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NBA Mock Draft: How entertaining can the 2024 Draft get?

Graphic by Eli Silversttone


On Sunday, May 12, the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery revealed the order for the top 14 picks of the upcoming draft. In a surprising twist, the Atlanta Hawks jumped all the way up to the top pick, changing the trajectory of their franchise

Leading up to the fateful day in June, NBA media will attempt to predict and analyze the best landing spots for each prospect. We figured we’d jump in on that action here at Intermission Sports.

In this mock draft, we will try to keep it realistic but aim to make each pick to create the most exciting scenario for each selection. Each “Fun Rating” is based on both the player and the situation they’d be entering. 

1. Atlanta Hawks select Alexandre Sarr / F / France

Fun Rating: 8/10

Atlanta’s backcourt of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray were rumoured to be on the trade block this summer after a disappointing Hawks season. After jumping nine spots in the NBA Draft Lottery, Atlanta may rethink things. Pairing the 7’1 projected first overall pick, Alexandre Sarr, with two All-Star calibre guards should not only help the Hawks win games but help Sarr’s progression into a potential star himself. 

It is also fun to say we could get first-overall picks from France in back-to-back years.

2. Washington Wizards select Zaccharie Risacher / F / France Fun Rating: 6/10

With no real centrepiece players for the future, the Wizards shoot for upside. The 6’8 wing from France has bundles of potential. He’s rapidly developed into a knockdown shooter—he shot 47% from three this year—which has earned him comparisons to Kevin Durant and Michael Porter Jr. 

Risacher, Jordan Poole, Deni Avdija and Kyle Kuzma pose good building blocks for the future.

3. Houston Rockets select Donavan Clingan / C / Connecticut 

Fun Rating: 7/10

The run of bigs continues here at the third pick and none are bigger than the 7’2 Clingan, who also boasts a 7’7 wingspan. The addition of Clingan can free up young gun Alperen Sengun to play the power forward role while Clingan cleans up the glass on both sides, making for a good foundation of big men in Houston. 

4. San Antonio Spurs select Nikola Topic / G / Serbia  Fun Rating: 9/10

A pick-and-roll between Topic and Victor Wembanyama sounds like a dream for Spurs fans. Topic’s playmaking and finishing ability will bring much-needed point guard play to San Antonio, so this almost feels like a given. 

They have another pick coming up that could make their draft fun, so here they go with the guy who seems like an easy pick.

5. Detroit Pistons select Reed Sheppard / G / Kentucky 

Fun Rating: 7/10

Yes, this is supposed to be a “fun” mock draft and Sheppard isn’t the most exciting player, but he might be exactly what Detroit needs. A reliable playmaker, defender and mentally strong player who could solidify Detroit’s lineup as their starting PG. He’ll be able to play off of Cade Cunningham perfectly. 

6. Charlotte Hornets select Rob Dillingham / G / Kentucky Fun Rating: 10/10 

By far the player with the highest “fun” rating in this class, Dillingham is an extremely dynamic and athletic guard who’s a highlight waiting to happen. A Dillingham/Lamelo Ball backcourt paired with wings Brandon Miller and Miles Bridges may not win a ton of games but will definitely be fun to watch. 

7. Portland Trail Blazers select Matas Buzelis / G/F / G-League Ignite  Fun Rating: 7/10

On a Portland team full of young, developing players, Buzelis will fit right in. Scoot Henderson and Anfernee Simons will be the primary ball handlers while the 6’11 Buzelis can be a versatile threat from the wing. As positionless as they come, the lanky Buzelis shows great touch around the rim as well as solid shooting upside. 

8. San Antonio Spurs trade pick 8 to the Brooklyn Nets for Cameron Johnson, Nic Claxton. Brooklyn selects Ron Holland / G / G-League Ignite 

Fun Rating (for Brooklyn): 8/10

The Spurs already got their guy in Topic at four, so they can afford to make a move to compete while Wembanyama’s still cheap. With Johnson and Claxton, they get two strong starters.

Brooklyn, meanwhile, has very little draft capital after the James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant saga from a few years ago. So, with not much on the current roster, they try and snag the guard of their future. Holland is an athletic, defensive, guard who can get downhill and finish with ease with his 6’6 frame. Holland will only be 18 years old on draft night and despite a bit of a down year, he’s bubbling with potential. 

9. Memphis Grizzlies select Cody Williams / F / Colorado  Fun Rating: 7/10

After essentially two years without Ja Morant, Memphis wants to go right back to contending in 2024. To do that, they need to fill out their roster and this pick could provide an opportunity. The only available spot in Memphis's starting lineup is at the small forward spot, somewhere Williams could thrive given his skills as a fluid, lengthy defender with an improving offensive game.

10. Utah Jazz select Stephon Castle / G / Connecticut Fun Rating: 7/10

Castle is a fantastic defender and strong athlete, plus he has the offensive tools to make the jump to the pros look effortless. Utah is still trying to figure their way out of this rebuild but Castle will be another great building block after hitting on Keyonte George last year. Castle’s high-energy play and ball-handling abilities can unlock this Utah offence. 

11. Chicago Bulls select Jared McCain / G / Duke Fun Rating 9/10

McCain is a quick guard who excelled as a three level scorer at Duke. He’s already an exciting player to watch and to picture in the NBA, but matching him with the Bulls just adds to the fun.

Who better for McCain to learn from about scoring in the NBA than DeMar DeRozan and Zach Lavine? If DeRozan and Lavine aren’t around in Chicago in the future, a McCain and Coby White backcourt duo would be electric. 

12. Oklahoma City Thunder select Dalton Knecht / G / Tennesse Fun Rating: 8/10

OKC are in a wonderful spot where they are extremely young but also ready to win now. For that reason, the fact that Knecht is already 23 years old isn’t too big of a deal for the Thunder. The versatile 6’6 guard will be able to provide scoring and playmaking off the bench behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or could even space the floor as a wing shooter. An SGA/Knecht backcourt would be filling up the stat sheet.

13. Sacramento Kings select Tidjane Salaun / F / France Fun Rating: 7/10

Salaun is a pick based mainly on raw upside. The 18-year-old Frenchman hangs his hat on the defensive end while consistently improving as a shooter. He’s 6’9 with a 7’1 wingspan and the potential to be an elite 3-and-D defender at the next level. If everything goes to plan, Salaun will be the starting small forward by the time the Kings make a playoff push next year. 

14. Portland Trail Blazers trade pick 14 to the New York Knicks for picks 24, 25.

New York selects Devin Carter / G / Providence

Fun Rating (for New York): 8/10

Unlike the Spurs who could move their second pick for current difference-makers, Portland needs to rack up as many young players as they can. For them, walking out of the draft with three first-round players would be a success. New York needs more impact players, so this seems like a fair enough swap. 

The Knicks jump up to select Carter, a tenacious guard defender who harasses opponents. Sounds like someone Tom Thibodeau might want, right? The only concern is Carter is only 6’3, so although he’d theoretically be a good second piece in a backcourt duo with Jalen Brunson because of his defence, they would be a little too small. 

The 2024 NBA Draft is bound to be an entertaining one and could prove franchise-altering for some teams. Stay tuned for more from Intermission Sports.


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