Monday, June 24, 2024

Two choices for all 30 first-round picks: Will your team fill a need or choose the best value?

Must read

Our usual NBA mock drafts lean heavily on intel to make projections for the players and the 30 teams. This isn’t that. Instead, ESPN draft analysts Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo explored the first round from two differing perspectives: selecting for team need versus drafting for best available.

Of course, the philosophical question of drafting for need versus value isn’t clear-cut. In reality, they work together; situational factors from team to team can lead to drastically different valuations of each prospect. So when both lines of thinking lead to the same answer, it’s usually a good sign.

This mock draft isn’t what we project each NBA team will do, but it’s a useful way to think about the 2024 NBA draft, its eligible players and how front offices might be thinking through it as the two-day event draws closer (June 26-27, on ABC/ESPN/ESPN+).

Givony drafted players for each team prioritizing need, while Woo selected players matched with teams angling for value. Here’s what happened:

NBA draft coverage:
Best players at shooting, defense, more
New mock draft simulator: Make your picks!
Top international prospects | Draft order | More

First round

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Donovan Clingan | UConn | C | Age: 20.2

The 36-win Hawks, who have one of the NBA’s worst defenses, could surely benefit from adding the draft’s best rim-protector in Clingan, who might remind coach Quin Snyder of his Utah Jazz days with Rudy Gobert patrolling the paint. Clingan, ranked No. 3 in ESPN’s Top 100, could be an excellent pick-and-roll partner with Trae Young, as he sets bruising screens, has terrific hands, can facilitate out-of-dribble handoffs and zoom actions and is a good passer and finisher.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Zaccharie Risacher | Bourg (France) | SF | 19.1

Risacher possesses an excellent baseline at a young age to become a valuable starting-caliber wing who excels on both ends. He also has a strong developmental floor. The No. 1 pick isn’t as clear-cut this year — and Atlanta might need rim protection more than it explicitly needs another wing — but Risacher is the top-ranked prospect for both Givony and me, and he comes off the board here.



Donovan Clingan’s NBA draft profile

Check out some highlights that have made UConn’s Donovan Clingan a top NBA draft prospect.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Alex Sarr | Perth (Australia) | PF/C | Age: 19.1

The Wizards are thin in the frontcourt after trading away Daniel Gafford at the February trade deadline. And with the third-worst opposing 2-point percentage, Washington finished last season as one of the league’s worst defenses. So Sarr would fill an immediate need with his size, length, defensive versatility and rim protection, leading the Australian NBL in block percentage by a wide margin. He has real upside to tap into in other areas as well, flashing ability as a pick-and-roll finisher, perimeter shooter, ball handler and passer.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Sarr

Most teams we’ve spoken with around the league have a hard time seeing Sarr, who is ranked No. 2 in ESPN’s Top 100, fall past Washington, and for good reason — his potential high-end outcomes as a top rim-protector who also offers offensive versatility make him a tantalizing swing pick at No. 2. Washington has a long runway to help him develop and would be pleased to see him fall here.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Risacher

The Rockets have stockpiled young talent at all positions, but like every NBA team, could stand to add another wing who can make shots off movement, defend point guards through power forwards, get out in transition, and have the feel for the game and unselfishness to operate alongside other good players. Risacher, with a developing frame, has significant upside to tap into with the passing ability he has flashed in other settings; for example, the French Espoirs league, where he posted 4.4 assists per game last season.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Clingan

Many teams view Clingan as one of the draft’s best picks because he has the tools, talent and competitive makeup to be a high-end defensive center. Some scouts say he has a valid argument to be drafted at No. 1, and any scenario in which he falls to No. 3 and onward would make for an excellent value play here for the Rockets.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Reed Sheppard | Kentucky | PG/SG | Age: 19.9

The Spurs (22-60) were starved for outside shooting and playmaking acumen last season, making point guard a major need heading into the draft and free agency. Sheppard, ranked No. 4 in ESPN’s Top 100, is one of the best shooters in this draft class. He’s unselfish and possesses an outstanding feel for the game. He has the right temperament and mentality to embrace the role of playing off the strengths of a future superstar in Victor Wembanyama.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Sheppard

Sheppard’s elite analytical profile makes him a top-five option for many teams in addition to being a clear need for the Spurs. While he doesn’t have the typical physical toolbox that portends great upside, at some point one has to take the numbers and film seriously — if you project him as the draft’s best-shooting point guard, there’s room for him to build off that skill. Sheppard’s promising trajectory gives him a chance to be the first guard off the board, and he goes to a team that would be excited to see him drop.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Matas Buzelis | G League Ignite | SF/PF | Age: 19.6

The Pistons have some big decisions ahead regarding roster construction and the fit of the existing players they’ve assembled on their roster already. Regardless of the direction they take, adding a tall, versatile, explosive wing such as Buzelis, who can do a little bit of everything on both ends of the floor, makes sense. Buzelis, who is ranked No. 5 in ESPN’s Top 100, shows flashes of passing creativity, shot-making prowess and defensive playmaking instincts at 6-foot-10.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Buzelis

To some extent, there’s no such thing as value in a vacuum — in order for a player to return it, there has to be basic synergy in terms of fit and opportunity. Buzelis delivers strong situational value to the Pistons because of his versatility at No. 5, offering a good baseline skill set to build on at both forward positions after making tangible strides with his all-around game last season. You can never have enough tall forwards who can play on the perimeter and space the floor, which Buzelis should be able to do in time.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Stephon Castle | UConn | PG/SG | Age: 19.5

Finding the right player to plug in between LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller is likely a priority for the Hornets, who could use Castle’s defensive versatility, unselfishness and willingness to play a role. Along with his upside at 6-foot-7 and 19 years old, Castle showed he can play winning basketball this season alongside other good players and receives consistently strong reports about his approach. All of Castle’s strengths and intangibles would likely be important for Charlotte’s new regime.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Castle

In addition to being a strong personnel fit for Charlotte, the No. 6 pick is right around where Castle should come off the board. He’s the top perimeter defender in this class, with excellent size and qualities to add value on defense right away as he irons out his skills. You could make an argument for him in the top five if you believe he’ll make big strides on the offensive end.



Stephon Castle’s NBA draft profile

Check out some highlights that have made UConn’s Stephon Castle a top NBA draft prospect.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Ja’Kobe Walter | Baylor | SG/SF | Age: 19.7

The Trail Blazers are flush with shot-creating, offensive-minded backcourt options in Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons, and Shaedon Sharpe, and might look to balance the roster with a 3-and-D type wing who brings shot-making prowess and versatility like Walter. His 6-foot-10 wingspan should allow him to guard all over the floor, and his ability to shoot running off screens, ducking behind handoffs, and drifting into corner 3s is attractive as a 19-year-old who has elite off-court intangibles.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Cody Williams | Colorado | SG/SF | Age: 19.5

Although he didn’t have the freshman season many had hoped for, I’m still optimistic about Williams’ long-term upside as a plus-defender and potential auxiliary playmaker, and wouldn’t let him fall too far down the draft board working off that theory. Drafting Williams would be an interesting home run swing for Portland with its array of young perimeter talent already in place.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Dalton Knecht | Tennessee | SF | Age: 23.1

Having hopefully addressed their point guard position long term with their pick at No. 4, it makes sense for the Spurs to add another elite shooter in Knecht, who hit 40% of his 3s while showing dynamic shot-making prowess. Knecht, a consensus first team All-American who is ranked No. 8 in ESPN’s Top 100, should be one of the most NBA-ready rookies in this class, which is attractive for a Spurs team that surely wants to turn the page to playoff contention sooner rather than later.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Devin Carter | Providence | PG/SG | Age: 22.2

Count me among those who are quite high on Carter, who in my view is far from a reach inside the top 10 and figures to be immediately impactful. I also think there’s a bit more upside with him than your typical 22-year-old college star; he’s an elite athlete who has made strides as a scorer and should bring more than great defense (which, of course, is quite nice unto itself). I’d be thrilled to draft Carter in this range of the draft, and at the moment, that seems to be where he’s headed.



Dalton Knecht’s top plays of the season

Check out Dalton Knecht’s best plays for Tennessee ahead of the men’s NCAA tournament.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Carter

Pairing Ja Morant with another guard such as Carter, who can defend the other team’s best perimeter player, space the floor consistently and do a lot of little things getting on the glass, generating turnovers and bringing nonstop toughness, makes a lot of sense. That was the reason Memphis traded for Marcus Smart, who was limited to 20 games last season because of injuries. Carter, coming off a Big East player of the year season that also earned him All-America honors, can play in a variety of lineup configurations and roles, even alongside Smart, and can help a team ready to return to the playoffs.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Knecht

Not a pick Memphis should overthink if it stays put here at No. 9. Knecht is the draft’s most polished perimeter scorer, and our top player who is left on the board after a breakout season at Tennessee. He’s a legit lottery-level player because of what he brings to the table on offense, as a threat away from the ball who can attack closeouts and score at all three levels. The question of how high to take him hangs on how much more teams think he can improve, but this feels like the right place for him.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Robert Dillingham | Kentucky | PG | Age: 19.4

Having never played point guard prior to this past season, it wasn’t surprising to see Keyonte George have an up-and-down rookie campaign from an efficiency standpoint for the Jazz. Adding another dynamic shot creator in Dillingham makes sense, given his electric ballhandling and change of pace, as well as his creativity as a passer, off-the-dribble shooter and finisher. Dillingham, ranked No. 7 in ESPN’s Top 100, has arguably more star power than any other player in this draft class.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Tidjane Salaun | Cholet (France) | PF | Age: 18.8

On sheer upside, it would be hard for me to let Salaun, one of the draft’s most intriguing long-term prospects, slip out of the top 10. Utah is one of the lottery teams operating on a patient-enough timeline to take a shot on him. He’s young and relatively unproved, but the flashes he has shown this season have been loud, and his frame and skill set are pretty fascinating in concert, making him a hot name this month going into the draft.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Williams

It makes sense for the Bulls to take a swing on talent at No. 11, as there isn’t a ton to be excited about regarding the state of Chicago’s current roster in regard to long-term upside. Williams has the type of physical ability every NBA team is looking for at 6-8 in shoes with a 7-1 wingspan, and his outstanding early-season play from November through January had some NBA teams wondering if he could make a run at the No. 1 pick prior to being derailed by injuries. He’s a late bloomer who has shown playmaking, defensive versatility and perimeter shooting that can hopefully be harnessed into more consistent skills down the road.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Ron Holland | G League Ignite | SF | Age: 18.9

Although Holland might fall out of the top 10 on draft night, it’s pretty strong value for Chicago at No. 11 to draft a player who was, a year ago, in the mix at No. 1 overall. If Holland, who is ranked No. 11 in ESPN’s Top 100, can improve his shooting and decision-making, he would be a solid addition for the Bulls, who could use a bigger wing defender and scorer long term.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Nikola Topic | Red Star (Serbia) | PG | Age: 18.8

With a roster flush with talent at every position, it might make sense for the Thunder to consider drafting Topic, who was widely considered a top-five prospect prior to suffering a knee injury. Oklahoma City can afford to redshirt Topic next season, extend Josh Giddey at a palatable number and then slide a healthy Topic (the two share plenty of similarities) into Giddey’s place if they eventually need to move the Australian due to luxury tax concerns.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Topic

Not only does Topic suit the Thunder’s needs well, but he’s a solid value for any team if he falls outside the top 10. Even if his partially torn ACL causes him to miss some or all of next season, drafting him now is a long-term value play. There were scouts who viewed him as a top-pick contender early in the season, and particularly if he does wind up sliding like this on draft night, Topic will be an interesting pro career to track in the years to come.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Jared McCain | Duke | PG | Age: 20.2

Malik Monk, who finished second in the NBA Sixth Man of the Year voting, is entering unrestricted free agency and Sacramento might be priced out of retaining him because of salary cap rules. Enter McCain, one of the best shooter/scorers in this draft, who happens to hail from Sacramento. McCain has an easy niche he can fill in the NBA with his scoring versatility, basketball instincts, competitiveness and smarts, making him an attractive option at No. 13.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: McCain

I personally prefer McCain to the guards left on the board in my scenario such as Walter, Dillingham and Isaiah Collier. McCain might not be quite as flashy or have the same level of upside, but teams should know exactly what they’re getting. He’s going to make shots and raise the basketball IQ of whoever else is on the floor with him, and there’s intangible upside in that.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Salaun

Continuing to add shooting, length, defensive versatility, intensity and winning intangibles will likely be points of emphasis for Portland as it continues to rebuild its roster in the wake of the Damian Lillard trade. Enter Salaun, who brings all those qualities as well as one of the highest ceiling in this draft with his impressive long-term potential. He has the size to eventually play as a small-ball center as his frame fills out, but he also made quite a few 3-pointers this season and was tasked with guarding all over the floor.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Dillingham

Considering the number of scoring guards on the Blazers’ roster, I don’t expect Portland will go this route. But if you buy Dillingham’s upside, his shot-creation skills would be hard to let slip much further than this on the draft board. At a certain point, I’d take a shot on him and hope his offensive talent cures all else.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Holland

It makes sense here for the Heat to take a flyer on a high-upside prospect such as Holland, who was at one point a candidate for the No. 1 pick. Miami has done a great job of helping players improve their perimeter shooting and decision-making consistency, and Holland’s competitiveness and aggressiveness will likely be valued by an organization that places a premium on those attributes.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Walter

Grabbing a reliable 3-and-D wing in the middle of the first round is rarely a bad value play, and Walter’s intangibles and shot-making should appeal to the Heat as a useful addition. I think this is the correct part of the draft for him to deliver a solid return.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Tristan da Silva | Colorado | SF/PF | Age: 23.0

With Tobias Harris entering unrestricted free agency and coming off making $39 million, it might make sense for the Sixers to draft a player at his position to give them insurance. Da Silva, ranked No. 17 in ESPN’s Top 100, has excellent size at 6-foot-10, made 40% of his 3-pointers and brings a strong feel for the game, unselfishness and competitiveness on both ends of the floor. He should be ready to play fairly soon for a team that’s not looking to take a step backward.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Carlton Carrington | Pittsburgh | PG/SG | Age: 18.8

The Sixers hit big on Tyrese Maxey in 2020 when he fell to them at No. 21. And in much the same way, Carrington has a chance to deliver pretty exciting value outside the lottery. Whether Philadelphia would go this route is fair to ask — they could use more immediate help — but a Carrington-Maxey backcourt pairing would be exciting for the future.



Tristan da Silva elevates for flush vs. Oregon State Beavers

Tristan da Silva elevates for flush vs. Oregon State Beavers

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Zach Edey | Purdue | C | Age: 22.0

Anthony Davis is coming off his best season in years from a durability standpoint but will likely need to have his minutes managed, and he has always preferred to play alongside another big man. Enter Edey, who can bring the Lakers some of the physicality they’ve been lacking inside the paint at times, finishing as the NBA’s worst offensive-rebounding team last season. Edey, ranked No. 16 in ESPN’s Top 100, is an elite screener, foul-drawer and finisher, and he comes ready to help a team as the best player in college basketball the past two years.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Da Silva

This is around the back end of what Da Silva’s range appears to be, with most every team in the Nos. 12-to-18 range showing interest. This pick would marry both need and value for the Lakers, who can draft a useful, multipositional player with Da Silver here — that is, if Los Angeles keeps the pick.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Johnny Furphy | Kansas | SG/SF | Age: 19.4

The Magic ranked among the NBA’s least prolific teams in both 3-pointers made and attempted last season. Enter Furphy, who has multipositional versatility operating in different lineup configurations with some outside shooting potential. Furphy, ranked No. 18 in ESPN’s Top 100, also brings toughness, activity and youth, with the upside to continue to grow thanks to his steep development trajectory.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Isaiah Collier | USC | PG | Age: 19.6

There’s a reason why Collier was once viewed as a top-pick candidate, and it would be hard for me to let him fall further than this. He’ll need time to hone his shooting and decision-making, and if those skills don’t improve enough, this could be a miss, but his strength, burst and passing skills are appealing. There aren’t a ton of teams who need a developmental point guard in the Nos. 10-to-20 range, which might contribute to a draft night slide for Collier. But I think there’s worthwhile upside to take a swing here for Orlando, even if there are higher-priority needs elsewhere.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Kyshawn George | Miami | SG/SF | Age: 20.4

Surrounding primary ball handler Scottie Barnes with ample floor spacing will likely continue to be a priority for Toronto. George hit 41% of his 3-pointers last season and is intriguing to teams as a 6-foot-8 player with guard skills, fluidity-changing speeds and strong instincts on both ends of the floor. George, the No. 19-ranked player in ESPN’s Top 100, has significant upside he can tap into with the late-blooming trajectory.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Furphy

The 19-year-old Furphy has a lot of development ahead of him after a surprise one-and-done campaign, but his size and shooting ability give him a good baseline to find an NBA role. Toronto presumably won’t go this route in the draft after selecting another wing shooter from Kansas, Gradey Dick, in last year’s draft — but if need were no object, I’d take a chance on him.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Kyle Filipowski | Duke | C | Age: 20.5

Having another skilled big man to play between Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen could be interesting from a lineup perspective for the Cavs, since neither player offers much floor spacing. Filipowski’s ability to handle, pass and shoot is difficult to come by at 7-feet, and pairing the No. 21 ranked prospect in ESPN’s Top 100 alongside another rim-protector could help alleviate concerns around his defensive profile.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Edey

Edey comes off the board first for me here at No. 20 out of a group of three centers, all of whom bring different things to the table but project optimistically at a somewhat similar level. Edey is unique enough to take a chance on him — I love his toughness and mentality — and he’s more polished than the two centers I slotted after him.



See why NBA scouts are excited for Duke’s Kyle Filipowski

Check out highlights of Kyle Filipowski at Duke as he gets ready for the 2024 NBA draft.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Carrington

The Pelicans have good depth and might be willing to take a swing on a high-upside player such as Carrington, who has one of the highest ceilings of any prospect in this range. With CJ McCollum approaching his mid-30s, backcourt depth will likely be important for the Pelicans, and Carrington has the type of length and shot-making prowess that could certainly fit with the other rostered players.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Kel’el Ware | Indiana | C | Age: 20.1

I’ve come around a bit on the realistic chance of Ware realizing his potential after a strong second half of the season at Indiana. If he can find it in himself to keep producing at that level, Ware could easily outperform this spot with his level of touch, coordination and physical gifts at his size. This is still a gamble at No. 21, but an interesting one for a New Orleans team that might need to reenvision its minutes at center next season.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Tyler Kolek | Marquette | PG | Age: 23.2

The Suns didn’t have a legit point guard last season, a decision that seemed to backfire as they were swept in the first round of the playoffs. Kolek, 23, is more battle-tested than most draft prospects, bringing elite toughness, feel for the game and playmaking acumen operating out of pick-and-roll. Kolek, ranked No. 26 in ESPN’s Top 100, has shown he can play off the ball as well, making 39% of his 3-pointers the past two seasons, which is important considering the high usage star power already on the roster in Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: George

George has many of the fundamental elements you want in a perimeter player — he is a good passer and shooter with excellent size for a guard — but he is going to have to successfully adjust to the speed and physicality of the NBA, which will take some time. There are safer bets on the board in the top 20, but after a certain point, I love the idea of what George can become.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Ware

The Bucks will likely want to improve their frontcourt depth this offseason, with 36-year-old Brook Lopez entering the final season of his contract, and Bobby Portis able to opt out next summer. There aren’t many 7-footers who can cover ground, score with explosiveness and touch around the basket, space the floor and protect the rim like Ware. The 20-year-old can carve out a coveted stretch-5 niche and has the upside to grow into it long-term.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Yves Missi | Baylor | C | Age: 20.0

Missi might get drafted ahead of Edey and Ware, and his physical strength and stature make him a different type of center. Missi, ranked No. 23 in ESPN’s Top 100, is also probably the furthest off from contributing useful minutes. But he’s the last top 20-ish caliber player on the board for me at this point, and would slide into a comfortable spot with the Bucks, who are expected to be in the market for a big here.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Missi

The Knicks ran out of bodies in a grueling playoff run, likely requiring the team to look at adding roster depth this summer, preferably inexpensively as the luxury tax aprons could become a real concern. Missi has had no shortage of explosive moments as a freshman at Baylor, highlighting his elite physical tools as well as the potential he can grow into having only started playing organized basketball at the age of 16.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Filipowski

Filipowski’s skill level at his size is a legitimate calling card with NBA-caliber handling, passing and (ideally) shooting ability from outside the arc in time. He is a unique prospect, if not for every team. And while it might take the right fit for him to be optimized on an NBA roster, we are drafting for value here — the No. 24 pick makes a nice spot for the Knicks to draft him.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Baylor Scheierman | Creighton | SG/SF | Age: 23.6

Adding a wing who could bring much-needed floor spacing would likely be beneficial for the Knicks, especially one with the type of basketball instincts and competitiveness Scheierman displays. The No. 25-ranked prospect in ESPN’s Top 100 should be more ready to contribute than most rookies — he turns 24 in September — which might help his cause in getting on the floor under coach Tom Thibodeau despite his defensive shortcomings.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Jaylon Tyson | California | SG/SF | Age: 21.5

Tyson was a popular sleeper around the league during the season, but has since become a little bit divisive, with some teams viewing him as a top-20 caliber prospect while others have him as more of a fringe first-rounder. Tyson, ranked No. 28 in ESPN’s Top 100, has the offensive game to deliver on this slot in the right situation. I split the difference here in handing him to the Knicks.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Collier

Collier is one of the most talented guard prospects in this class — one of the reasons he was considered a candidate at No. 1 early in the season before an uneven freshman campaign derailed him. The Wizards are early in their rebuilding process with plenty of shot-creation possessions to go around, and would likely be thrilled to add a high-upside prospect such as Collier. He could emerge as a major steal at this point in the draft.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Cameron Christie | Minnesota | SG | Age: 18.8

Throwing a dart at Christie in the 20s of the draft, after other young project players such as Kyshawn George and Johnny Furphy are off the board, is a good value play in my mind. Had Christie played for a blue-blood program and had the caliber of season he had for Minnesota, we might look at him as someone worthy of drafting 10 spots higher. He’d be a feasible long-term project for the Wizards.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Juan Nunez | Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany) | PG | Age: 20.0

With starting point guard Mike Conley turning 37 in October, finding a successor to pair with Anthony Edwards in the backcourt will likely be a priority for Minnesota. Nunez has dimensions closer to that of an NBA wing than a point guard, but he is one of the best passers in this draft class, an absolute pick-and-roll maestro thanks to his outstanding creativity and feel for the game. The Timberwolves might feel like they could get him with their No. 37 pick rather than drafting him here, but there might not be many great point guard options available in the second round.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Kolek

Although some scouts find it hard to see past Kolek’s limited measurables and athleticism, he has the chops to run a team at a high level and a strong college career under his belt at Marquette. Just a handful of experienced, quality point guards are in this class, and at this range, a playoff-caliber team should take a shot on him as a developmental backup.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Tyson

The Nuggets don’t have a plethora of shot-creating options on their roster and might be enticed to take a swing on one at this stage of the draft. Tyson’s positional size, productivity and versatility as a 6-7 guard who can handle the ball, find teammates creatively and shoot from the perimeter stood out in the Pac-12 all season.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Scheierman

Scheierman’s ability to play off screens and knock down shots, coupled with good size and basketball acumen, make him more multidimensional than your typical shooter, and has turned him into a first-round-caliber prospect worthy of selection in the 20s. He’d be good value for any of the contenders in this range, and in this case that’s Denver.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Bobi Klintman | Cairns (Australia) | SF/PF | Age: 21.2

Adding wing depth would make sense for Utah. At 6-foot-10, Klintman shows intriguing versatility with his perimeter shooting, transition-finishing prowess and defensive versatility, making him a strong candidate to come off the board at this range. Every team is theoretically looking for players in this mold who can stretch the floor, attack closeouts, get out in the open court and have some playmaking ability getting on the glass and generating turnovers.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Tyler Smith | G League Ignite | SF/PF | Age: 19.6

Although a handful of other teenage prospects have been buzzier names in the pre-draft process, Smith shouldn’t be forgotten as an improving stretch-4 with a positive G League season under his belt at a young age. I like him as a long-term investment here, where he could return top-20 value in the right developmental spot.

Givony’s pick that fills the biggest need: Christie

With one of the NBA’s priciest rosters, Boston has some luxury tax issues it might eventually need to address, so hitting on this pick and finding a legit contributor could be beneficial. Christie might not be particularly close to helping the Celtics just yet, but his combination of size and shot-making diversity is intriguing at 18 years old and gives him one of the highest upsides of any player in this range.

Woo’s pick that gets the best value: Pacome Dadiet | Ratiopharm Ulm | SG/SF | Age: 18.8

Dadiet, ranked No. 29 in ESPN’s Top 100, has started to draw late first-round interest coming out of the NBA’s Treviso (Italy) camp, with some versatility on the perimeter, good size, and scoring flashes that give him a chance to stick with a team. His defense is a concern, but presuming he remains in this year’s draft (the deadline for international players is Sunday), he’s an interesting upside swing with a lot of development ahead of him.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.

Jeremy Woo is an NBA analyst specializing in prospect evaluation and the draft. He was previously a staff writer and draft insider at Sports Illustrated.

Latest article