How Will the NBA Draft Affect the 2024-24 Season?

As basketball fans enjoy this season’s playoffs, some are already looking forward to the draft that comes later this year. Who will be the new stars joining the top teams and how might it influence next season in the NBA?

Details of the Draft

The eagerly-awaited 2024 version of the pro basketball draft is all set to begin on June 26 at the Barclays Center, which is in Brooklyn. The action continues the next day from ESPN´s Seaport District Studios in Manhattan. The second round will also see four minutes taken between picks, rather than the two-minute gap we’ve seen in the past.

This year, there are going to be 58 picks instead of 60. It’s a situation we’ve seen in the last couple of years and this time it’s due to the Phoenix Suns and the Philadelphia 76ers losing their second-round pick after being found guilty of infringing the NBA’s rules on tampering during the free agency period.

At the time of writing, the order of most of the picks has been established. The draft lottery takes place on May 12, so by the time you read this, you’ll probably know the order in which the teams who failed to make the playoffs have been drawn!

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Who Are the Top Players in the Draft?

The reason all the teams want to get an early pick is that this gives them a better chance of getting hold of one of the sport’s up-and-coming new stars. Currently, opinion is divided over who will be the first player chosen in the draft. 7 ft 1 French center Alex Sarr is among the top prospects in the draft this year. Born in France, he played in Spain and Australia, as well as in the Overtime Elite league in the US.

Zaccharie Risacher is another French player expected to be among the first names chosen by the pro teams. While he was born in Spain, Zaccharie moved to France as a youngster and has been playing for JL Bourg in the LNB Pro A, although he is there on loan from his parent club ASVEL.

Of the American college players, some analysts think that Donovan Clingan of the UConn Huskies could be the top pick. The center from Connecticut was expected to declare for the 2023 draft but stayed with the Huskies for a final season. His UConn teammate Stephon Castle is also high on the list of draft prospects, with most mock drafts putting the 6 ft 6 guard in the top ten prospects along with Clingan.

Serbia’s Nikola Topic is another draft pick to keep an eye on. At 6 ft 6, this point guard has been playing for Crvena Zvezda in the KLS and recently won the ABA League Top Prospect award by a landslide. He averaged 17.9 points and 6.8 assists throughout the last season.

Unlike some other seasons, there are no real stand-out prospects this year. This means that other players such as Matas Buzelis, Robert Dillingham, Dalton Knecht, and Cody Williams have all listed high on the mock drafts carried out so far. It seems likely that the top picks will be from the names we’ve looked at here, but the exact order is going to remain a mystery until the draft begins for real in June.

How Will the Rookies Affect the New Season?

The big question everyone wants to know the answer to is how the draft picks will influence the 2024-25 NBA season. Simply choosing the best rookie isn’t a recipe for success. Last season, French center Victor Wembanyama was chosen by the San Antonio Spurs as the first choice. He had a spectacular first season in the NBA and was named Rookie of the Year, but the Spurs had a disastrous season, including a franchise-record 18 consecutive losses. Anyone who has followed the live NBA scores this season can see which teams need a boost before next season.

Since the first picks are awarded to the teams who failed to reach the playoffs last season, it’s unlikely that a single player will be enough to make a difference for them. This look at some of the few basketball players to have won an NBA Championship in their debut season as a pro reveals Magic Johnson as the most recent example. He was chosen first by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979 and became the first rookie to win the NBA MVP Finals awards as he guided the Lakes to a dramatic win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

The NBA draft is one of the highlights of the year for basketball fans and this year’s event is shaping up to be even more interesting and unpredictable than previous versions have been.