2024 NBA Draft prospect rankings: Reed Sheppard, Stephon Castle lead best five players at each position

Written by on June 24, 2024

The 2024 NBA Draft is just a few days away and while there may be more questions than answers to this point to some of the biggest storylines, CBS Sports has you covered from all angles ahead of the big night. 

CBS Sports and 247Sports experts each submitted their prospect rankings last week to develop the top players of the  consensus Top 75 Big Board. French big man Alex Sarr was voted the top center and the No. 1 overall player in this draft class.

French forward Zaccharie Risacher was voted as the top small forward in this class and checked in at No. 2 on our consensus Big Board. Sarr and Risacher were followed by Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard, UConn’s Donovan Clingan and UConn’s Stephon Castle to round out the top of the list.

Here are the top five prospects at each position heading into the 2024 NBA Draft.

Point guards

Rank Player School/Country Height Year
1 Reed Sheppard Kentucky 6-2 Fr
2 Rob Dillingham Kentucky 6-1 Fr
3 Nikola Topic Serbia 6-6
4 Isaiah Collier USC 6-3 Fr
5 Carlton Carrington Pittsburgh 6-4 Fr

Kentucky’s 1-2 freshman punch ranks first and second on our top PG list. On my personal big board, I ranked Dillingham as the No. 1 overall player in the class ahead of Sarr. Topic finished as the third-ranked point guard and the No. 8 overall player on our big board despite concerns that he could miss part of the 2024-25 NBA season due to an ACL injury suffered this season. Collier, the former No. 2 overall player in the 2023 recruiting rankings by 247Sports, is fourth. Carrington has been skyrocketing up draft boards the last month and could find himself as a potential lottery selection when it’s all said and done.

Just missed the cut: Houston’s Jamal Shead, UCSB’s Ajay Mitchell and Marquette’s Tyler Kolek.

Shooting guards

Rank Player School/Country Height Year
1 Stephon Castle UConn 6-6 Fr
2 Devin Carter Providence 6-3 Jr
3 Jared McCain Duke 6-2 Fr
4 Ja’Kobe Walter Baylor 6-5 Fr
5 Trey Alexander Creighton 6-4 Jr

Castle has expressed a strong desire to play point guard at the next level. For now, he’s the top-ranked shooting guard in this class if you’re going off what he was listed at the NBA Draft Combine as Carter and McCain both should go in the lottery on draft night, while the former is receiving buzz as a potential top-10 pick. Walter is another name who could go higher than his final consensus ranking of 18 because of his potential as a 3-and-D player in the NBA. Alexander projects as a second-round pick, but comes in as the fifth-best SG in the class.

Just missed the cut: Minnesota’s Cam Christie and USC’s Bronny James

Small forwards

Rank Player School/Country Height Year
1 Zaccharie Risacher France 6-9
2 Dalton Knecht Tennessee 6-5 Sr
3 Matas Buzelis G League Ignite 6-9
4 Ron Holland G League Ignite 6-7
5 Cody Williams Colorado 6-7 Fr

The new projected No. 1 overall pick heading into draft week is Risacher. With the Hawks (reportedly) not conducting a workout with Sarr to this date, it appears to be a two-horse race between Risacher and Clingan to go No. 1 if the Hawks keep their selection. The small forward class is loaded with high-floor stars such as Knecht and upside swings like Holland, Buzelis and Williams. All three of those names have been projected as a top-five pick at some point during this draft cycle. Heading into draft night, their draft range appears to be a mystery with some mock drafts projecting Holland to fall out of the lottery entirely. If it happens, it would be a mistake. Whoever drafts the G-League Ignite star will get a steal.

Just missed the cut: Creighton’s Baylor Scheierman, Miami’s Kyshawn George and Weber State’s Dillon Jones

Power forwards

Rank Player School/Country Height Year
1 Tidjane Salaun France 6-9
2 Kyle Filipowski Duke 6-11 Soph
3 Tyler Smith G League Ignite 6-9
4 Tristan da Silva Colorado 6-8 Sr
5 Bobi Klintman Sweden 6-9

Looking at the final rankings of the power forwards in this class, there’s a strong possibility that Salaün will jump into the top 10 overall. He’s been a steady riser throughout the draft process. Dunn might be the best on-ball defender in the entire class, but his draft range appears to be at the end of the first round. Da Silva is one of the most experienced players in this class. Da Silva’s been mocked as high as No. 13 to the Kings in our latest projections.

Just missed the cut: San Francisco’s Jonathan Mogbo and Sweden’s Bobi Klintman 

Centers

Rank Player School/Country Height Year
1 Alex Sarr France 7-0
2 Donovan Clingan UConn 7-2 Soph
3 Yves Missi Baylor 6-11 Fr
4 DaRon Holmes II Dayton 6-9 Jr
5 Zach Edey Purdue 7-4 Sr

It’s no surprise that Sarr, who ranked as the No. 1 overall player throughout most of the draft cycle, finished as the top-ranked center in his class. With that said, there’s still a chance that Clingan — the two-time national championship-winning center from UConn — jumps him. If the Hawks want to delay an inevitable rebuild, Clingan could be the right guy at No. 1. Missi, Holmes and Edey project as mid-late first-rounders, according to our latest mock drafts.

Just missed the cut: UCLA’s Adem Bona and Indiana’s Kel’el Ware

The post 2024 NBA Draft prospect rankings: Reed Sheppard, Stephon Castle lead best five players at each position first appeared on CBS Sports.


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