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The Aquilian

Diaz and Calpin’s 2024 NBA mock draft
The Atlanta Hawks will have the first overall pick in this year’s draft. Photo taken from (×1800-wallpaper-sport-logo-basketball-nba-atlanta-hawks-glitter-ch.html)
By Max Diaz & Henry Calpin—



1. Atlanta Hawks: Alex Sarr, Perth Wildcats

While this is not a strong class in the slightest, Sarr should no doubt be the first overall pick due to his body type and lack of competition. Measuring at the NBA Combine with a weight of 224 lbs, a height of 7 ft., and a wingspan of 7’5”, Sarr has the measurements of the modern day ideal top draft pick. While he does not have the same offensive game as Wembanyama and Holmgren, Sarr does have enough potential with his frame as well as the great upside he has on the defensive end, he should very easily be the first overall pick of the draft. 

Other than his own credentials, Sarr should also be the top pick due to the issues with the other top prospects. Nikola Topic has had too many injury problems to go first, Zaccharie Risacher is 100% a upside pick, which Sarr already is except better, so Risacher would not go ahead of him, and other prospects either have had insufficient success and lower upsides. The only possibility I can see of someone else going first is either Reed Sheppard or Rob Dillingham for that always safe pick of a Kentucky guard, but it is unlikely. 

2. Washington Wizards: Nikola Topic, KK Crvena Zvezda

The strategy for the Wizards is simple in this draft, get the best player available. With nothing else promising going on in the organization, Topic may be one of the ways that the Wizards can get some direction for their future. Topic is a 6’6” point guard whose passing will shine in the NBA with his ability to pass off screens and always find the open man. Even though his constant injury problems may question his availability, in the games in which he did play in Europe, Topic averaged 18.6 points, 6.9 assists, and a very efficient 52.4% from the field. While he may not be the franchise saving player that one might hope for with the number two overall pick, he can certainly be a very good point guard in the league for a long time.

3. Houston Rockets (from Brooklyn): Zaccharie Risacher, JL Bourg-en-Bresse

A lot of people are really big fans of Risacher, which I don’t really get. His most likely pro-comparison is Harrison Barnes, a good player, but never someone that could raise a team’s floor or ceiling. At 6’8”, Risacher has the tools to be a great 3-and-D wing, but that’s all I see him doing. 

Now that we’re done with the negatives on Risacher, let’s talk about his strengths. The main question coming into the draft was whether or not Risacher was going to be a good scorer in the NBA, and he answered that question with some of the highest scoring games of his career including a 28-point performance when the scouts were in the audience.

For the Rockets, this is the position that they need. After Dillon Brooks, the Rockets don’t really have anyone that they can put at the three spot. And with the way they are building, they are going to want to continue to have a lot of defense at that spot, so Risacher is going to be the pick for them if he makes it here.

4. San Antonio Spurs: Rob Dillingham, Kentucky

The only thing that the entire NBA world wants to see is for Victor Wembanyama to play with a quality point guard. At the beginning of last year, Head Coach Gregg Popavich tried to make Jeremy Sochan the Spurs point guard in order for them to start all four of their best players in Sochan, Wembanyama, Devin Vassell and Keldon, but that ended in failure, and Coach Popavich moved Sochan back to the four spot and that fully unleashed Wemby. With Tre Jones, probably the 30th-best point guard in the NBA, the world got to know him and see what a problem he could be in the coming years. 

However, the Spurs can get an upgrade at this spot by picking Dillingham, an explosive guard out of Kentucky who could have amazing offensive upside. He is amazing at exploiting mismatches and shot a ridiculous 44% from the three point line last season. Even though his lack of size may hurt him on the defensive end, he would be playing next to, hopefully, one of the best defenders to ever play in this sport. With Wemby and Dilligham, the Spurs might have the start of another dynasty.

5. Detroit Pistons: Matas Buzelis, G League Ignite

The poor Pistons have missed out the top three picks yet again, but, nevertheless, they still need to build their future and maybe Buzelis can help them out. The Pistons have so many problems that Buzelis will not really solve much, but neither will many players in this class. Buzelis can at least help them head in the right direction. Buzelis is a lengthy, skilled small forward who can probably play the four with a height of 6’10”. He has the potential to be good in a lot of areas, but at the same time he could be someone that is just average at everything because none of his skills stand out too much. Another issue with Buzelis is that he can be very inconsistent with his three-point shot, but if can bring all his skills together and work at it well, he could turn into a long time player in the league.

6. Charlotte Hornets: Stephon Castle, Connecticut

If you talk with the correct people, some might say that Charlotte has one of the best young cores in the NBA in terms of talent. LaMelo Ball is already a certified star after only being in the NBA for four years and Brandon Miller and Miles Bridges are great scoring wings who give the Hornets some size and versatility. However, the young core is far from a successful one. With Ball dealing with constant ankle injuries and Bridges and Miller making some very questionable decisions, the young core hasn’t been able to put the talent together in order to win. 

Stephon Castle, however, can immediately come in and give the Hornets a foundational piece for their rebuild. Castle was the maestro behind both UConn’s offense and defense last year and could translate this amazing two-way ability very easily into the NBA. While there may be some questions about his outside shooting and ability to be impactful outside of drives to the basket, Castle can be an amazing secondary ball-handler behind Ball and Miller and with his size and athleticism, has the ability to be one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA.

7. Portland Trail Blazers: Dalton Knecht, Tennessee

In almost any other draft, Knecht would be a late first-rounder or early second-rounder, just as older, star college players usually are. However, as previously stated, this is not a strong class, which gives players like Knecht a chance to get paid and make their marks. This past season Knecht was as good as it gets player-wise. Transfer in from Northern Colorado, average 21.7 points per game, become the SEC Player of the Year and a Consensus All-American, while leading your team to an Elite Eight appearance, you can definitely say Knecht had an awesome season. Skill-wise, Knecht is great. He can score on all three levels, he can play the guard and the wing, he has defensive potential, and has the athleticism to attack the rim, but he needs to build more physicality, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The quick guards can definitely get the best of him. Unless those physicality and defensive athleticism concerns get the best of him, Knecht should be a great player.

8. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto): Ron Holland, G League Ignite

Ron Holland is heading back to his home state of Texas but this time to play Coach Pop and the Spurs. Back in high school Ron Holland was a top three recruit, sometimes even being put the #1 slot. He led his high school, Duncanville, to a tremendous season and they were often ranked very high in the Maxpreps rankings. Holland could have gone to basically any college he wanted to, but he decided to go play for G League Ignite instead. Both G League Ignite and his own seasons were kind of disappointing. Nevertheless, Holland has a lot of upside for the league. Holland led his team in scoring, rebounds and assists; he is athletic, has a high motor, and is a good rebounder, as well. His downsides though are his low shooting percentage and he is very turnover prone. I think Holland will be able to overcome those issues and become a vital piece to a Spurs team that are trying to start their next dynasty with Wemby and Dillingham.

9. Memphis Grizzlies: Donovan Clingan, Connecticut

In my mind, this is the most ideal fit in the entire draft. After trading away Steven Adams to the Rockets at the trade, the Grizzlies need a new center. They tried experimenting with putting Jaren Jackson Jr. there, but his lack of rebounding makes it a bad fit. However, with Clingan, the Grizzlies fill that hole in their roster perfectly with an athletic big whose only job would be to play in the post, grab rebounds and protect the rim. 

Not only would he fit beautifully alongside the rest of the Grizzlies starting five in Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, GG Jackson and Jackson Jr., but I could also see this addition making the Grizzlies the one seed next year. This addition could be very similar to the Oklahoma City Thunder adding Chet Holmgren last year and going from the ten-seed to the one-seed because Clingan can fix many of the problems that Grizzlies currently have in post presence and rebounding. While he lack the outside shot and on-ball creation, these weaknesses could be hidden with Morant running the show and the ability that Grizzlies have to shoot the ball at every other position 

10. Utah Jazz: Reed Sheppard, Kentucky

Surprise, surprise, the white guy goes to Utah. Ignoring this funny coincidence, Sheppard may have one of the highest upsides in terms of shooters in this draft. At 6’2”, Sheppard certainly wouldn’t out-muscle many people in the NBA, but he will beat with his shooting. In his lone season at Kentucky, Sheppard shot a ridiculously efficient season with 53.6% from the field and 52.1% from 3-point land, and, while he may seem like just a 3-and-D player, Sheppard has the ability to make the right passes and maybe run an offense. The biggest test for Sheppard will come with how he can handle the bigger players in the NBA and whether or not he will be able to hold his own on the defensive end. He is a good team defender, always looking in the passing lanes, but the lack of strength raises questions about his ceiling as a player. 

11. Chicago Bulls: Cody Williams, Colorado

Whether or not the Thunder would want to team up the Williams brothers, they will not get the chance because Cody is heading to Chicago. While his Freshman season at Colorado, stat-wise, was not spectacular, Williams still has a lot of upside for the NBA. Who wouldn’t want a 19-year-old, 6’9” small forward who can shoot from three and guard multiple positions. His offensive skills are nothing special, but he has great spacing and tremendous upside, he was once even considered a candidate for the first overall pick. Chicago has been just a play-in team for the past couple of seasons, and with aging veterans in Zach Lavine and Demar Derozan and an injury-prone Lamelo Ball, it is time for the Bulls to start the rebuilding process and the upside of Williams could be helpful in that department. The Bulls should move on from Lavine, Ball, and Derozan and start building their future with Williams, Colby White and maybe Patrick Williams.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Houston): Tidjane Salaun, Cholet

After a year of a lot of success for the Thunder, they still end up with a lottery pick thanks to the brilliance that is Sam Presti, and now, along with their already impressive young core, they can add the perfect piece with Salaun. Salaun is a 6’9”, 215 lbs forward out of France who is profiled to be a two-way star based on his athleticism, size and great instincts. On offense, Salaun is a good spot-up shooter but has trouble finishing at the rim. However, defense is where Salaun is going to make his money in the NBA. Salaun is pretty mobile for someone of his size and with his 7’2” wingspan; he has the ability to really make opponents uncomfortable and disrupt passing lanes. His only problem on the defensive side is that he sometimes gambles too much, but this should only be seen as a growing pain and not a problem that he should have for a long time. Along with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams, Lu Dort and Chet Holmgren, Salaun has the chance to be the big four that could make the Thunder a perennial title favorite.

13. Sacramento Kings: Ja’Kobe Walter, Baylor

The Kings could go a few routes here. Either a big man to improve height and maybe defense in Filipowski, Ware or Missi, or they could get a guard in Walter, McCain or Collier. While there are many good options, a guard is probably the better route and Walter seems like the way to go. The position that the Kings need the most is a shooting guard with Kevin Huerter starting. They have Malik Monk, but they should keep him as their star Sixth Man. Walter is the best shooting guard available while McCain and Collier are more of point guards. Walter needs to work on defense but he has the potential to do it. He is also very athletic, a proficient shooter, especially off the dribble and has the size to play the two of the three. The 13th, 14th and 15th picks seem in many ways like the Walter, McCain, Collier picks (sometimes Carter at 15th) and the order could go in many ways, but I would say Walter goes first.

14. Portland Trail Blazers (from Golden State): Jared McCain, Duke

This, like the first pick for the Trail Blazers, is just to grab the best player available. As previously stated, the Trail Blazers have no clear direction, like the Wizards, so they need to make some moves in order to give them some direction. I think the best way to do this is to ship Anfernee Simons out and bring in Jared McCain. The Trail Blazers already have a crowded backcourt with Simons, Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe, and if they want to have the best chance to maximize the latter two, they need Simons out. With Simons out, they give room for another guard that can be their future sixth man. McCain is the way to go with this pick. Profiled to be a speedy, bucket-getter who can create some offense, which sounds an awful like Immanuel Quickley, a former Sixth Man of the Year finalist. This new archetype of speedy players gives McCain the trust to be a foundational piece for the Trail Blazers.

15. Miami Heat: Isaiah Collier, USC

Well, well, well, what does the Godfather Pat Riley have cooked up for this draft? Collier to the Heat should be a no-brainer simply because he is the best player available, and he should fit well on the Heat. The Heat could use a young, talented guard for the future. Terry Rozier is getting old and has a rather hefty contract and Tyler Herro’s time in South Beach needs to end. I am not saying Herro is a bad player; he is a very talented scorer, but he simply does not work with the “Heat Culture.” He is a bit of a ball hog and he is pretty useless on defense. What Collier needs to work on the most is his shooting ability, but he is great at driving at the rim. In a perfect world, Collier’s pro-comp for his highest upside is Anthony Edwards. He is another bulkley, rim-attacking guard, who was arguably the top prospect out of his high school class, as well as a star guard for a crappy Power-6 team. They are also both from Georgia, so, if all goes perfectly, maybe Collier could be the next Ant, and Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra would be more than happy to try and get him to that level. I could also see Devin Carter getting picked up here to add to the “Heat Culture.”

16. Philadelphia 76ers: Ke’lel Ware, Indiana

The Sixers are in a weird place right now. Over the last six years, they have been one of the best regular season teams in the NBA, but they can never seem to get past the second round. The dynamic duo of Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey give the Sixers hope for next year, but they need to address the major problem of their back-up center. In the first round series against the Knicks, Embiid had a plus/minus rating of +46, meaning that when he was on the court, the team was outscoring the Knicks by 46 points, but the team had a -47 rating in the 44 minutes in the series with him off, showing the night and day difference between the superstar playing and sitting out. In order for the Sixers to compete next year, they need to find some way to stay afloat during the minutes with Embiid off.

The best way for them to do this is to draft Ware. During his lone season in Indiana, Ware improved his draft stock a lot, especially with his shooting. Last year, Ware shot 42.5% on three point attempts, an outlier compared to all his other years. It is still TBD on whether or not he can keep this efficiency. Ware was profiled as a rim runner with his 7’7” wingspan making him a great rim protector and rim finisher. There are some questions though about his defense. Despite being 7 ft, he is scared of contact at the rim and doesn’t contest as much as he should, a downside of having high defensive IQ. If Ware keeps some of his drive and emotion for the game that he showed at Indiana, he could make the Sixers a title contender as a good back-up big.

17. New Orleans Pelicans (from Los Angeles): Kyle Filipowski, Duke

*This is presuming that New Orleans opts to use this year’s pick from the Lakers instead of next year’s.

The Zion Williamson experience has not really gone to plan for the Pelicans. While he has been a great player on the court, he has had issues being 100% for the game, whether it’s injuries, weight issues, or other problems. But, if he could finally be a reliable game to game option, the Pelicans could not be far off from being an actual contender to go far in the playoffs. This pick is really fulfilling what they need the most. They do not need a replacement for Zion, Brandon Ingram or Herbert Jones, and while CJ McCollum is starting to get older, he is still a great option for them and they drafted a guard in Jordan Hawkins last draft. So, what’s the best option? A future at center. Jonas Valančiūnas is getting old and starting to slow down, so the Pelicans need to start thinking about what’s next at center. What’s great is that they have two viable options at this pick: Kyle Filpowski and Yves Missi. Both could work here, but Filpowski is probably the better option because he has more versatility and a better offensive game. Missi is also a good option, but the Pelicans would probably prefer a center with a different body type to Valančiūnas, which kind of has.

18. Orlando Magic: Devin Carter, Providence

Unless the Heat take Carter, he will most likely fall here. Carter is a tough, experienced, defensive-menace with an intense fuel that shapes his on-court presence. He is also a proficient shot-maker, scoring 19.7 points per game while shooting a 47.3% field goal percentage this season. He also grabbed 8.7 rebounds per game this season. Whether you need him to get a bucket, a board or a steal, Carter will get it done. Carter will bring both a hard-working personality as well as skills on both sides of the ball to an Orlando Magic team filled with many young, talented, but inexperienced players that they hope can be the next Oklahoma City Thunder.

19. Toronto Raptors (from Indiana): Tristan Da Silva, Colorado

After hopefully finding their point guard, shooting guard, and power forward of the future in Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett and all-star Scottie Barnes, they’re going to want to add another young piece to that core. Jakob Pöltl is still young and has some productive years left, so they need to pick someone for their three spot and Da Silva should be the pick here. The 6’9” forward out of Colorado has some of the best skill work and basketball IQ in the draft. The one downside with Da Silva is the fact that he is not overly athletic, which could limit his ceiling in the NBA. But with the shooting and skill that he provides, he could be a target for Barnes and his passing game.

20. Cleveland Cavaliers: Tyler Kolek, Marquette

*This is based of that the Cavaliers trade away Darius Garland

If the Cavs move off Garland, they are going to need to find another point guard to run their offense. I can very much see them picking Kolek earlier than many others would. At 6’1” and with a wingspan of only 6’3”, Kolek is not going to wow you with your athleticism, but Kolek makes up for it with his passing. Last year at Marquette, Kolek led the NCAA in assists with nearly eight assists a game. After leading Marquette to a two-seed and a Sweet 16 appearance in March Madness, Kolek can be a point guard that could help the Cavs with his passing skills, spot-up shooting ability and his toughness on both ends of the court.

21. New Orleans Pelicans (from Milwaukee): Yves Missi, Baylor 

The Pelicans have a lot of issues that they need to solve this summer. The team seems to have too many cooks and the kitchen because of the fact that they don’t know how to properly use all of the good players on their roster. With arguably the deepest bench in the NBA, the Pelicans still managed to get swept out of the playoffs (particularly due to Zion Williamson getting injured, a very consistent problem at this point). With these problems, comes the question: can the Pelicans get a decent center to play with Zion. Jonas Valančiūnas is a good center in the NBA, but we have not seen him coexist alongside Williamson with success. Missi can solve some of this problem. At 6’11” with a 7’2” wingspan, Missi can be the perfect rim protector to have behind someone like Williamson, who is still learning how to best use his athleticism on that end of the court. The one major question that still surrounds Missi is if he will ever be able to have an offensive game outside the paint, but with his two-way potential as a rim-runner, he can be a good backup or starter in the NBA.

22. Phoenix Suns: Tyler Smith, G League Ignite

Phoenix needs everything this offseason. This last season was one of the biggest failures in NBA history after they traded for Bradley Beal to form a big-three with Beal, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. This was a baffling trade, but let’s get to their draft pick, which will be their last first-rounder until 2030. With the current way that their team is constructed, they need either a forward or a point guard, but there are not any good ones left after Kolek was taken. So, Smith is the next guy up. Smith is a 6’11” power forward who could fit very well next to Durant and Jusuf Nurkic in the front court. With a 7’1” wingspan, Smith is a stretch big that can make catch-and-shoot threes. While his defense is not what it should be (the reason why is he getting so many Channing Frye comparisons), Smith could help provide the Suns with some hope for the future.

23. Milwaukee Bucks (from New Orleans): Terrence Shannon Jr., Illinois

Like the Suns, Milwaukee has a lot of problems that it needs to address, but the first one they need to figure out is their future. With three of their four key players (Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez) being over 32 and in the twilight of their respective careers, they need to find a player that can help them now, and carry them into the future. I think the way to go with that pick is to get Shannon Jr. into the Cream City. In his breakout season at Illinois, the only way to describe Shannons Jr.’s game is that he is a bucket. No matter the matchup or the game, Shannon Jr. always found a way to get to where he wanted to go with his mix of speed and shiftiness. With him in the backcourt or on the bench with Damian Lillard as a mentor, Shannon Jr. could really get far in the NBA. The biggest questions around him are: is this season a fluke, can he survive on defense in the NBA, and what will come from the rape allegation trial in June?

24. New York Knicks (from Dallas): Harrison Ingram, North Carolina

*This selection is only if the Knicks move Julius Randle this summer, which is something they should do.

This season can only be described in one word for the Knicks: continuity. The Nova Knicks (Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart all went to Villanova together) have been clicking throughout the entire season with all three having the best year of their careers so far, and with midseason acquisition OG Anunoby, the Knicks had a great defense that led to them getting to the two-seed and the second round before injuries really began to bite them in the ass. If the Knicks choose to move off Randle, they’re going to need to find a player who can fill that position off the bench. Ingram had a breakout year in his final season in Chapel Hill. Averaging career highs in both points and rebounds, he became a consistent player for one of the nation’s best teams this year. However, the lack of offensive bag and inconsistent free throw percentage does hurt him, but with Jalen Brunson controlling the offense, the Knicks can bet on someone who has both a high ceiling and a low floor.

25. New York Knicks: Kyshawn George, Miami 

This time last year, I am pretty sure there were almost zero analysts who knew about Kyshawn George. Originally from Switzerland, George was playing in the French second division before committing to Miami relatively late in the cycle. George’s season went pretty much in the opposite direction that Miami’s disappointing one went. Due to some good performances by George and many injuries to the Miami roster, George went from a relatively unknown recruit playing in France to a starter in the ACC. While George’s stats were nothing eye opening, you need only one word to describe why George will be a first-rounder: potential. He has loads of it. George is a 6’8” guard with great ball-handling and can sometimes hit a long three. What George needs to work on is fine-tuning his game and getting to the American, NBA style of play instead of the European way he is used to. George may have more raw potential than any other player in this draft so he either could be a future star in the league, or he could be out of it within a couple of seasons. The Knicks would be more than willing to make that risk with their back-to-back late first round picks. If it works, they get a star; if not, it will not hurt them that much.

26. Washington Wizards (from Clippers): Zach Edey, Purdue

The Wizards need a whole lot to dig themselves out of the ditch they are currently in. Kyle Kuzma being your best player is not a great look. They have already started their guard rebuild with Topic this year and they drafted Bilal Coulibaly last year, so there is probably still hope for him. Out of all the Wizards’ many positions that need a revamp, none compare to their need at center. Currently, the only players on their roster that can play the center are Marvin Bagley III, Richaun Holmes and Tristan Vukcevic, none of whom could realistically be the starting center for even a play-in team. With Sarr, Clingan, Ware, Filipowski and Missi all off the board, the top center left is the giant two time National college player of the year, Zach Edey. If Edey can be even half as dominant as he was at Purdue, he should have no problem becoming a starter for the Wizards right away. With his immense stature (7’4”), Edey could be a valuable commodity in the league if he could be a tough matchup for players like Wembanyama and Holmgren, but his lack of quickness will most likely be a big issue.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jaylon Tyson, California

With the way the Timberwolves are heading, they need to rack up on as much offensive fire-power as they can for their bench. With their defense carrying them this year, they need some more offense for when the game gets faster so they can keep up with some of the faster teams in the NBA. Tyson is the guy that the T-wolves, similar to Naz Ried, can bring off the bench and give them some offense at the two or three position while Anthony Edwards is off the floor. While a bad Cal team puts an asterisk on his name, he shouldn’t be doubted for his ability to score at the next level. Tyson averaged 19.6 points and 3.5 assists last year, and at 6’7” with good handle, I could see Tyson being a great bench scorer.

28. Denver Nuggets: Baylor Scheierman, Creighton

For a complete, championship contending team like the Denver Nuggets, there are not really any pressing needs they need to fill in the draft. All you can really do at this pick is either draft for depth or for the future. I thought of three different picks that could work well here and they are all rather similar types of players: Jaylon Tyson (California), if he doesn’t get picked by the Timberwolves, Nikola Đurišić (KK Mega Basket), and Scheierman. I ultimately went with Scheierman because even though all three are proficient scorers, Scheierman is definitely the three point shooter out of all of them. Even if Scheierman never does anything spectacular in his career, he could still be a reliable spot-up shooter for the Nuggets, like a Kyle Korver or JJ Redick, which is always helpful for a championship contender. Even though those spot-up shooters are usually aging players in the tail end of their careers. Also, Scheierman gains advantage over Tyson and Đurišić because of his NCAA tournament success and Tyson and Đurišić are more uncertain. Jaylon Tyson has been on three teams in three years so he cannot really prove to be a reliable role asset to a team. Đurišić has potential and skill, but he was nearly unanimously considered a second round pick at best before the NBA Combine, where he shined. Scheierman’s shooting combined with his size at 6’7” will be a great asset to have off the bench in the upcoming years for the Nuggets.

29. Utah Jazz (from Oklahoma City): Pacome Dadiet, Ratiopharm Ulm

The Jazz, unlike some other teams in the draft, have some fundamental pieces that they have to choose their picks around. Lauri Markkanen has become a star and Collin Sexton (I’m a big Sexton guy because I like his shiftiness and speed in order to be a scorer in the NBA) has yet to emerge as one of the best young players, but I have trust that he will. Because of this, the Jazz are going to need to find someone that they can put at the three alongside Markkanen at the four (put him back there, don’t have a seven-footer running the three). Dadiet has been a very good scorer this year overseas primarily because of his ability to get his shot up from anywhere on the court, but, if Dadiet wants to make the leap as a really good offensive player in the NBA, which everyone thinks he could be, he is going to need to develop his playmaking and passing skills because, while he was the best player on his team in Europe, he is at best going to be a third option in the NBA if he doesn’t evolve his playmaking game.

30. Boston Celtics: DaRon Holmes, Dayton

The Celtics had the luck of the Irish this season because they had as good of a regular season as you can have. Like the Nuggets, they obviously do not have any pressing issues that need fixing right now. Even if they did, there is not really anything still around at their pick that would solve issues anyway, so, like the Nuggets, all you can do is look to the future and add some depth. That being said, some added youth and depth to the center position could be beneficial, primarily because Al Horford probably only has a year or two left in him before retirement. Luckily for the Celtics, there are two possible Horford replacements still around in Holmes and Adem Bona (UCLA). Like Horford, they are centers that are more on the shorter end, but still great defensively. Both Holmes and Bona were defensive players of the year in their own conferences. While both could work here, Holmes is more likely the better option because of what he could do on the offensive end as well as the defensive end. Bona is really just defense while Holmes averaged 20.4 points per game this season and grabbed 8.5 rebounds per game; both happen to be significantly better than Bona in those categories.

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