NBA Draft first-round grades: Lots of A's, B's … and Zach Edey


The first round of the 2024 NBA Draft is in the books, with France’s Zaccharie Risacher going No. 1 to the Atlanta Hawks.

Which picks landed? Which didn’t? Here are Yahoo Sports‘ complete first-round draft grades.


Risacher’s combination of length and defensive versatility on the wing makes him a player who can come into any situation and contribute right away. He is more than just a catch-and-shoot threat and has shown improvement as a facilitator when his shot isn’t falling.


This was Sarr’s preferred landing spot and he can come in right away and add some relief defensively with how well he protects the rim. Offensively, he has a fluid jumper in the pick-and-pop with the potential to spread past the 3-point line.


Sheppard shot over 52% from 3-point range on 3.5 attempts per game and will be more of a combo guard at the NBA level. He’s a little undersized at 6-foot-2 but has a high IQ and a solid floor when it comes to a young, skilled guard coming into the NBA.


Castle was one the best defending guards in college hoops during his one year at UConn and showed a much improved 3-point shot during the pre-draft process. He has upside as an elite two-way player in the NBA and can help anchor the defense alongside Victor Wembanyama.


Holland averaged 19.5 points and 6.7 rebounds in the G League this season for the Ignite. Although he can be turnover prone at times, his size at 6-foot-8 and his burst off the dribble and in transition still gives him room for growth in the NBA at just 18 years old. His movement off the ball needs some work and he sometimes clogs the lane with his attempts to get to the rim.


Salaun has solid size at the wing position at 6-foot-9 and has really become more than just a catch-and-shoot threat along the perimeter. He’s worked this past season to add muscle to his frame and his physicality in the lane improved while playing for Cholet in the LNB Pro A league.


Clingan has all the tools to be a long-term starting center in the NBA and moves well for his size at 7-foot-2. He is more than a rim-running big and can throw a lot of different options in the pick-and-roll, whether that’s slipping, rolling to the basket, pinning his man or popping out for a jumper.


Dillingham is one of the best guards with the ball in his hands and can get downhill and put pressure on the rim. There’s no doubt that he’ll be electric in Minnesota, but his size at 6-foot-2, 164 pounds, is concerning for a lead guard in the NBA.


Edey can come in right away as a backup center and has the best post-up game out of any center in the draft, averaging 25.2 points and 12.2 rebounds per game last season. His limitations are in the pick-and-roll, where only 8% of his made baskets came in that set, and defensively he doesn’t have the foot speed to guard the switch, forcing him to be more of a drop coverage center.


Williams is one of the best defending wings in this class with how well he can guard positions 1-4 and has great drop coverage on the switch. He needs to get stronger with the ball but is farther along in his development at 19 than his brother, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams, was at his age.


Buzelis shot the ball under 30% from 3-point range during his one season with the Ignite but has great size at 6-foot-9 and the ability to space the floor. He’s comfortable taking players off the dribble and has good footwork and ball skills in dribble hand-offs on the wing.


Topić suffered a partially torn ACL and the Thunder will have to be patient with his recovery. He is one of the best passers in this draft class, averaging 5.5 assists per game in Serbia, and has good size at the point guard position at 6-foot-6.


Carter shot up draft boards during the pre-draft process with how well he performed during the combine (42-inch max vertical and breaking the combine record for the 3/4-court sprint). He’s a tough-nosed guard who is great at turning defense into offense and is one of the best rebounding guards.


Carrington hit a late growth spurt and is now closer to 6-foot-5 as a point guard, making him a late riser in the draft. He still has tremendous upside at 18 years old and can come in right away with his quick-twitch pace and decent shot creation off the pick-and-roll.


Ware really made a jump in improvement from his freshman year at Oregon to his sophomore season at Indiana, showing more upside as a pick-and-roll big while putting pressure on the rim. His athleticism helps him guard the perimeter off the switch and he’s improved his ball-handling, starting the break off missed shots.


McCain is one of the best shooters in this draft, shooting 41.8% from 3-point range and shot lights out at the combine in front of every NBA executive and scout. Even though he’s undersized at 6-foot-3, 197 pounds, Philadelphia knows exactly what it’s getting from him as a reliable shooter who competes at a high level.


Knecht was the best scorer in the SEC, averaging 21.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game at Tennessee. He’s one of the older players in the first round at 23 but can be a plug-and-play guy right away, contributing with his size and three-level scoring.


The senior forward shot 40% from 3-point range and has the potential to be that hybrid four in the NBA with his solid inside-out game and how well he gets to his spots out of the pick-and-roll option.


Walter has solid size for a shooting guard at 6-5 and showed more promise off the bounce during his one year at Baylor. His 3-point shot was a little inconsistent over his freshman season, but the spacing in the NBA will allow him better looks for higher-percentage shots.


Tyson was one of the best scorers in the Pac-12 and can do a little bit of everything really well. He’s strong with the ball, cuts well and finishes through contact, but his mobility on defense and ability to keep players in front still needs some work.

Stefan Milic (Yahoo Sports)Stefan Milic (Yahoo Sports)

Stefan Milic (Yahoo Sports)


Missi still has a ton of room for growth after his one year at Baylor, but the glimpses that he showed defending the block and running the floor well in transition scream upside as a rim-running big in the NBA at 7 feet.


Holmes could potentially be a hybrid big with his polished interior scoring and improvement in his shot selection behind the arc, averaging 38.6% from 3-point range.


Johnson’s upside as a 6-5 combo guard is very intriguing and he’s a player who has been in the gym working out with Rockets guard Jalen Green since 8th grade. They have similar mannerisms as playmakers, and Johnson is still so raw as a prospect he could end up being one of the best players in this draft two to three years down the road.


George hit a late growth spurt two years ago and shot up from 6-3 to 6-8. He still passes like a point guard but is playing more along the perimeter. His 3-point shot is what’s most intriguing, shooting 41% from 3 off the bench during his one year at Miami.


Dadiet is one of the youngest players in the draft, still just 18 years old, and will be a draft-and-stash development project for the Knicks. His size and strength at 6-8 along the perimeter is what first stands out when he plays, and he’s showing more signs as a poised playmaker off the wing, finishing his season in Germany for Ratiopharm Ulm on a high note.


Jones does a lot of little things really well, which is probably why the Thunder traded up to grab him. Jones reads the game sharply, dictates pace and plays to his advantages.

This embedded content is not available in your region.


Shannon is a three-level scorer who has improved his 3-point shot over the course of his college career, finishing his senior season at Illinois shooting 36.2% from deep. He’s an older, experienced guard at 23 who can come in right away and contribute for Minnesota.


Dunn was the best perimeter defender in college basketball this season with his length at 6-8, averaging 2.3 blocks and just under two steals per game during his sophomore season at Virginia. The biggest hole in his game is his 3-point shooting where he made only 20% of his attempts from deep this past season.


The fact that Collier fell so far in the draft after entering this past college season as the No. 1 high school recruit is shocking. The biggest gaps in his game are his outside jumper and his turnovers. Where he does excel is in the open court, and he has great body control around the rim. With the spacing and pace of the NBA game, he could be a steal for the Jazz.


Scheierman’s shot creation and size as a perimeter player is what shot him inside the first round. He’s a four-year player out of Creighton and averaged 18.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game as a senior.



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top