Best and Worst Picks from Round 1 of the 2024 NBA Draft

Round 1 of the NBA Draft is in the books and our team has already identified the best (and worst) picks of the night.
Risachar was the top overall pick of the 2024 NBA Draft
Risachar was a safe pick for the Hawks but lacks the upside of recent #1 picks.

Day 1 of the 2024 NBA Draft is in the books and for the first time in draft history, we will have to wait until tonight to hear the 31st pick announced.

In what experts have called a weaker draft class, Round 1 had some surprises including Tidjane Salaun being selected 6th overall to Charlotte, Rob Dillingham being traded from San Antonio to Minnesota, and Zach Edey jumping into the top 10 with Memphis taking a huge swing on the big man.

Looking ahead to Round 2, there are a few gems that can make an instant impact in the NBA - including Tyler Smith, Kevin McCullar Jr., and Melvin Ajinca. Check out our complete round 2 preview for more insights.

1 Zaccharie Risacher (Atlanta Hawks)

Although it didn’t come as a surprise on draft night, Risacher doesn’t feel like a number one overall pick similar to the Wembanyama, Edwards, and Williamson picks of the past few years.

I thought Sarr and Castle were safer options with the number 1 overall pick instead of Risacher who at best projects to be a plus size 3 & D performer that can score the ball at a high rate. Atlanta played this pick too safely and went with a player with a minimal ceiling.

7 Donovan Clingan (Portland Trail Blazers)

Another team bulking up on size and length, Portland will pair DeAndre Ayton with Donovan Clingan in the frontcourt. Unsure what will happen with Robert Williams III this offseason, it looks as if this is their big-man pairing of the future. Clingan brings elite weak-side protection, overall rim protection, and a smart lob threat for Sharpe, Scoot, and Simons to work with.

The best player on the board at 7, I think Clingan fell into their laps here and they didn’t hesitate. Now, it will be up to the coaching staff and management to decide how they want to use all five of their young players who don’t necessarily have set positions at the moment.

8 Rob Dillingham (Minnesota Timberwolves via Spurs)

We're unsure why the Spurs only received two future 1sts for this deal, it looks like the Wolves just walked away with the highest upside offensive guard in this draft class. Dillingham matches elite ball-handling skills with efficient scoring numbers that Minnesota lacked towards the end of their postseason run.

With Mike Conley’s career trending towards an end, Dillingham should get minutes immediately and will be able to work through his defensive woes with a strong Wolves frontcourt behind him. This would’ve been a solid pick for San Antonio, but the Wolves have made one of the better off-season moves.

14 Carlton Carrington (Washington Wizards via Blazers)

The Wizards had an A+ first round, getting their center of the future in Alex Sarr at #2 and swinging for Bub Carrington, their guard of the future at 14. Bub had a consensus ranking of a late-round selection heading into draft night but was #7 on my board.

His ability to use his 6’8 wingspan to shoot over smaller guards and play-make for his teammates at just 18 years of age in the ACC won me over - and the Washington Wizards. After trading Deni Avidja and Bradley Beal, the ball-handling will be handed over to Carrington and last season’s lottery pick Bilal Coulibaly. Washington is trending in the right direction, finally.

17 Dalton Knecht (Los Angeles Lakers)

Knecht, a consensus top-10 prospect entering last night, fell all the way down to LA at pick 17. While it’s been troubling to see Max Christie and Jalen Hood-Schifino’s minimal development over the last season or two, Knecht comes in as a ready prospect.

He shot nearly 40% from 3 at Tennessee and although a late college bloomer, brings size and athleticism on the wing mixed with a shooting touch that LA hasn’t seen from a prospect or veteran in recent years. If I’m Redick and the Lakers, I’m giving Knecht big minutes early on in the season to see if he can make a Podzemski, Braun-type impact on this playoff team.

Our Favorite First-Round Picks

If you are looking for the biggest win of the evening, here are our favorite picks from round one of the 2024 NBA Draft:

  • 4 Stephon Castle (Spurs)

  • 8 Rob Dillingham (Wolves)

  • 14 Bub Carrington (Wizards)

  • 15 Kel’el Ware (Heat)

  • 16 Jared McCain (Sixers)

  • 18 Tristan Da Silva (Magic)

  • 28 Ryan Dunn (Suns)

Least Favorite First Round Picks

We can't identify the winners from round one without pointing out some of the losers. Here are the worst picks from the first round:

  • 1 Zaccharie Risacher (Hawks)

  • 9 Zach Edey (Grizzlies)

  • 20 Jaylon Tyson (Cavaliers)

  • 23 AJ Johnson (Bucks)

  • 29 Isaiah Collier (Jazz)

Trending Stories

No stories found.
Bettors Insider