is handed a card in advance of him announcing the first pick inside Barclays Center on June 26, we'll likely get some clarity. But, for now at least, I'm keeping Alex Sarr at the top of my 2024 NBA Mock Draft, primarily because he's still the person most NBA evaluators tell me they believe is the best prospect available in a weaker-than-normal draft.

Is he perfect? No. Is he a sure-thing big like Anthony Davis was considered a sure-thing big after winning a national championship and securing national player of the year honors at Kentucky in 2012? Again, no. But Sarr is a 7-foot 19 year-old who projects as an elite defensive player cut from the same cloth as Memphis Grizzlies star Jaren Jackson Jr. and Cleveland Cavaliers standout Evan Mobley. 

The questions are on the other end of the court, where Sarr seems comfortable shooting from the perimeter but has never really made a high percentage from the 3-point line. If the shot comes around, Sarr could develop into a multi-time All-Star and centerpiece of a franchise. If not, though, it will be difficult for the French sensation to exceed or even meet the expectations that go hand-in-hand with being the first player selected in any draft.

Mock Draft
Round 1
Round 1 - Pick 1
Alex Sarr C
France • 7'1" / 217 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
PPG
9.4
RPG
4.3
APG
0.9
BPG
1.3
The Hawks are reportedly still early in the evaluation process that has them considering multiple players with the first pick — in addition to possibly trading it. For now, I'll stick with Atlanta selecting Sarr, the high-energy and versatile frontcourt piece who is viewed by most as the best prospect available and often compared to 2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Kentucky • Fr • 6'3" / 181 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
1st
PPG
12.5
RPG
4.1
APG
4.5
3P%
52.1%
Sheppard is my favorite prospect in this draft thanks to a diverse skill-set highlighted by a unique ability to make shots from all over the court. His lack of size is an obvious concern — but the great stuff is so great that, if I were running a Washington franchise in need of basically everything, I'd have a hard time passing on the reigning CBS Sports National Freshman of the Year who shot 52.1% from the 3-point line in his one season at Kentucky.
Round 1- Pick 3
Zaccharie Risacher SF
France • 6'9" / 204 lbs
Projected Team
Houston
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
1st
PPG
10.6
RPG
3.6
APG
1.0
3P%
38.8%
Risacher is among the candidates to go No. 1 overall, which by definition makes him a reasonable option for Houston with the third pick. He's a teenager who pieced together enough nice performances late this season in France to solidify his status as a top-five pick after shooting nearly 40% from the 3-point line in the playoffs.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Connecticut • Soph • 7'2" / 280 lbs
Projected Team
San Antonio
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PPG
13
RPG
7.4
APG
1.5
3P%
25%
Victor Wembanyama is such a unique talent comfortable floating all around the court despite being 7-4 that him someday playing with a traditional center like Clingan isn't hard to envision. The UConn alum was a monster in the NCAA Tournament while helping the Huskies win a second straight national championship, and he projects as an incredible defensive presence who could help make the Spurs very difficult to score on for years to come.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Matas Buzelis SF
G League Ignite • 6'8" / 209 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
3rd
PPG
14.3
RPG
6.9
APG
1.9
3P%
27.3%
Is Buzelis a reliable 3-point shooter like he seemed to be during his senior year of high school (43.1%) or a below-average 3-point shooter like he was this season for the G League Ignite (27.3%)? How front offices answer that question will determine the 6-11 forward's future — but he's clearly dripping with upside that should be intriguing for the 14-win Pistons if Buzelis is still available at this point in the draft.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Connecticut • Fr • 6'6" / 210 lbs
Projected Team
Charlotte
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
1st
PPG
11.1
RPG
4.7
APG
2.9
3P%
26.7%
Castle projects as a combo guard at the next level with nice positional size and all of the intangibles you could want. The main concern is an unreliable jumper that led to the one-and-done standout shooting just 26.7% from 3-point range while helping UConn win a second straight national championship, but everything else is in place for him to be a difference-maker alongside LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller in Charlotte.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Tennessee • Sr • 6'6" / 213 lbs
Projected Team
Portland
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PPG
21.7
RPG
4.9
APG
1.8
3P%
39.7%
Knecht was fabulous in his fifth year of college basketball — averaging 21.7 points while shooting 39.7% from 3-point range on 6.5 attempts per game on his way to earning SEC Player of the Year honors at Tennessee. The 6-6 wing should be one of the most impactful rookies on offense next season, and he's also a nice fit in Portland, where the Blazers continue to rebuild after sending Damian Lillard to Milwaukee.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Nikola Topic PG
Serbia • 6'6" / 201 lbs
Projected Team
San Antonio
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PPG
15.1
RPG
3.4
APG
5.7
3P%
30.6%
Topic is an 18-year-old point guard from Serbia who has already been a professional for multiple years. He would fill an obvious need in San Antonio and provide nice value this low in the draft — but concerns about two knee injuries suffered this season will keep Topic's range muddied until his medical report provides a clearer picture.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Providence • Jr • 6'3" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Memphis
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
3rd
PPG
19.7
RPG
8.7
APG
3.6
3P%
37.7%
The Grizzlies are hopeful that a healthy Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. will allow them to compete at the top of the Western Conference again next season, which makes trading this pick or using it on a plug-and-play option both sensible moves. Carter has real fans in the organization (that also employs his father as an assistant coach), and it's possible the 22-year-old reigning Big East Player of the Year could play a role in the rotation as a rookie given his defensive ability and improved shooting.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Ron Holland SF
G League Ignite • 6'7" / 197 lbs
Projected Team
Utah
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PPG
20.6
RPG
6.6
APG
3.2
3P%
24.0%
Holland skipped college to play for the G League Ignite but only shot 24.0% from 3-point range and was the face of a team that finished 2-32. Both things are concerning — but most evaluators remain open to the idea that this 18 year-old is still a top-10 prospect in this draft and a reasonable option for a Utah franchise rebuilding and in need of high-ceiling talents.
Round 1 - Pick 11
USC • Fr • 6'3" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
4th
PPG
16.3
RPG
2.9
APG
4.3
3P%
33.8%
Collier was once a candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick in this draft but won't be after shooting just 33.8% from 3-point range and averaging 3.3 turnovers per game in his one season at USC. Regardless, the top-ranked recruit from the Class of 2023 still possesses all of the things that once made him the top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2023 and is worth a serious look this deep in this draft as a lead guard who could theoretically back up Coby White or even play beside him.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Colorado • Fr • 6'7" / 178 lbs
Projected Team
Oklahoma City
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
3rd
PPG
11.9
RPG
3
APG
1.6
3P%
41.5%
Williams is the brother of Oklahoma City standout Jalen Williams — but taller and a lot more heralded at the same age. He needs to add weight and continue to develop as a 3-point threat, but there are reasons to believe he'll do both things in time and prove to be a steal outside of the top 10 after averaging 11.9 points in his one season at Colorado.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Kentucky • Fr • 6'1" / 165 lbs
Projected Team
Sacramento
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
5th
PPG
15.2
RPG
2.9
APG
3.9
3P%
44.4%
Dillingham was one of two projected lottery picks coming off of Kentucky's bench this season for reasons that remain confusing. There are concerns about his size and defensive shortcomings, but the 6-1 guard could be a legitimate scoring option early in his career for a Sacramento franchise that has won 94 games in the past two regular seasons.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Tidjane Salaun SF
France • 6'9" / 212 lbs
Projected Team
Portland
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
4th
PPG
9.5
RPG
3.8
APG
0.9
3P%
31.8%
The 21-win Blazers have two lottery picks and would be wise to take a big swing on an intriguing young talent with at least one of them. It's unclear if Salaun will be available this deep in the draft, but he's an 18 year-old wing with size and emerging shooter who could become a real building block in Portland alongside Shaedon Sharpe and Scoot Henderson.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Duke • Soph • 6'11" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
3rd
PPG
16.4
RPG
8.3
APG
2.8
3P%
34.8%
Filipowski improved as a sophomore and made 34.8% of the 3.1 3-pointers he attempted per game while helping Duke advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. That's among the things the 6-11 center needed to do to solidify his status as a top-15 pick, and he would be interesting in Miami playing with Bam Adebayo given that they're two completely different players whose skill-sets could compliment each other.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Colorado • Sr • 6'8" / 217 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
30th
POSITION RNK
10th
PPG
16
RPG
5.1
APG
2.4
3P%
39.5%
For a Sixers franchise in win-now mode, adding a 23 year-old like da Silva who can guard his position and reliably make 3-pointers should be preferable to selecting a teenager who needs time to develop. The 6-8 forward will be a plug-and-play addition for basically anybody on Day 1.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Duke • Fr • 6'2" / 203 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Lakers
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
6th
PPG
14.3
RPG
5
APG
1.9
3P%
41.4%
The Lakers can never have too much shooting on the court with LeBron James and Anthony Davis — and McCain can really shoot it. The 6-2 point guard averaged 14.3 points while making 41.4% of the 5.8 3-pointers he attempted per game in his one season at Duke and could be an important piece in Los Angeles even after the NBA's all-time leading scorer has called it a career.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Baylor • Fr • 6'5" / 197 lbs
Projected Team
Orlando
PROSPECT RNK
17th
POSITION RNK
4th
PPG
14.5
RPG
4.4
APG
1.4
3P%
34.1%
I'm personally higher on Walter than the majority — but most indications are that he's more likely to land outside of the lottery than inside of it. The Magic were last in the league in 3-pointers made this season. Walter has a reputation as a reliable shooter and could improve Orlando's perimeter scoring following his one up-and-down season at Baylor.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Kansas • Fr • 6'8" / 189 lbs
Projected Team
Toronto
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
5th
PPG
9
RPG
4.9
APG
1
3P%
35.2%
Toronto ranked 27th out of 30 teams in 3-point field-goal percentage this season, which is something Furphy could improve in time. The 6-8 guard is young and a work in progress but undeniably talented and a sensible option for a Toronto franchise rebuilding.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Pittsburgh • Fr • 6'4" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Cleveland
PROSPECT RNK
20th
POSITION RNK
7th
PPG
13.8
RPG
5.2
APG
4.1
3P%
32.2%
Carrington won't turn 19 until nearly a month after the draft, making him one of the youngest players available. The 6-4 guard was merely a borderline top-100 prospect coming out of high school, but he quickly showed enough promise as a shooter and passer with good positional size to emerge as a reasonable first-round option.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Baylor • Fr • 6'11" / 229 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
4th
PPG
10.7
RPG
5.6
APG
0.4
BPG
1.5
Missi is an incredible physical specimen who is excellent at the rim on offense and in possession of enough athleticism, size and strength to excel defensively. The native of Cameroon would be fortunate to land in New Orleans, where he could support Zion Williamson and eventually serve as a suitable replacement for Jonas Valanciunas.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Marquette • Sr • 6'2" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Phoenix
PROSPECT RNK
32nd
POSITION RNK
8th
PPG
15.3
RPG
4.9
APG
7.7
3P%
38.8%
Kolek has some obvious issues as an NBA prospect -- most notably a lack of athleticism relative to what's desired from lead guards. Regardless, the All-American from Marquette is adequately sized for his position, terrific in pick-and-rolls, an A-plus passer, a reliable 3-point shooter an an intriguing option for a Phoenix franchise that clearly needs point guard help.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Kansas • Sr • 6'5" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Milwaukee
PROSPECT RNK
43rd
POSITION RNK
9th
PPG
18.3
RPG
6
APG
4.1
3P%
33.3%
McCullar's season came to an end early because of a nagging knee injury that derailed Kansas' season — but before that he was clearly KU's best player in his fifth year of college. The 6-7 wing is an elite defender and should be, at the age of 23, a solid plug-and-play option for a Milwaukee franchise that doesn't need to waste any more of Giannis Antetokounmpo's prime years.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Purdue • Sr • 7'4" / 299 lbs
Projected Team
New York
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
5th
PPG
25.2
RPG
12.2
APG
2
3P%
50%
As incredible as Edey was at Purdue over the past two years, he remains a divisive NBA prospect with what appears to be a pretty big range. He could go in the lottery or slip into the 20s. Either way, Edey would be a nice option for the Knicks if he's still available at this point in the draft considering they could be on the verge of losing Isaiah Hartenstein in free agency.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Kentucky • Fr • 6'6" / 209 lbs
Projected Team
New York
PROSPECT RNK
28th
POSITION RNK
9th
PPG
8.8
RPG
3.4
APG
0.9
3P%
36.5%
Edwards was the highest-ranked prospect in Kentucky's top-ranked recruiting class but was largely disappointing all season. He finished sixth on the team in points, sixth on the team in scoring and averaged roughly as many turnovers as assists. Is he worth a flier at this point in the draft by a New York franchise with back-to-back picks? Sure. But Edwards did very little at UK to suggest he should be selected anywhere close to where most had him projected six months ago.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Tyler Smith PF
G League Ignite • 6'9" / 224 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
31st
POSITION RNK
2nd
PPG
13.4
RPG
5
APG
1.2
3P%
36.4%
Smith making better than 36% of the four 3-pointers he attempted per game for the G-League Ignite this season is a huge positive for the Overtime Elite alum. To stick in the NBA, the defense will have to improve dramatically. But Smith's shooting alone could prove valuable for a Washington franchise that ranked 25th in 3-point percentage this season.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Sweden • 6'9" / 212 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
25th
POSITION RNK
8th
PPG
10.2
RPG
4.7
APG
0.9
3P%
33.7%
Klintman is a two-way wing from Sweden who should be able to alternate between both forward spots. He initially declared for the 2023 NBA Draft after one year at Wake Forest but ultimately withdrew to pursue a professional opportunity in Australia. With another year of development under his belt, and not many great options in the 20s, Klintman will have a better chance to get a guaranteed contract in this draft than he had last year.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Dayton • Jr • 6'9" / 235 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
1st
PPG
20.4
RPG
8.5
APG
2.6
3P%
38.6%
Holmes is the rare top-55 high school prospect who enrolled at an Atlantic 10 school. He's a reasonable option at this point in the draft in part because of the way he went from a non-shooter upon enrolling at Dayton to a real stretch-the-floor threat as a third-year player.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Virginia • Soph • 6'6" / 213 lbs
Projected Team
Utah
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
6th
PPG
8.1
RPG
6.9
APG
0.8
3P%
20%
Some consider Dunn a high-floor/low-ceiling prospect who has the potential to be an elite defender who guards multiple positions but will maybe never amount to much on offense. I don't completely disagree with the sentiment. But using the 29th pick in a weak draft on a high-IQ, high-energy player who projects as the best versatile defender in this draft doesn't seem like the type of thing a franchise would regret.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Indiana • Soph • 7'0" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
Boston
PROSPECT RNK
37th
POSITION RNK
6th
PPG
15.9
RPG
9.9
APG
1.5
3P%
42.5%
Ware is reportedly in the top 10 of some franchise's big boards and an interesting prospect for a Boston franchise that just relied on a 38 year-old (Al Horford) to average 35 minutes per game in the Eastern Conference Finals while its starting center (Kristaps Porzingis) was sidelined by an injury. The physical tools alone make Ware worthy of a serious look from the Celtics, who obviously already have a championship-level roster.