We love looking ahead and getting excited about the upcoming draft classes but so far this 2024 draft class is not looking very exciting. The hype will be there because of some high profile players like Bronny James but the top end talent is lacking, at least so far.
At this very early juncture some of the top players project to be Aday Mara (Spain), Matas Buzelis (G League Ignite), Ron Holland (Texas), Zaccharie Risacher (France), Justin Edwards (Kentucky), Cody Williams (Colorado) and DJ Wagner (Kentucky). None of these players are a clear no.1 overall type of prospect and there doesn’t appear to be a Tier 1 talent in this draft class.
As I write about here the international group and potentially the returning sophomores and upperclassmen will go a long way towards strengthening this down draft year.
Just about 18 months out from the 2024 draft and there’s still a lack of an elite talent in this draft class. I believe that will change over the next year+ as one or more players emerge as Tier 1 talents but at this point it’s not clear who that will be.
It could be Xavier Booker who is off to a strong start to his senior season and will be taking his talents to Michigan State next year. Or maybe one of the wings like Justin Edwards or Matas Buzelis will make a big leap up in their development.
If I had to guess I’d say the no.1 pick in 2024 will be a player that is not currently considered as a top half of the lottery talent. Some player will emerge from lower on the radar and rise all the way up to the no.1 spot.
We’ve seen in before with Anthony Edwards reclassifying and rising up to no.1 and with Zion Williamson going from a top 10 recruit who was mocked in the late lottery to being the clear no.1 pick in 2019.
I’ve stated my theory before that with the strong player development in the States and internationally that we’ll not have any more weak draft classes. I still think that’s true but so far the 2024 class is looking less than stellar.
Over the next year we’ll see which players take their games to a new level and rise up to take over the top spots in this draft class.
Unlike the 2023 draft, which has a clear no.1 overall player, the 2024 draft is wide open at the top.
At this point I’m sticking with the high upside PF/C Xavier Booker at the top spot but that is far from a lock. There are a handful of other players in his class that could take the top spot and there’s also a major wildcard: if the NBA lifts the age limit rule and once again allows high school seniors to enter the draft one of the top 2024 recruits could jump to the top of the 2024 NBA Draft.
The biggest name to keep an eye on if that happens is Tre Johnson, a silky smooth 6-5 scoring guard from Texas. Johnson landed as the no.2 pro prospect in all of high school basketball in the recently released Elite 25 rankings (Patreon preview). If given the option to enter the 2024 draft he’d immediately be in the discussion for no.1 overall. Johnson currently sits at no.1 in our 2025 mock.
Ian Jackson is another elite recruit from the 2024 recruiting class who could look to enter the draft straight out of high school. Jackson is currently mocked no.2 overall in 2025.
With the 2024 draft not having a dominant no.1 overall prospect it might appear to be shaping up to be a weak class. But player will emerge between now and June 2024 – and this class might have the top prospects from two recruiting classes, making it incredibly deep. So don’t get down on the 2024 draft class just yet.
With G.G. Jackson potentially reclassifying and being eligible for the 2023 draft, the 2024 draft class has taken a hit at the top. But there’s plenty of time for many more elite level prospects to emerge.
At this early stage Xavier Booker looks like the most intriguing prospect in this class and is (very early) favorite to be in the running for no.1 overall. The 6-11 lefty has an elite frame and athletic ability, a high skill level and the ability to take over games. If he can ratchet up the intensity a few notches he’ll be scary good.
Kwame Evans Jr. is another player with an elite frame/length and very intriguing upside. He doesn’t always play like a no.1 option, demanding the ball and taking over games but heading into his senior season at Montverde I’ll be looking for him to show more of that top-dog mentality. All the tools are definitely there.
Some of the other top names in this class, at this early stage, include: Ron Holland, Mackenzie Mgbako, Justin Edwards, D.J. Wagner and Matas Buzelis.
Overall it’s looking like a good group and it’ll be interesting to watch over the next 23 months as new names rise to the top of this class.