2024 NBA Draft best-remaining players

By Raphielle Johnson

With the move to a two-day draft, NBA teams will have more time to evaluate their options ahead of Thursday’s Round 2. And there is some good value to be had, with three players projected by many to be first-round picks among those still available. And two of those three received Green Room invites, so it’s safe to say that neither expected to still be on the board when they left the Barclays Center. Second-round picks don’t receive the same financial guarantee as first-rounders, but that can be countered by the ability of some agents to target the right fit for their clients. Here’s a look at the top ten players on the draft board when the second round begins on Thursday afternoon.

1. G/F Johnny Furphy (Kansas)

Furphy began the pre-draft process as a projected lottery pick, and many did not expect him to be on the board past Orlando at No. 18 overall. Not only did the former Kansas wing remain available after that pick, but he’s slipped out of the first round. Furphy’s offensive game is a bit limited, as most of his production resulted from him being set up by teammates instead of getting his own off the dribble. Furphy was a solid perimeter shooter and finisher around the basket, but his offensive game is not as dynamic as some players whose names were called on Wednesday. As disappointing as it was for Furphy not to hear his name called, he’s unlikely to wait very long to find out his destination on Thursday.

2. F/C Kyle Filipowski (Duke)

While he has the size of a center, Filipowski can also offer value at power forward. The former Duke standout has a high floor, but the limited ceiling may have something to do with his not being selected during the first round. New York was viewed as a possible destination, but the Knicks’ pre-draft activity (acquiring Mikal Bridges and re-signing OG Anunoby) likely put the team in a position where it would prefer to go with a player who can be stashed overseas (Pacome Dadiet) for a season. Milwaukee at pick No. 33 would be worth watching, as Brook Lopez has been the subject of trade rumors, and the Bucks could use additional depth at the five even if they hold onto their starting center.

3. G Tyler Kolek (Marquette)

Kolek is a high-level point guard given a first-round projection due to his ability to help a team immediately. The team most often connected to the former Marquette standout, Phoenix, traded down and ultimately wound up with Virginia wing Ryan Dunn at No. 28 overall (No. 22 pick DaRon Holmes II was traded to Denver). Only two point guards were selected in the second half of the first round, with Jared McCain (Philadelphia) going 16th overall and Isaiah Collier (Utah) going 29th. Maybe they’re perceived to have higher ceilings than Kolek, and a rebuilding team selected the latter. Would San Antonio consider him at No. 35, even with their selection of Stephon Castle with the fourth overall pick? He could slide further down the board, which would be shocking, given the pre-draft expectations.

4. F Bobi Klintman (Cairns Taipans)

The end of the first round can be a crap shoot, and with Klintman projected to go at that point in the draft, it isn’t shocking that he remains on the board. The 6-foot-9 forward from Sweden moves well, but his finishing around the basket this past season was underwhelming. Klintman made strides as a perimeter shooter while with Cairns, but the overall offensive game needs polish. He should hear his name called early in the second round, and Portland at No. 34 could make for an attractive fit, especially if the Blazers move Deandre Ayton or Robert Williams this offseason.

5. F Tyler Smith (G League Ignite)

The 19-year-old Smith is a power forward who’s at his best when allowed to attack the basket as the roll man, and he was also solid as a 3-point shooter. However, like Klintman, finishing in traffic was an issue during Smith’s season with G League Ignite. While multiple teams decided to roll the dice on young players perceived to have a higher upside on Wednesday, that did not lead to Smith’s name being called. He should hear his name called during the first half of the second round.

6. F Enrique Freeman (Akron)

After beginning his career as a walk-on, Freeman ended his collegiate career as one of the most accomplished players in this draft class. That wasn’t enough to make him a first-round pick, but the general feeling was that Freeman would go in the second round. He’ll be a quality frontcourt option for teams either in the mix for a playoff spot or looking to strengthen their status as contenders. Considered undersized for an NBA power forward, Freeman’s basketball IQ will allow him to succeed wherever he lands.

7. G Cam Christie (Minnesota)

Christie, who won’t turn 19 until late July, is one of the youngest prospects in the class. Like older brother Max, who spent the last two seasons with the Lakers, Cam shoots the ball well beyond the arc and offers solid length and athleticism for a wing. Like Freeman, the expectation was that he would be a second-round pick, likely coming off the board early Thursday afternoon.

8. G Juan Nunez (Ratiopharm Ulm)

A teammate of Knicks first-round pick Pacome Dadiet, Nunez has good size for a point guard (6-foot-4) and is considered a pass-first player. However, turnovers were sometimes a concern, as was his limited 3-point shooting ability. Interestingly, it was reported in early June that Nunez would move from Ratiopharm Ulm to FC Barcelona, but he did not answer when asked about that reported deal. Depending on which team selects him, Nunez could decide to stay in Europe for another season to get more in-game reps.

9. C Adem Bona (UCLA)

Despite being listed at 6-foot-8, Bona is one of the best interior defenders in this draft class, thanks to his motor, athleticism, and 7-foot-4 wingspan. Consistent production was an issue for him at UCLA last season, but his physical tools cannot be ignored. Teams searching for a defensive-minded big may target Bona, especially if that team doesn’t need too much offensive production from him immediately.

10. G Ajay Mitchell (UC Santa Barbara)

The 6-foot-3 point guard was an excellent playmaker at UCSB, but the perimeter shooting could be a concern for some. Mitchell shot 33.2% from three during his three-year college career but made 39.3% of his attempts (while also shooting 85.8% from the foul line) as a junior. Mitchell showed the ability to improve as a shooter, so there is upside there. Mitchell is an efficient playmaker, but the shot mechanics will likely need some refinement.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top