2024 NBA Draft

3 takeaways: Trades and more trades in 2nd round of 2024 NBA Draft

No fewer than 15 picks are traded during a wild 2nd round, capping the 1st multi-day Draft in NBA history.

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1. Time for trades (and trades … and trades)

With a fresh, two-day format for the 2024 NBA Draft, the league’s basketball executives clearly came ready with renewed vigor.

Even before Round 2 tipped off, the Hawks had exchanged AJ Griffin for Houston’s No. 44 selection, the Wolves flipped Wendell Moore Jr. and the No. 37 pick to the Pistons for the No. 53 pick and the Kings sent Davion Mitchell and Sasha Vezenkov to the Raptors for Jalen McDaniels.

By the time all 28 picks were solidified, 15 selections had been swapped; some, more than once.

And in typical fashion, no team was more active in acquiring (and converting) draft capital than the Thunder. Sam Presti’s crew notably created an astounding chain reaction by offloading Lindy Waters III to the Warriors for the No. 52 pick.

From there:

  • The Knicks sent the Blazers three future seconds, moving up to No. 38 (Tyler Kolek)
  • OKC swapped No. 52 for Portland’s No. 40 (Oso Ighodaro).
  • The Thunder traded No. 40 to the Knicks for No. 38 (Ajay Mitchell)
  • The Knicks flipped No. 40 to Phoenix for No. 51 (Melvin Ajinca) and 56 (Kevin McCullar Jr.)
  • The Warriors (!) then paid cash to the Blazers to claim … No. 52 (Quinten Post)

Is the circle of trade life, complete? Complete. Phew.

2. Spurs play the waiting game

At No. 35, it seemed the Spurs were an option for Australian sharpshooter Johnny Furphy. But they redirected the Kansas product to the Pacers, dropping a single slot and picking up cash considerations for their troubles.

They then added Ratiopharm Ulm PG Juan Nunez, a Madrid native who teamed with No. 25 overall pick Pacome Dadiet (Knicks) last season. ESPN analyst Jay Bilas called Nunez the best pure passer in the Draft, and the 6-foot-4 guard already has extensive experience with the Spanish national team, most recently at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

The 19-year-old is expected to continue seasoning abroad, a roadmap that has worked well for the Spurs before. They’ll look for Nunez to tighten his handle after committing a 20.2% turnover rate. He also needs work on his shot creation to keep defenses off balance given that he made just 29.4% of his 184 self-created 3s over the past two seasons.

As for Furphy, this marks the fifth consecutive year that an Australian player was drafted. Nine such players were on opening night rosters for the 2023-24 season (third most outside the United States.) He also becomes the sixth NBA Academy graduate drafted into the league, having played at the NBA Global Academy and the Centre of Excellence in Canberra.

The 6-foot-7 swingman nailed 35.4% of his 3-pointers (4.4 attempts per game) and showed some skill around the rim, which should play well in Rick Carlisle’s up-tempo offense if he can crack the rotation.

3. Celebrations at the Seaport

With space aplenty at the ESPN Seaport Studios at Pier 17, the draft show proved a family affair with a round of invitees taking in the views across the East River:

Adem Bona (UCLA), Cam Christie (Minnesota), Nikola Djurisic (Mega), Boogie Ellis (USC), Oso Ighodaro (Marquette), Harrison Ingram (UNC-Chapel Hill), Bobi Klintman (Cairns Taipans, Australia), Juan Nunez (Ratiopharm Ulm, Germany), KJ Simpson (Colorado) and Jaylen Wells (Washington State).

Every time one of the invited players was picked, cheers would rise over the standing curtains and echo through the concrete loft.

“I have my whole family here,” Bona said after being drafted No. 41 overall to the 76ers. “My immediate family couldn’t make it – my mom, my siblings – but my aunt, my uncle, my cousins from Canada, I have my girlfriend, my host family. I have a good group of people back there cheering for me.”

He thought of his brother — ‘a Philly fan’ — back home in Nigeria, probably watching and getting excited to see him in this hat.

“It was a little bit stressful,” Bona admitted. “But I feel more secure and safe with my family here. I knew they’d be supporting me regardless if my name was called.”

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Ben Couch is a producer for NBA.com.

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