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The Top Storylines and Narratives for the 2024 NBA Draft

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An offseason of madness and potential mass movement across the league officially begins this Wednesday with the 2024 NBA Draft.

Across the league, teams will continue to eye improvement and identify prospects in amid a draft class where there is anything but consensus. This year’s draft — with the first round starting Wednesday evening and concluding with the second round on Thursday — appears to be one where predicting outcomes will be tough and sure to change the daily fantasy basketball landscape.

With the draft approaching, staffers from The Lead shared their thoughts on some of the top players, stories, teams and narratives to watch for

Looking at the bigger picture, what is the top storyline you are watching for during this year’s NBA Draft?

Dominic Chiappone: The general lack of consensus across the board. Even as the draft nears, there still really isn’t a clear “hierarchy” for which prospect will be selected where. Expect a lot of draft boards to look pretty different across the league.

Garrett Brown: What will the Hawks do with the No. 1 overall pick? Will they trade it? If so, what kind of deal would they receive back? If not, who will they select? Alex Sarr, Zaccharie Risacher or Donovan Clingan?

Corban Ford: What do the Spurs decide to do at No. 4 and No. 8? Who do the Wizards and Hornets decide will make a good fit with what they are each respectively trying to build? And lastly, who will wind up the big faller in this class?

Mac Pham: Any storyline other than Bronny James. Let him make a name for himself in the league.

Mike Kline: When do Ron Holland and Isaiah Collier get drafted after recent reports have claimed they are sliding?

Jared ReinitzZach Edey and Donovan Clingan. Does Clingan go top three? Or is Edey the biggest drop player in this draft?

Henry Daley: What will the Houston Rockets do? In a draft that’s widely viewed as underwhelming in terms of top talent, the Rockets have a decision to make. They can keep their top-five pick to complement their young stars, or trade it and accelerate the franchise’s competitive window. 

Omar Patel: How far will Nikola Topic fall in the draft because of his ACL injury? Can we look at a team like the Spurs capitalizing on his high-risk, high-reward stature?

Which team is the most likely to make a move right before or during the draft?

Dominic Chiappone: Portland. The Blazers possess two picks in the top-14 (No. 7 and No. 14) plus two decent second-round selections (No. 34 and No. 40). There’s plenty of move-up and/or move-down potential, regardless of which direction Portland chooses.

Garrett Brown: Knicks. They were a hair short from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. I believe they would trade both (No. 24 and No. 25) to either move up into the lottery to get a young, NBA-ready player or a seasoned veteran.

Mac Pham: Knicks. They have back-to-back selections at No. 24 and No. 25. They have wiggle room to work with.

Corban Ford: Atlanta. They have to consider all options and if that 1st overall pick can bring them a meaningful upgrade (depending on the direction they choose to go), the Hawks have to take it, especially considering their point guard logjam.

Mike Kline: Grizzlies. They have a history of trading up for a guy and it makes a lot of sense for them to do it again this year.

Jared Reinitz: OKC. They have so much draft capital and are now in win-now mode. Will they sell picks to get a veteran or star player to pair with SGA?

Henry Daley: Chicago. After dealing away All-Defensive guard Alex Caruso, the Bulls still have a logjam in their frontcourt. With plenty of more veterans to trade if they want to rebuild, expect Chicago to be active on draft night. 

Omar Patel: Knicks. Considering their championship window won’t last forever, players like Julius Randle being a consistent name in trade rumors, and owning pick Nos. 24, 25 and 38, the Big Apple looks to be eager to make a draft-day trade.

Who is the most intriguing team in this year’s draft?

Dominic Chiappone: Detroit. Yet again, the Pistons find themselves in a rough situation considering their lack of a clear future combined with a decent stretch of disappointing results. With former coach Monty Williams now gone and new management in place, Detroit is certainly a team to monitor at the draft.

Corban Ford: The Hornets and Wizards are both trying to build around cores that they are still in the process of putting together, and I am interested in who they select in this draft that feel has the requisite skills to supplement what each organization is attempting to assemble.

Garrett Brown: Spurs. Victor Wembanyama wants to win now. Holding the fourth and eighth picks in this draft puts them in prime position to potentially acquire a star player to play alongside Wemby.

Mac Pham: Rockets. Is Jalen Green your starting guard for the future? Or is he the sixth man off the bench? They can go for another “3 and D” prototype to surround Alperen Sengun

Mike Kline: Spurs. Two top-ten picks and could go in any direction, including a significant trade.

Jared Reinitz: It’s the Spurs. Will they use these picks to add young talent with Victor or will they go and try to get players closer to their prime?

Henry Daley: Atlanta. In a draft with so many questions, the Hawks will look to set the tone with the first overall pick. Even if there isn’t a consensus top prospect, all of the attention will still be on Atlanta.

Omar Patel: Spurs. Owning pick Nos. 4, 8, 35 and 48, they have all the tools necessary to surround Victor Wembanyama and friends to look to contend in the future— one that could be sooner than we expect.

Who would you rank in the top-five among this year’s draft class? Who is the biggest “sleeper” this year?

Dominic Chiappone: Risacher, Clingan, Sarr, Sheppard and Buzelis. While small in stature, Duke guard Jared McCain can bring guaranteed outside shooting and energy for any teams in the middle of the lottery.

Corban Ford: Rob Dillingham, Ron Holland, Zaccharie Risacher, Dalton Knecht, Cody Williams. My sleeper would be DaRon Holmes, who I am surprised isn’t getting more love.

Garrett Brown: Alex Sarr, Zaccharie Risacher, Donovan Clingan, Reed Sheppard and Ron Holland. Ryan Dunn is the biggest sleeper in this class. He’s very athletic and can guard 1-4.

Mac Pham: There’s so much talent from UConn. Tristen Newton gets lost in the shuffle and he’s going to be a steal wherever he goes.

Mike Kline: Sarr, Holland, Topic, Sheppard, Carter. Biggest sleeper is Dillon Jones. Often mocked in the second round and I don’t hear much buzz about even a late first. Buddy can hoop.

Jared ReinitzKyle Filipowski. Was a top-ten player now mocked to go toward the end of the first. He’s your perfect stretch-five center that will give any offense flexibility. 

Henry Daley: Alex Sarr, Zaccharie Risachier, Donovan Clingan, Reed Sheppard and Ron Holland should be the first five names off the board. Sharpshooter Jack Gohlke might go undrafted, but with his knockdown three-point shooting, plenty of teams would benefit from his skillset.

Omar Patel: Sarr, Risacher, Buzelis, Sheppard and Clingan. Isaiah Collier may be (reportedly) sliding down draft boards, but his above-average scoring output on great efficiency at the young age of 19 cannot be overlooked.

If you had to make a bold prediction about this year’s draft, what would it be?

Dominic Chiappone: Minimal trades, especially within the top-14. The lack of consensus in this draft means a team’s own personal evaluations of this year’s class will be different compared to the other 29 franchises. I think teams will try, but ultimately stay, in their respective draft spots through the first 10-ish picks.

Garrett Brown: The Hawks will trade one of Trae Young or Dejounte Murray (most likely) to receive more assets and/or players that fits better into HC Quin Snyder’s style of play. Would not be surprised if Atlanta uses the No. 1 pick to select Donovan Clingan. Rudy Gobert 2.0? We’ll see sooner than later.

Corban Ford: Dalton Knecht (commonly mocked in the mid-to-late lottery) will hear his name called among the top five.

Mac Pham: A team selecting in the top-five selects a player that is the same position as their franchise player. Example: Spurs pick a center while having Victor Wembanyama on its roster or Pistons pick a point guard while having Cade Cunningham on its roster.

Mike Kline: Carlton Carrington will be a lottery pick.

Jared Reinitz: Atlanta Hawks trade either Trae or Murray to get more draft capital and reset their franchise.

Henry Daley: This year’s class will pan out better than most expect. There may not be a generational talent available, but it doesn’t mean this year’s prospects are lacking in talent. 

Omar Patel: Atlanta will attempt to trade No. 1 for a star player like Mikal Bridges, Jimmy Butler or Brandon Ingram.

About The Lead Staff

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