2024 NBA Draft: Top 30 Big Board entering college’s home stretch

Detroit Bad Boys

There’s some movement at the top of the board where my top prospect now reflects how things should look inside the Detroit Pistons war room.

College season is really ramping up now in the second half of February with my eyes on at least a game or two each night, fascinated by some of the conference races — I’m looking at you Big 12 and Big East.

But at the top of this board, it remains three foreigners in the top four, so college isn’t as connected with the top of this class.

All of that aside, here’s an update at how I’m seeing the class out to an expanded full first round as opposed to the lottery board released nearly two weeks ago.

1. Zaccharie Risacher, 6’8, JL Bourg (France), versatile scorer

2. Nikola Topic, 6’6, Red Star (Serbia), half-court general

3. Cody Williams, 6’8, Colorado, two-way wing

4. Alex Sarr, 6’11, Perth Wildcats (Australia), defensive menace

5. Reed Sheppard, 6’3, Kentucky, lethal-but-low-usage guard

6. Ja’Kobe Walter, 6’5, Baylor, secondary creator

7. Rob Dillingham, 6’2, Kentucky, exciting with the ball

8. Stephon Castle, 6’6, UConn, two-way wing

9. Matas Buzelis, 6’10, Ignite (G League), play finisher

10. Ron Holland, 6’9, Ignite (G League), slasher

11. Isaiah Collier, 6’4, USC, downhill lead guard

12. Jared McCain, 6’3, Duke, off-ball shooter

13. Yves Missi, 7’0, Baylor, spread big

14. Kevin McCullar Jr., 6’7, utility wing

15. Izan Almansa, 6’10, Ignite (G League), post playmaker

16. Tidjane Salaun, 6’9, Cholet (France), 3-and-D wing

17. Tyler Smith, 6’10, Ignite (G League), positional shooter

18. Donovan Clingan, 7’2, UConn, upright big

19. Milan Momcilovic, 6’8, Iowa State, two-way wing

20. Tyler Kolek, 6’3, Marquette, straight point guard

21. Dalton Knecht, 6’6, Tennessee, high-production scorer

22. Oso Ighodaro, 6’11, Marquette, rim-rolling big

23. Trey Alexander, 6’3, Creighton, upside creator

24. DaRon Holmes II, 6’10, Dayton, versatile big

25. Kyle Filipowski, 6’11, Duke, offensively-inclined big

26. Ryan Dunn, 6’8, Virginia, wing stopper

27. Tristan da Silva, 6’9, Colorado, versatile forward

28. Dillon Jones, 6’6, Weber State, versatile creator

29. Harrison Ingram, 6’7, North Carolina, utility wing

30. Devin Carter, 6’3, Providence, two-way point guard

As for my approach to scouting, I like to lean heaviest on feel, IQ and concrete skills. Those three combined with a player’s physical traits give me a good projection of that player’s floor.

It’s when a really high floor meets another level — or even several — to grow that a player gets a very high grade, such as the top four, which is probably where I’d draw the line for a first tier. Each of those four have things to like that are clearly already there with room to grow beyond that.

  • Risacher — very good shooter and transition player; could improve open-floor handle and defensive physicality.
  • Topic — great creator in the half-court for himself and others; could work on his off-the-dribble game as a shooter.
  • Williams — already very few flaws around the larger areas of his game, really like his willingness to take on harder defensive matchups given his tools; stands to be a bit more aggressive with the ball in his hands.
  • Sarr — so much to like about his defense as a help big, especially considering his reaction time and ground coverage mixed with general length; if he could just shoot the ball at all, we’d be cooking.

The board will continue to expand out little by little as the draft gets closer which is when you can expect more focused scouting reports to start spilling out.

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