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2024 NBA Draft: A look a head to the big names you need to know in next year's class

Credit: McDonald's All-American Game

These are in no order, especially because the 2024 NBA Draft is very wide open and has no odds-on favorite like Victor Wembanyama this year.

Matas Buzelis (G League Ignite): At 6-foot-11 and weighing 190 pounds, Buzelis can play all over the floor for his size. He can handle the ball very well, shoot it very well from behind the arc, and might be the best rebounder in this class. He needs to add some weight to play in the NBA consistently but playing in the Ignite should help his development for the next level because the spacing and pace of play.

Isaiah Collier (USC, freshman): Collier was the No. 1 ranked high school recruit and for good reason. He’s a 6-foot-3 point guard and weighs 195 pounds. He’s a pass-first point guard and can get downhill almost at will. He’s very good at finding his open teammates too. He’s also been a master at the pick and roll game so far. Collier was also the leading scorer in the McDonald’s All-American Game with 25 points. He should have a massive year for the Trojans.

Thierry Darlan (G League Ignite): Darlan picked the G League over both Kansas and Arizona. He came from the NBA Academy in Africa and is a 6-foot-6 wing that weighs 190 pounds. He also has a 7-foot-1 wingspan that really makes him standout on the perimeter. He dealt with a recent injury, but he’s a very raw guard that has a lot of potential to grow which has NBA scouts salivating over his potential.

Justin Edwards (Kentucky, freshman): Edwards comes in as the best potential of any of the big Kentucky names at the next level. He’s a 6-foot-7 wing that weighs 180 pounds. He’s arguably the best NBA prospect on a loaded Kentucky team because he fits the modern NBA the best. He’s a great defender and can anticipate passes and chase down blocks almost better than anyone in this draft class. He needs to refine his offense a bit more, but he’ll be a perfect fit at the next level.

Tyrese Proctor (Duke, sophomore): Proctor decided to come back to the Blue Devils for his sophomore season to try and win a championship and improve his draft stock - even though he likely would've been a second round pick this year. He showed glimpses last year averaging 9.4 points per game and came on strong late, with big games in the ACC Tournament and 16 points in an NCAA Tournament loss to Tennessee. But he has a chance to become even more polished as an NBA prospect. He’ll have a bigger role too to show off his scoring and passing ability even more. He’s a 6-foot-5 guard that weighs 175 pounds and there’s a chance he’ll add even more weight this upcoming season.

Ron Holland (G League Ignite): Holland decided to go to the G League after initially deciding on going to Texas. He’s one of the best athletes in this draft class. He has great bounce and elite quickness too. He needs to work on his consistency, but he has a chance to be an elite NBA player due to his athleticism alone. He stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs 195 pounds, so he’s a good size for a perimeter player.

Donovan Clingan (UConn, sophomore): Clingan is a monster down low, literally and figuratively. He stands at 7-foot-2 and weighs 265 pounds. He’s a great defender in the paint and has good touch offensively around the rim. The best aspect of Clingan might be his motor. He might have the best motor in this class and will continue to play with a huge level of intensity regardless of who he’s playing against. Remember, this was a guy who played behind Adama Sanogo so we didn't see his full abilities as a player. Incredibly, his per-40 minute averages were over 21 points, 17 rebounds and 5.5 blocks per game.

Cody Williams (Colorado, freshman): Williams is another player that’s perfect for the modern NBA. He can defend almost every position very well. He’s the epitome of a versatile wing player. He also stands 6-foot-8 and weighs 180 pounds. He has great ball skills for his height and is a very good playmaker too. Williams has a chance to develop very well at Colorado under tad Boyle too.

Trevon Brazile (Arkansas, junior): Brazile tore his ACL after having a very strong start to the season. At 6-foot-10, he weighs 200 pounds, and is a very versatile big man. He can handle the ball very well and can step outside and hit shots from mid to three-point range. NBA scouts are salivating over his potential because of the versatility he has, which should help him excel at the NBA level.

DJ Wagner (Kentucky, freshman): While others are projected as higher-level NBA players, remember it was Wagner who was deemed to be the top high school player in the class of 2023 for most of the cycle. The son of former lottery pick DaJuan Wagner, DJ is a guard who will be given the ball from Day 1 and told to lead this Kentucky offense. He can score, but also get others involved and is a good three-point shooter. Expect him to have a big freshman campaign in Lexington next season.

Aaron Bradshaw (Kentucky, freshman): Finally, let's wrap with Wagner's former high school teammate and current college teammate, Bradshaw. The 7'1 center is everything you'd want in a modern big, with an ability to protect the rim on one end and stretch the floor on the other. The biggest question with him is his health - it was announced last week that Bradshaw will undergo foot surgery and could be out up to 4-6 months. That still puts him back on track to return in time for the season. But he will be one that needs to be monitored as we get closer to the fall.

Follow Jake Faigus on Twitter - @Jake_Faigus


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