NBA 2024 Mock Draft 2.0: Spurs Win, Kings Get Steal at 13

Inside the Kings' latest 2024 NBA Draft lottery projections are here.
Team Detlef forward Matas Buzelis (13) of the G League Ignite celebrates with a teammate after hitting the game-winning shot Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, during the 2024 Panini Rising Stars Game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis.
Team Detlef forward Matas Buzelis (13) of the G League Ignite celebrates with a teammate after hitting the game-winning shot Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, during the 2024 Panini Rising Stars Game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis. / Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY
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The 2024 NBA Draft is nearly two weeks away and the "weak draft class" narrative should begin to change. While there are no expected superstars in this year's class, there are a handful of highly talented prospects, and the difference-makers this year run deep.

The Sacramento Kings were one win away from making the 2024 playoffs, but their consolation prize is the 13th overall pick in the draft. While a playoff berth was expected this season, the Kings can come out of draft night with a young, talented rookie who can make a difference in Sacramento.

Here are Inside the Kings' lottery projections for the 2024 NBA Draft:

1. Atlanta Hawks

F Zaccharie Risacher, France

The Hawks won the lottery, but it was in a year where there was no clear-cut best prospect. While French big man Alex Sarr has been the projected prize in this draft, the Hawks are more likely to take a chance on fellow Frenchman Zaccharie Risacher, a high-floor prospect who can compete at the next level immediately.

2. Washington Wizards

PF/C Alex Sarr, France

The lengthy big man out of France is a defensive-minded prospect with an upside on the offensive side of the ball. Alex Sarr, a skilled seven-footer, could ultimately be the best NBA player to come out of the 2024 draft class and nobody should be surprised. Sarr could be an absolute game-changer for a Wizards squad that has struggled on defense.

3. Houston Rockets

G Reed Sheppard, Kentucky

The Rockets are coming off a .500 season with no real weaknesses within their lineup, putting them in a tough position with the third pick. Reed Sheppard is a talented guard, yet his size could impact his defensive tenacity at the next level. Still, his elite shooting ability and a great feel for the game could make for the perfect backup guard to bolster Houston's backcourt depth.

4. San Antonio Spurs

F Matas Buzelis, G League Ignite

While many expect the Spurs to look for their franchise point guard with the fourth pick in the draft, grabbing one of the most impressive prospects in Matas Buzelis is the right choice. The lengthy wing has a great mix of scoring, playmaking, and defending to fit next to franchise cornerstone Victor Wembanyama in the frontcourt.

5. Detroit Pistons

C Donovan Clingan, UCONN

In the first season under a new General Manager, the Pistons will likely be looking to take the safest prospect possible. At his worst, Donovan Clingan is a proven winner and elite defensive anchor. The Pistons need all the help they can get following a 14-win season, and Clingan could solve some of their problems in the frontcourt.

6. Charlotte Hornets

G Stephon Castle, UCONN

Similar to his UCONN teammate Clingan, Stephon Castle is coming off an NCAA National Championship and is a highly-touted NBA prospect. As a guard with great size, Castle has many intangibles that will translate to the next level and could be the perfect backcourt pairing with star LaMelo Ball.

7. Portland Trail Blazers

F Tidjane Salaun, France

While Salaun is regarded as a project, his length mixed with impressive defense and a smooth jump shot could translate to the next level seamlessly. Portland is still not close to competing in a tough Western Conference, so even if Salaun does take time to adjust, the Blazers can afford to wait for him.

8. San Antonio Spurs

G Devin Carter, Providence

After selecting Buzelis with their top-five pick, the Spurs can now look for their point guard with the eighth pick. Devin Carter is an NBA-ready guard who is impressive on both ends of the floor. His two-way versatility could be what the Spurs need to run their young lineup.

9. Memphis Grizzlies

C Kel'el Ware, Indiana

The Grizzlies got screwed with an absurd amount of injuries this season, causing them to land the ninth pick in the draft. Memphis already has the talent to compete in the West, but they can look to fill their backup center void while they have the chance. Kel'el Ware is an interesting prospect with great length, impressive defense, and elite athleticism, and he could be the perfect lob threat for Ja Morant in Memphis.

10. Utah Jazz

SG/SF Dalton Knecht, Tennessee

The Jazz have made it clear they are ready to compete with Lauri Markkanen leading the way, and selecting the most NBA-ready scorer in the class could help their offensive struggles. Dalton Knecht was the third-leading scorer across the NCAA last season and should be a perfect fit in Utah.

11. Chicago Bulls

SG/SF Cody Williams, Colorado

The Bulls are in a weird spot with Zach LaVine's horrible contract, DeMar DeRozan entering free agency, and the emergence of Coby White. With so many question marks around their roster, Chicago can take Cody Williams, one of the most well-rounded prospects. His versatility will help the Bulls regardless of what direction they go moving forward.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder

G Rob Dillingham, Kentucky

Coming off their best season in a decade, Oklahoma City secured the one-seed in the West and made it past the first round of the playoffs. With not many weaknesses on their roster, the Thunder can look to add a bench spark in Rob Dillingham, one of the most gifted scorers in the class.

13. Sacramento Kings

F Ron Holland, G League Ignite

Many draft experts have different opinions on Ron Holland, whether the wing out of G League Ignite will be a top-five pick or fall out of the lottery altogether. The 18-year-old forward is one of the most electric prospects in the class, as his elite athleticism helps make him an incredible defender.

Holland averaged 20.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.5 steals through 14 regular season games with Ignite, but as he slips down draft boards, many experts look toward his poor shooting numbers for cause. While Holland is an impressive slasher and an elite finisher around the rim, the 6-foot-7 wing shot just 24% from deep.

His shooting woes should be a concern, but he has proven to be an elite prospect and would be an absolute steal for Sacramento if he falls to 13.

14. Portland Trail Blazers

G Nikola Topic, Serbia

After tearing his ACL, the highly-touted point guard prospect has slipped down draft boards. Nikola Topic is an unbelievable playmaker with elite size at his position, but his poor shooting, defensive questions, and now injury concerns will cause him to fall. The Blazers are in a position where they can take a risk on him, especially with just one year left of Malcolm Brogdon leading the team.


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Logan Struck

LOGAN STRUCK

Logan Struck is the Deputy Editor for Inside the Kings - SI.com's team website following the Sacramento Kings.