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User-friendly guide to the 2024 NBA Draft: Top picks, names, storylines

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NBA Draft

Although we’re in the midst of the NBA playoffs, fans of teams who have missed the cut have already turned their attention to the 2024 NBA Draft. Many will wonder who their team can secure to return them to the promised land.

Every postseason brings a newfound optimism for all 30 NBA teams of bringing in a potential star player through the draft that can help their franchise get their hands back on the Larry O’Brien trophy.

If the 2023 season’s rookies are anything to go off then general managers should be licking their lips at the talent coming through the ranks. Rookies Victor Wembanyama, Chet Holmgren and Brandon Miller all set the league alight this campaign.

Unfortunately, the 2024 NBA Draft class has been labelled one of the weakest ever by many basketball analysts. For most, the class lacks a clear first pick, someone with superstar talent like Wembenyama or Holmgren. Time will tell whether these comments will age like wine or milk.

This year’s crop of players is headlined by more international talent, some March Madness stars, and the prospect of seeing Bronny James enter the league.

For those wondering which young stars are likely to be top picks and where they’re likely to land, we’ve got all the key details of the 2024 NBA Draft.

NBA Draft, 2024, alex sarr, nbl, nba draft
Alexander Sarr, projected to go early in the 2024 NBA Draft out of the NBL

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Everything you need to know for 2024 NBA Draft: Key details

When is the 2024 NBA Draft?

June 26 & 27, 2024 (June 27 & 28 in Aus)

The next crop of players introduced into the NBA will be drafted in late June from New York City, the home of the NBA Draft.

Split over two nights, the opening night will feature the first 30 Draft picks (first round) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, followed by the remaining selection being made the next night from ESPN’s Seaport District Studios.

The selection order will be sorted at the NBA Draft Lottery night (Sunday, 12 May here in Australia), with the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards tied with the best chance of getting the first overall pick at 14%.

Where can you watch the NBA Draft?

ESPN via Foxtel or Kayo

The Draft coverage will be live on ESPN, meaning Australians can tune in via either Foxtel or streaming platform Kayo.

Last year ESPN also broadcast a mock draft and preview to get fans and viewers ready for the real deal. As of late April, it’s unclear whether the broadcaster will repeat this.

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Who is going to be the No. 1 pick?

Unlike 2023. when French centre Victor Wembenyama was the consensus first overall pick from the moment he declared for the Draft, 2024’s first pick remains unclear. Experts are unsure who will fit where, and what exactly the lottery pick teams are after. For teams wanting to draft the best player available at number one, this year’s class lacks a standout candidate.

Early suggestions are that Alexander Sarr, who has been playing for the Perth Wildcats in the NBL, will go first. The Frenchman’s attributes somewhat mirror Wembanyama’s — both are over 7-foot, elite rim protectors with an expansive offensive game.

Sarr would fit best at the Wizards, who have a 14% chance of landing the opening pick. Since losing Daniel Gafford to the Mavericks, Washington has lacked a big presence inside the arc. With a solid wing in Kyle Kuzma and guard Jordan Poole, who grew as the season progressed, it appears a centre would be the position they’re likeliest to strengthen.

Another name being thrown around for the first overall pick is Zaccharie Risacher. Detroit are among the top contenders for the opening pick and desperately needs star talent through the draft, given attracting a big name free agent could prove difficult for the Pistons.

The Pistons were the worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA and among the worst defences as well. Someone like Risacher, who has a 39% 3-point conversion rate and great defensive versatility, would be much needed in Detroit. They also have an improving center in Jalen Duren which would lend to not wanting to take Sarr, who plays that position.

Bronny James
One of the biggest headlines is where will Bronny James go in the 2024 NBA Draft?

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Where will Bronny James go in the draft?

In early April, Bronny James caught the attention of the entire basketball community after he declared for the 2024 NBA Draft after just one interrupted year at the University of Southern California (USC).

Before the start of his collegiate career, Bronny had a cardiac arrest at training, delaying his start to the season. He managed to play 25 games for USC, starting in just six of them.

As it currently stands, experts aren’t even sure if he’ll get drafted. This could have two outcomes. First would be he’ll transfer to another college, potentially Ohio State near where his dad grew up. Or, he’ll go undrafted and be picked up, most likely by the Lakers to partner with LeBron James.

Soon entering career year 22, LeBron James has always said he wants to play on the same NBA team as his oldest son and even has hinted at leaving the Lakers if Bronny was to be drafted elsewhere.

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