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Future All-Stars: A Review of the 2024 NBA Draft

The first round brought exciting new talents into the league.

The 2024 NBA Draft was an exciting event for basketball fans and pundits, featuring surprising selections, trades, and special talent. Since there was no agreed-upon first overall pick like last year’s Victor Wembanyama, this draft was characterized by different views on the best prospects, which reflected the teams’ unique needs.

France’s Zaccharie Risacher was the first player selected in the draft, joining the Atlanta Hawks. Risacher, who is well-known for his defensive skills and versatility, fit Detroit's need to improve its shooting and defense.

Alex Sarr, who went second overall to the Washington Wizards, provides defensive relief with his rim-protecting skills. Sarr's smooth jumper and ability to stretch the floor make him a great offensive weapon in the pick-and-pop game. He’s expected to support the court on both ends in Washington.

The Houston Rockets selected Reed Sheppard with the third overall pick. He’s predicted to be a formidable combo guard for the Rockets because of his remarkable shooting – he’s 52% from three-point range. At 6-foot-2, he is a little undersized, but his high basketball IQ makes him a valuable addition who will improve Houston's shooting and backcourt depth. 

Stephon Castle, a star defensive player at UConn, was chosen fourth by the San Antonio Spurs. He demonstrated better three-point shooting last season and has tremendous potential to play both ways, which will make him a great combination with Victor Wembanyama. Castle is anticipated to have a significant effect in San Antonio thanks to his defense and growing offensive skill.

The Detroit Pistons picked fifth, choosing Ron Holland, a talented forward from the G League Ignite. In the G League, Holland used his size and athleticism to average 19.5 points and 6.7 rebounds. Still, he has to work on his off-ball movement and propensity for turnovers. Holland has a lot of talent at just 18 years old, and Detroit intends to maximize it as he grows.

Tidjane Salaün is a valuable acquisition for the Charlotte Hornets because of his size and physicality. Salaün, who stands at 6-foot-9, has grown beyond his catch-and-shoot skill set by gaining muscle and upgrading his lane efficiency. His improvement suggests that Charlotte has a bright future with him.

At 7-foot-2, Donovan Clingan is a mobile player who brings intriguing potential to the Portland Trail Blazers. Because of his size and versatility as a pick-and-roll player, he could become an NBA starting center.

Rob Dillingham, who went eighth to the Spurs before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, is a thrilling guard who can break through defenses and handle the ball with amazing finesse. Though he is only 6-foot-1 and 176 pounds, his modest stature casts doubt on his potential to play lead guard in the NBA. 

Zach Edey, the Memphis Grizzlies’ first round pick, has an excellent post-up game, averaging 25.2 points and 12.2 rebounds per game last season. However,  Edey comes up short in the pick-and-roll and defensive mobility. His role in Memphis as a backup center may be limited due to his inability to move to defense.

Because of his defensive skills, Cody Williams can efficiently guard several positions, making him a great addition to the Utah Jazz. Even though he still needs to improve his ball-handling, Williams is developing more quickly than his brother, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen, was at the same age.

Matas Buzelis, the Chicago Bulls’ first selection, has a lot of potential despite shooting under 30% from three-point range during his G League Ignite season. At 6-foot-9, Buzelis provides exceptional size and floor spacing. He is a versatile offensive threat because of his excellent footwork and ball skills in dribble hand-offs. Although he has to improve his shooting, he is a vital addition to Chicago's team because of his skill set and potential.

Nikola Topić, a talented passer who averaged 5.5 assists per game in Serbia, joined the Thunder. His 6-foot-6 stature helps him create plays as a point guard. Topić's partially damaged ACL, however, will require Oklahoma City to have patience as he heals. Despite this, his passing ability and vision make him a valuable prospect for the Thunder.

Devin Carter, taken 13th by the Sacramento Kings, shot up the draft boards thanks to his impressive combine performance, which included a 42-inch max vertical and a record-breaking three-quarter court sprint. Carter is an excellent rebounding guard, also known for his hard-nosed defense and ability to convert defense into attack. His athleticism will be valuable to the Kings' backcourt.

Carlton “Bub” Carrington was the Wizards’ second first-round selection. A late growth spurt put him at almost 6-foot-5 as a point guard, complementing his shot-creating ability. Carrington, who is just 18 years old, can make an early impact with his dynamic playmaking and ability to score off pick-and-rolls.

Between his freshman season at Oregon and sophomore year at Indiana, Miami Heat pick Kel'el Ware improved noticeably. He exerts pressure on the rim and displays athleticism as a pick-and-roll big, which enables him to guard the perimeter on switches. His improved ball-handling abilities give him the ability to launch quick breaks after missing shots. With his current level of growth, Ware has a promising future with the Heat.

Scouts were delighted by Jared McCain's 41.4% three-point percentage at Duke, which made him one of the best shooters in the draft. McCain will be a crucial player for the Philadelphia 76ers, despite being undersized at 6-foot-2. His competitiveness and consistency as a shooter will make him a reliable young guard for Philadelphia. 

These talented prospects – the first 16 draft picks – are projected to have bright futures with their respective teams. But they’re not the only ones with the chance to make an impact. In total, 58 new faces entered the league through this year’s draft. Now, basketball fans will wait and see if the rookies can realize their potential.


Edited by Ella Chang

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