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2024 NBA Draft Big Board: Ranking the Top 40 prospects ahead of combine

James Fletcher IIIby:James Fletcher III04/30/24


NBA Draft
Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

With the college basketball season in the rear-view mirror and the NBA Draft on the horizon, it is time to lay out the full rankings for the Top 40 players. From one-and-done teenagers to sixth-year seniors, there is a wide range of players at every position.

The NBA Draft is scheduled for June 26 and 27, spread across two days for the first time this year. Before that, there are several key dates to watch. The deadline to enter came and went on April 27, with the deadline to withdraw set for June 16.

The next step in determining which players will decide on their professional future is the NBA Combine, scheduled for May 12-19 in Chicago, Illinois. Teams will get a closer look at the measurements of the top prospects and see borderline players go through various workouts.

Here is how the Top 40 prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft stack up ahead of the NBA Combine.

1. Alex Sarr, France

NBA Draft
(Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports)

Alex Sarr has shown himself to be one of the prospects with the highest upside while playing in the NBL. Playing in a league with established professionals, his tools on both ends of the floor suggest he is ready to play in the NBA and could quickly develop into the next versatile big man.

The 7-foot-1 center offers many of the things NBA teams are looking for at this position. He shot 52% from the field and 29.8% from 3, but shows good form on his jumper.

2. Zaccharie Risacher, France

(Nic Antaya | Getty Images)

Zaccharie Risacher gained momentum when he went on a tear behind the 3-point line. The number has since come down — to a still impressive 42.6% — while still showcasing what NBA teams want to see from a 3-and-D prospect.

The 6-foot-8 forward has great length and promises to fill out his frame. He works off screens and cuts to the basket well, which should provide him an immediate role as the shooting percentage evens out.

3. Reed Sheppard, Kentucky

Kentucky G Reed Sheppard
(Jordan Prather | USA TODAY Sports)

Reed Sheppard is likely the best shooter in the NBA Draft this year, knocking down 52.1% on 4.4 attempts per game. The ability to also contribute as a playmaker and rebounder gives him one of the highest floors.

In addition to the 6-foot-3 guard’s established offensive impact, he is an intriguing defensive prospect. He boasts great numbers while often gambling for steals. This approach could look drastically different based on the defenders he plays with in the NBA.

4. Donovan Clingan, UConn

UConn C Donovan Clingan
(David Butler II | USA TODAY Sports)

Donovan Clingan saw his stock skyrocket during the NCAA Tournament as he increased his minutes and provided UConn a dominant interior presence. However, the journey to becoming one of the top prospects in this class started well before March.

The 7-foot-2 center has great size and impacts how opponents approach the rim when he is able to camp near the basket. During the national championship run, the biggest improvements were his conditioning and movement.

5. Rob Dillingham, Kentucky

Kentucky G Rob Dillingham
(Jordan Prather | USA TODAY Sports)

Rob Dillingham is an electric scorer and probably the most NBA-ready offensive weapon in the draft class. However, he is also among the least prepared for the nightly challenge of guarding professional guards.

The 6-foot-2 guard came off the bench for Kentucky, shooting 44.4% from 3 and 47.5% overall. Whether he remains in a 6th-man role or emerges into a starting lineup, he looks primed to become the next Wildcat in this mold to star as a professional.

6. Mataz Buzelis, G-League

Matas Buzelis
(Kyle Terada | USA TODAY Sports)

Matas Buzelis entered the season as one of the top prospects, but injuries and a general struggle which plagued the entire G-League Ignite team dropped his stock significantly.

The 6-foot-10 forward has skills which promise to translate well to the NBA, but he is likely not ready to make an immediate impact. Shooting just 22.2% from 3 also leaves question marks he must answer.

7. Nikola Topic, Serbia

NBA Draft
(Sarah Stier | Getty Images)

Nikola Topic started the year strong as a balanced playmaker who showed upside as a shooter based on his 87.1% from the free throw line. However, an injury derailed his season as he reached a higher level of competition.

The 6-foot-6 guard fits the mold of a playmaker with size which has become coveted around the NBA. He must take the next step as a scorer to reach his potential, but could immediately help initiate offense.

8. Isaiah Collier, USC

USC G Isaiah Collier
USC point guard Isaiah Collier has been one of the top freshmen in college basketball (Kirby Lee | USA TODAY Sports)

Isaiah Collier struggled early in the college basketball season, but quietly turned things around and finished well after an injury. He dropped down draft boards and has not been able to fully recover, perhaps influenced by the disappointment surrounding his team.

The 6-foot-5 guard is capable of initiating the offense, and could continue building on his improved efficiency numbers. The No. 1 player in the On3 Industry rankings has plenty left to unlock.

9. Ja’Kobe Walter, Baylor

Baylor G Ja'Kobe Walter
(Chris Jones | USA TODAY Sports)

Ja’Kobe Walter demonstrated a different mentality in the NCAA Tournament, despite ultimately falling in the Second Round. His ability to use athleticism on the wing helps him make plays offensively and defensively.

However, the 6-foot-5 wing struggled for most of the season to find efficiency. He shot just 37.6% from the field, although playing within an offense where he is not the go-to scorer could help.

10. Stephon Castle, UConn

UConn G Stephon Castle
(David Butler II | USA TODAY Sports)

Stephon Castle showed off the mentality NBA teams will covet, coming in to help UConn defend its championship as a complementary piece. Within that role, he demonstrated an ability to play either guard spot.

The biggest question surrounding the 6-foot-6 playmaker is how well his shooting will translate to the next level. He shot just 26.7% from 3, not well enough to garner respect from professional defenders.

Ranking: 11-20

11. Dalton Knecht, Tennessee

Dalton Knecht left no doubt that he can score the basketball at any level. Upping his production while moving from Northern Colorado to Tennessee makes him one of the highest floor players on offense.

The 6-foot-6 wing will now go head-to-head with athletic defenders more often in the NBA, giving him another area to grow. He improved defensively, but still has questions to answer on that end as well.

12. Cody Williams, Colorado

Cody Williams, brother of Oklahoma City Thunder standout Jalen Williams, came into the season as the No. 1 ranked freshman in the On3 recruiting rankings. Injuries slowed down his season, which lacked the consistency many hoped to see.

The 6-foot-8 wing shot 55.2% from the field and 41.5% from 3, but ended the season coming off the bench for Colorado as veterans took on the bulk of the important minutes.

13. Devin Carter, Providence

Devin Carter took over full responsibility for Providence this season when his teammate went down with injury. The emerged into the Big East Player of the Year and boosted his draft stock more than any other prospect.

The 6-foot-3 guard contributed 8.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game, making an all-around impact which extended to the defensive end as well. All this, paired with the fact he comes from an NBA family — son of Anthony Carter — will make him a front office favorite.

14. Jared McCain, Duke

Jared McCain emerged in the Duke backcourt this season among several players looking to build their NBA Draft stock. His balance of offensive production and defensive stability helped an NCAA Tournament run.

The 6-foot-3 guard shot 41.4% from 3 and 88.5% on free throws, all while demonstrating his ability to play both spots. His five rebounds per game also boost his stock as an all-around player.

15. Tidjane Salaun, France

Tidjane Salaun is among the most difficult prospects to pin down based on his low usage this season. The potential to get an athletic, long forward with shooting touch will draw in many.

Questions remain how large of a role the 6-foot-9 forward can take on offensively, and what he will look likely matched up with NBA-caliber offensive players in space. At the end of the day, someone will bet on upside.

16. Kyle Filipowski, Duke

Kyle Filipowski returned to Duke last season looking to improve his draft stock as a big man who can space the floor offensively and provide interior support on defense.

The 7-foot big upped his 3-point shooting to 34.8% this season, and nearly doubled his blocks per game as well. While the offense is talked about often, his defense could be an underrated difference maker in the right system.

17. Ron Holland, G-League

Ron Holland was also part of the disastrous G-League Ignite season which saw every player’s stock fall. Poor efficiency numbers on both ends of the floor hurt Holland, who was on the floor as much as any of the young prospects involved.

The 6-foot-8 forward held an offensive rating of just 93, and a defensive rating of 115. How much of his struggle can be undone while playing within an NBA rotation remains the question, and some team is going to gamble on his upside.

18. Yves Missi, Baylor

Yves Missi fits the mold of a modern center with his length and athleticism, helping him make an impact of the defensive end beyond rim protection. However, there is still room for him to fill out if he must guards the NBA’s strongest players.

He shot 61.4 percent from the field, averaging better than five rebounds per game in his one season at Baylor. Finding the right pick-and-roll partner could be the biggest key to unlocking him offensively.

19. Justin Edwards, Kentucky

Justin Edwards struggled early in the season to make an impact for Kentucky. Despite his high rankings as a recruit, the wing had little offensive impact until turning a corner late.

By the time the season was over, Edwards had raised his shooting percentage to a 48.6, 36.5 split and was able to showcase his defensive ability on the wing.

20. Johnny Furphy, Kansas

Johnny Furphy raised his draft stock in his one season at Kansas, coming from Australia to space the floor in college basketball. Fitting the mold of what many NBA teams are looking for, his overachievement could see him reach the professional ranks after one season.

The 6-foot-9 wing shot 35.2% from the 3-point line, also cutting to the basket well around his co-stars on the court. Like Filipowski last season, he could choose a return to further develop, or cash in now.

Ranking: 21-30

21. Terrence Shannon, Illinois

Terrence Shannon proved to be one of the best offensive players in college basketball, improving his efficiency numbers across the board from his career totals. The ability to create for others also elevated the Illinois offense.

For the 6-foot-6 guard, questions about his game will be background to the off-court issue. He was suspended in late December 2023 by Illinois after a warrant was issued for his arrest for an alleged rape that took place in Kansas, later getting a restraining order against the school.

22. DaRon Holmes II, Dayton

DaRon Holmes continued to add elements to his game every season at Dayton, leaving as one of the most balanced center prospects in the class.

The development of a 3-point shot, which he knocked down at 38.6 percent in 2023-24, has paired well with his 3 stocks (steals + blocks) per game. The result was a 123 offensive rating and 94 career defensive rating.

23. Kel’el Ware, Indiana

Kel’el Ware is a 7-foot center who had a breakout season at Indiana after starting at Oregon as a five-star prospect. A 25 PER ranks him among the best in college basketball.

Averaging 15.9 and 9.9 with Big Ten All-Defense honors will draw plenty interest. He also shot 42.5 percent from the 3-point line, which he will need to repeat in workouts after shooting just 27.3 percent in 2022-23.

24. Tristan Da Silva, Colorado

Tristan Da Silva is another college veteran with year-over-year improvement. As a forward shooting 39.5 percent from 3, he fits in well with what many teams want from a role players.

Playing in a system which featured multiple NBA prospects last season, the 6-foot-8 German playmaker kept his production steady from the previous year.

25. Izan Almansa, G-League

Izan Almansa came to the G-League Ignite as one of the most decorated teenage European prospects. The down season hurt his stock the same way it did others.

Despite all that, he was able to shoot 52.4 percent from the field with 6.9 rebounds. There is enough in the stats that going back toward previous youth basketball tape can help retain a first-round grade.

26. Tyler Smith, G-League

Tyler Smith might be the one G-League Ignite player who did not see his stock drop significantly over the past year. The 6-foot-11 forward showed off a unique set of skills.

Shooting 35.2 percent from 3 and 74.2 percent on free throws helps project him as an offensive weapon, although his raw game still requires refinement on both ends.

27. Zach Edey, Purdue

The back-to-back college player of the year is among the most accomplished amateurs to enter the NBA in years. However, the way Zach Edey translates to the professional ranks remains a question.

The defensive three seconds rule and pace of play make his role on both ends less than a sure thing. However, success by players like Rudy Gobert and Walker Kessler in recent seasons suggests a definite path to production.

28. Mark Sears, Alabama

Mark Sears burst onto the scene as a senior at Alabama, leading his team to the Final Four with clutch plays while averaging 21.1 points. He also stepped up defensively late in the season.

The comparisons to Jalen Brunson’s style of play not only describe his game, but help show a potential NBA role as the Knicks guard takes the league by storm.

29. Oso Ighodaro, Marquette

Oso Ighodaro is another player who translates into the modern game, with several examples of players in his mold being drafted in the first round.

However, his lack of floor-spacing on offense limit the overall potential to star on that end of the court. Despite that, his defensive impact is likely to translate.

30. Harrison Ingram, North Carolina

Harrison Ingram’s big season at North Carolina helped showcase more than his talent-level, but also his NBA intangibles. The former five-star recruit made an impact on both ends of the floor and filled a role.

Shooting 38.5 from 3 while grabbing 8.8 rebounds from the wing translates well in any system. He raised his offensive rating by 13 points in the same season his defensive rating dropped 6 points.

Ranking: 31-40

31. Trey Alexander, Creighton

Trey Alexander had a big season at Creighton, upping his scoring production which also raising his assist numbers.

While his 3-point shooting took a slight dip, his overall numbers remained balanced despite the volume increase.

32. Juan Nunez, Spain

Juan Nunez is an intriguing guard from Spain who performed well during the European season after playing with his national team in 2023.

He scored in double digits with 5.8 assists and 1.9 steals, also shooting 36.1 percent from the 3-point line.

33. Tyler Kolek, Marquette

Tyler Kolek is one of the best offensive playmakers in college basketball, setting up the offense in an efficient way. Adding more as a shooter should help him stick in an NBA rotation.

The 6-foot-3 point guard averaged 15.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 7.7 assists, shooting 38.8 percent from 3. He also upped his PER to 24.3 this season.

34. Baylor Scheierman, Creighton

Baylor Scheierman proved himself to be one of college basketball’s most productive players over five seasons. He is a well-balanced contributor on both ends who has accepted his role within the team.

He averaged 18.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists while shooting 38.9 percent from 3 and 87.6 on free throws this season. In addition, his 118 offensive rating and 100 defensive rating showcase his all-around game.

35. Kyshawn George, Miami

Kyshawn George burst onto the scene in his one year at Miami after coming over from Switzerland. While his game remains raw, the potential places him in the conversation to go inside the first round.

The 6-foot-8 wing averaged just 7.6 points on a team which failed to meet expectations, but his 40.8 percent shooting from 3 and physical tools were on display.

36. Alex Karaban, UConn

Alex Karaban is another two-time national champion at UConn who saw his role increase while maintaining his efficiency from the previous year.

As one of the best shooters in the class, the 6-foot-8 forward offers a valuable trait. His PER also jumped to 20.3 in 2023-24.

37. Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas

Kevin McCullar took a leap on offense this season, averaging 18.3 points for Kansas with a history as a Big 12 All-Defensive team selection.

However, his 3-point percentage remains below an efficient mark and an injury history which has limited his game time across multiple seasons.

38. Jaylon Tyson, Cal

Jaylon Tyson raised his stock by transferring to California from Texas Tech this season. He has nearly doubled his production in every college season, showcasing constant growth.

In a league which is always looking for more production on the wing, the 6-foot-7 player will have a chance to become more consistent in a role.

39. Carlton Carrington, Pitt

Carlton ‘Bub’ Carrington is a lead guard with good size who produced well in his freshman season at Pitt, raising his stock as a potential NBA Draft pick.

His inefficient shooting holds him out of the first round conversation for now, but the future tools are there to make a difference.

40. Jamal Shead, Houston

Jamal Shead became one of Houston’s most important players over the past four seasons, providing major production on both ends of the court. However, a lack of shooting limits his ceiling.

The 6-foot-1 guard was named Big 12 DPOY after averaging 2.2 steals. He also averaged 6.3 assists as an initiator on offense.