2024 NBA Mock Draft – Portland Trail Blazers Strengthen Offense With Picks 4 And 14

Mo Damtew | Oregon Sports News

Now that the 2023-24 NBA regular season has come to a close and the playoffs are in full swing, the anticipation for the draft lottery is finally here. Over the next couple of months, teams will scout, evaluate talent, and conduct workouts in hopes of finding the next superstar in the 2024 NBA Draft on Jun. 26.

That means it’s time to start predicting which prospects will go where and which franchises will make the most impactful selections.

For this mock draft, we will be using regular season standings to determine our draft order. With that said, let’s begin with the teams that missed this year’s playoffs.

1. Detroit Pistons — Alexandre Sarr, F/C, Perth Wildcats (NBL)

Sarr is the best player in this draft class, and it’s not close for me. The 7-foot-1, 217-pound big man is an absolute monster on defense, as he can switch onto smaller players and can protect the rim better than almost any player in the NBA. He would fit in perfectly as Detroit’s power forward of the future.

2. Washington Wizards — Rob Dillingham, G, Kentucky

I love everything about Dillingham’s game, especially for Washington. The Wizards are in dire need of a point guard who can score the ball and serve as a playmaker. Dillingham shot 44.4% from three in college and can make advanced reads on the move using his speed and basketball IQ. He would work well with Washington’s young core of Deni Avdija and Bilal Coulibaly.

3. Charlotte Hornets — Stephon Castle, G, UConn

The Hornets have a severe lack of depth at both point guard and shooting guard at the moment. LaMelo Ball has missed 106 games over the past two seasons, and there isn’t much talent in the backcourt besides him, which is where Castle comes in. His playmaking and athleticism would complement the All-Star while providing some much-needed stability in Charlotte.

4. Portland Trail Blazers — Zaccharie Risacher, G/F, JL Bourg (LNB)

Two things stand out when talking about the Blazers: their lack of shooting and the need for young frontcourt players. Risacher is 6-foot-10, 210 pounds, and can play shooting guard, small forward, and power forward while shooting 40% from three against professional competition. He checks off both boxes for Rip City.

5. San Antonio Spurs — Reed Sheppard, G, Kentucky

Victor Wembanyama is already a defensive standout. Now, imagine if he had a reliable pick-and-roll partner in the paint. Sheppard fits that role perfectly and would have no problem throwing lobs to the towering big man every night while sinking half his three-point attempts like he did at Kentucky. He would be a formidable addition to San Antonio as their point guard of the future.

6. Toronto Raptors — Matas Buzelis, F, G League Ignite

The Raptors traded away Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby to Eastern Conference rivals in February and do not currently have many young frontcourt talents. Buzelis is a superb perimeter defender, passer, and ball handler. He would mesh well with almost any NBA team.

7. Memphis Grizzlies — Donovan Clingan, C, UConn 

Clingan is the best rim protector in the draft class and would be a game-changer for the Grizzlies, who recently traded Steven Adams to the Houston Rockets. His arrival would form a tantalizing frontcourt duo with 2022-23 Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr.

8. Utah Jazz — Ron Holland, F, G League Ignite

Head Coach Will Hardy and the Utah Jazz love to run and play with pace, meaning that Holland seems like the optimal choice here. He would provide explosive scoring and athleticism while seamlessly fitting into Hardy’s system.

9. Houston Rockets — Daulton Knecht, F, Tennessee

Houston finished 22nd in three-point percentage and is planning to make a playoff push in 2024-25, so it would be wise to acquire a sharpshooter like Knecht. He’s a three-level scorer who can create his own shot and shoot off the catch. Adding someone like him, who is currently being compared to Mike Miller, would boost Houston’s offense tremendously.

10. Atlanta Hawks — Cody Williams, F, Colorado

Williams can do anything on the court, from passing to rebounding to scoring. Acquiring him would be the ideal pick for an Atlanta team that needs as much talent as possible to elevate itself out of mediocrity.

11. Chicago Bulls — Yves Missi, C, Baylor

Chicago suffered from a lack of size all season, and they do not have many centers on the squad right now. Missi is an efficient scorer who is averaging 1.5 blocks a game at Baylor this season and could be a successor to the 33-year-old Nikola Vucevic sometime in the near or distant future.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder — Kyle Filipowski, F/C, Duke

If the Thunder, who finished first in the Western Conference in 2023-24, do not trade the 12th pick, they’ll probably look to get a frontcourt player who they could potentially pair with Chet Holmgren. Filipowski compliments the 2023-24 Rookie of the Year candidate with his scoring ability and would add more depth at the center position.

13. Sacramento Kings — Nikola Topić, G, Red Star (Serbia)

Sacramento would be absolutely delighted to get their hands on Topić, who many think will be a top-10 pick in this year’s draft. His finishing, passing, and ability to create his own shot would bolster a Kings offense that has regressed over the past year.

14. Portland Trail Blazers — Tidjane Salaun, F/C, Cholet Basket (France)

The Blazers, who are early in their rebuild process, would be very comfortable swinging for upside with someone like Salaun. The 18-year-old Frenchman has the potential to become a versatile forward who can shoot the ball, blow by defenders, and outwork everyone else on the court. If he pans out as expected, Portland would have a 6-foot-10 player with ball handling and playmaking skills, which is not something many other teams can say they have on their roster.

Now, let’s move on to the rest of the first round.

15. Miami Heat — Jared McCain, G, Duke

16. Philadelphia 76ers — Kyshawn George, G/F, Miami

17. New Orleans Pelicans — Tyler Kolek, G, Marquette

18. Orlando Magic — Tristan Da Silva, F, Colorado

19. Toronto Raptors — Isaiah Collier, G, USC

20. Cleveland Cavaliers — Kevin McCullar, G/F, Kansas

21. New Orleans Pelicans — DaRon Holmes II, F/C, Dayton

22. Milwaukee Bucks — Ryan Dunn, F, Virginia

23. Phoenix Suns — Kel’el Ware, C, Indiana

24. New York Knicks — Bobi Klintman, F, Cairns (NBL)

25. New York Knicks — Dillon Jones, F, Weber State

26. Washington Wizards — Zach Edey, C, Purdue

27. Minnesota Timberwolves — Hunter Sallis, G, Wake Forest

28. Denver Nuggets — Ulrich Chomche, F/C, NBA Academy Africa

29. Utah Jazz — Devin Carter, G, Providence

30. Boston Celtics — Alex Karaban, F, UConn