Starting 5 Daily Newsletter

Starting 5, June 24: NBA Draft Week begins

Everything you need to know to prepare for the two-night NBA Draft, beginning Wednesday and concluding Thursday.

Starting 5It’s that time of year again … welcome to NBA Draft week.


What’s inside today’s edition?

Draft Week Is Here: Everything you must know before the two-day event begins Wednesday

Consensus Mock Draft: The top 10 players across a compilation of online mock drafts

Beyond the Lottery: Three intriguing prospects currently projected after the top 14 picks

Draft Combine Lookback: The standout players and measurables from this year’s combine

News & Notes: The latest news with the draft just two days away


A rookie showdown in the W …

Reese, Sky Rally Past Fever: Angel Reese scored 10 of her game-high 25 points in Chicago’s 18-5 run to close the game as the Sky defeated the Fever 88-87 on Sunday.

  • Reese (career-high 25 pts, 16 reb) joined Candace Parker and Sylvia Fowles as the only players in WNBA history to post eight straight double-doubles – extending her rookie-record streak
  • Caitlin Clark (17 pts, franchise-record 13 ast) became the 10th player (and first rookie) in WNBA history to post a 17/13 game


The 2024 NBA Draft presented by State Farm is just two days away, with the Atlanta Hawks on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick.

Names will be called, dreams will be realized and franchises will be forever changed.

At your fingertips is the ultimate guide to all things Draft. The future starts now.

When, Where, How To Watch?

  • Round 1: Wednesday, June 26, 8 ET | ABC/ESPN (Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.)
  • Round 2: Thursday, June 27, 4 ET | ESPN (ESPN’s Seaport District Studios in New York)

Need To Know

  • Expanded Two-Day Format: The NBA Draft has consisted of two rounds since 1989, but this is the first time in league history that the second round will be held on its own night
  • More Time Between Picks: Teams will continue to have five minutes between picks in Round 1 but will now have four minutes in Round 2 — an increase from the traditional two minutes
  • Hawks Hold No. 1 Pick: The Hawks won the NBA Draft Lottery despite holding just 3% odds and are followed by the Wizards, Rockets, Spurs and Pistons to round out the top five, respectively
  • The Debate For No. 1: Some Drafts come with a unanimous No. 1 pick. This year, it’s less clear, with players like Alex Sarr (France), Zaccharie Risacher (France), Donovan Clingan (UConn) and Reed Sheppard (Kentucky) all in the mix, among others
  • Potential History: Last year’s No. 1 pick, Victor Wembanyama, did not play basketball at a U.S. college. There has never been an instance of back-to-back years when such a player was selected first overall in the Draft
  • Full 2024 NBA Draft Order: See which teams hold each of the 58 picks in this year’s Draft

2. CONSENSUS MOCK TOP 10: TOMORROW’S POTENTIAL STARS’s Consensus Mock Draft provides a compilation of the best mock drafts around the web.

Tap in to see Ben Couch’s estimate of how the Draft could play out by combining several mocks to project each pick, or keep reading for a quick look.

1. Alexandre Sarr | Atlanta Hawks

  • Position: F/C | Height: 7 feet | Age: 19
  • School/Club: Perth Wildcats (Australia)
  • A defensive standout with athleticism and a 7-4 wingspan. Can offer immediate help as a rim protector while growing into a larger role offensively

2. Zaccharie Risacher | Washington Wizards

  • Position: G/F | Height: 6-9 | Age: 19
  • School/Club: JL Bourg-en-Bresse (France)
  • Contending to go No. 1 overall. A lengthy two-way wing with shot-making ability and a feel for the game

3. Reed Sheppard | Houston Rockets

  • Position: G | Height: 6-2 | Age: 19 (Freshman)
  • School/Club: Kentucky
  • A sharpshooting guard who is well-rounded on both ends. Shot 52.1% from 3 while averaging 12.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists in his one season at Kentucky

4. Stephon Castle | San Antonio Spurs

  • Position: G | Height: 6-6 | Age: 19 (Freshman)
  • School/Club: Connecticut
  • A top defender for the national champion Huskies known for his versatility and athleticism

5. Matas Buzelis | Detroit Pistons

  • Position: F | Height: 6-9 | Age: 19
  • School/Club: G League Ignite
  • A sizeable wing who shines in transition and has shown flashes of shooting touch while possessing on-ball defensive potential

6. Donovan Clingan | Charlotte Hornets

  • Position: C | Height: 7-2 | Age: 20 (Sophomore)
  • School/Club: Connecticut
  • Also in the mix to go No. 1 overall. A defensive anchor for the back-to-back NCAA champs who provides a rim presence on both ends and is a capable 3-point shooter

7. Robert Dillingham | Portland Trail Blazers

  • Position: G | Height: 6-1 | Age: 19 (Freshman)
  • School/Club: Kentucky
  • An offensive weapon who excels off the dribble and has no problem creating space. Hit many high-difficulty shots at Kentucky and went 44.4% from beyond the arc

8. Dalton Knecht | San Antonio Spurs

  • Position: G/F | Height: 6-5 | Age: 23 (Fifth Year)
  • School/Club: Tennessee
  • Can score in a variety of ways and is a sniper from deep. Played five years of college ball and was named the 2024 SEC Player of The Year

9. Ron Holland II | Memphis Grizzlies

  • Position: F | Height: 6-7 | Age: 18
  • School/Club: G League Ignite
  • Athletic with a constant motor. Possesses many physical tools and averaged 19.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game with the Ignite last season

10. Cody Williams | Utah Jazz

  • Position: F | Height: 6-7 | Age: 19 (Freshman)
  • School/Club: Colorado
  • A playmaking wing who can shoot, drive and defend multiple positions. Boasts a 7-1 wingspan and is the younger brother of Thunder wing Jalen Williams

See the rest of the projected Lottery picks here.


When we look beyond the consensus mock draft of the first 14 picks, we find intriguing prospects with varying levels of collegiate experience and untapped potential.

Zach Edey

When Zach Edey stepped on Purdue’s campus as a freshman, he was a relative unknown. When he left Purdue as a senior, he was only the sixth two-time national player of the year ever.

  • The List: Oscar Robertson (1958, 1959, 1960), Jerry Lucas (1961, 1962), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1967, 1969), Bill Walton (1971, 1972, 1973), Ralph Sampson (1981, 1982, 1983) and Edey (2023, 2024)

Edey’s sheer size (7-foot-4 height, 7-10 wingspan) and ability to control the paint on both ends – interior scoring with a soft touch offensively, rim protection defensively and rebounding on both ends – makes him a compelling prospect for many teams.

Bronny James

  • Position: G | Height: 6-2 | Age: 19 (Freshman) | School: USC
  • Projection: 55th by B/R’s Wasserman

Everybody knows the name, but not everybody knows the game of 19-year-old Bronny James.

James appeared in 25 games for the Trojans, averaging 4.8 pts, 2.8 reb, 2.1 ast and 0.8 stl in just over 19 minutes per game.

His defensive quickness and instincts stood out at USC and his shooting impressed a captive audience at last month’s NBA Combine. The foundation of a 3-and-D NBA player is there, although his game may require time to develop.

Kyle Filipowski

  • Position: PF/C | Height: 6-11 | Age: 20 (Sophomore) | School: Duke
  • Projection: 28th by B/R’s Wasserman

While Edey is a traditional in-the-paint center, Filipowski brings a more versatile skillset along with his near 7-foot frame.

Projected as a late first round pick, Filipowski brings shooting range (34.8% 3-point shooting), an improving post-up game (shooting 51.9% on 104 attempts per Synergy), passing ability (18.4% assist rate) and defensive versatility (1.5 blocks, 1.1 steals per game) to the table.

Playing two seasons at Duke, Filipowski brings 72 games of collegiate experience to help quicken the transition to the pros as a stretch big.


Last month, draft prospects convened in Chicago for the annual NBA Draft Combine – a variety of speed and agility drills, measurements, interviews and scrimmages – to help bolster their draft stock.

Luke Akinsola broke down the eight players that stood out with strong showings in the Windy City.

  • Baylor Schierman (Creighton): The 6-foot-7 guard was 11-for-18 through two games and averaged 13 points, all of which were quality looks
  • Nikola Djurisic (Serbia): The 6-foot-8 player is highly effective off the pick and roll as both a passer and a scorer from all three levels. Djurisic scored 16 points in 20 minutes in his final scrimmage
  • Boogie Ellis (USC): Ellis impressed with 11 points, five rebounds and five assists in 18 minutes during Tuesday’s scrimmage. The 6-foot guard is explosive off the bounce and can get to the rim consistently
  • KJ Simpson (Colorado): Simpson, similar to Ellis, plays bigger than his size. The 6-footer averaged 13.5 points, showcasing his knack for finishing above bigger defenders and rebounded capably

  • Oso Ighodaro (Marquette): At 6-foot-9 with a strong frame, he can defend multiple positions and rebound. The 21-year-old showed his ability to set solid screens and switch onto smaller players
  • Coleman Hawkins (Illinois): A quintessential pick-and-pop forward at 6-foot-10, Hawkins displayed robust offensive skills and finished with 17 points (on 6-for-7 shooting) in his final scrimmage
  • Adem Bona (UCLA): Bona’s athleticism and imposing physique stood out. The 21-year-old Nigerian manned the dunker spot effectively, finishing at the rim and protecting the basket on defense
  • Jamal Shead (Houston): He measured just 6 feet tall at the Combine, but Shead stood tall all week. Using his stout frame and scrappy demeanor, Shead averaged 14 points and five assists


The Basics: Draft Order, Format and Lottery Refresher.

  • Lottery Format: The teams eligible for the Draft Lottery were the 14 teams that missed the 2024 Playoffs. After drawings were conducted for the first four picks, the remaining lottery teams pick in inverse order of their regular-season record (Nos. 5-14)
  • Following Picks: The Draft selections for the remainder of the first round (Nos. 15-30) and the entire second round (Nos. 30-58) are determined by reverse order of regular-season record
  • Total Picks: This year, there are 58 picks in the Draft instead of the usual 60, as the 76ers and Suns both forfeited second-round picks for violating league rules
  • Most Picks: Portland and San Antonio have the most picks in this year’s Draft, with four apiece, followed by five teams (IND, MEM, NYK, UTA, WAS) with three picks each
  • Fewest Picks: Brooklyn, the hosts of Round 1, has the fewest picks this year with zero

The No. 1 Pick: What It Means For Atlanta & Other Trends.

  • The Hawks’ Historic Odds: Only four teams have won the Lottery with slimmer odds than Atlanta’s this year (3%), with the biggest longshot being Orlando at 1.52% in 1993
  • Lottery Favorites: Washington (No. 2 pick) and Detroit (No. 5) had the best chances to land this year’s top pick at 14% each
  • Atlanta’s Second First: If the Hawks make the pick, it would be just their second No. 1 overall selection in the common draft era (since 1966), with their first in 1975 when they took David Thompson
  • No. 1 College Leaders: In the common draft era, Duke has the most first overall picks with four, followed by Kentucky with three
  • Freshman (And French) Phenoms: A college freshman was the No. 1 overall pick in the Draft for 13 consecutive years from 2010-22 before the Spurs took Victor Wembanyama of France with the top pick last year
  • International Love: Including Wemby, fourteen international players have been selected first overall in the NBA Draft

Return tomorrow for a further breakdown of the paths of the top NBA Draft prospects.