The Knicks have already made their big offseason move, but they have more work to do today, as the 2024 NBA Draft is finally upon us.

The weeks leading up to the draft are always filled with intrigue and mystery. This year seems different however as slop season is at an all-time high. Each day comes with another report about which top prospect is rising or falling, or unwilling to work out for which team. With that comes an inordinate amount of trade rumors, even compared to the usual hullabaloo. While every year seems to be projected to have an all-time high amount of draft trades that don’t come to fruition, this one does feel different.

The flatness at the top of this draft puts a premium on need compared to the best player available. That means more than ever, value is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to player value in the 2024 NBA draft. The reports all dictate that there are players with 20 spot ranges who may vary that much just from team to team.

I will not be doing trades in this mock draft, but I do want you to keep in mind the variance we may see tonight in Brooklyn. While I certainly do not have any intel of my own, I try to keep my ear to the ground in regard to reports and rumors concerning the draft. So with reading the tea leaves the best I can, I have put together a predictive mock draft for you based on what I think will happen tonight!

1. Atlanta Hawks- Donovan Clingan- University of Connecticut

The world is waiting with bated breath to see what the Atlanta Hawks might do. Every possible option has been reported or rumored by one source or another. Whether you want to believe the rumors or think they are all smokescreens, that is up to you. One thing for certain is that there is a lot of uncertainty going into tonight’s draft. The Hawks may be posturing or trying to increase the trade value of their own pick, but it is clear they are at a crossroads with the direction they will take their franchise. Alex Sarr and Zaccharie Risacher are viable options and provide versatility but Clingan is a defensive anchor that will make a perfect pair with either guard they decide to keep.

What I would do: Alex Sarr

2. Washington Wizards- Alex Sarr- Perth Wildcats

It seems like every single pick is jumbling multiple prospects if not considering trading either ups or downs. This draft is about as uncertain as I can possibly remember, where truly nothing would surprise me. With that being said, Alex Sarr to Washington seems like the most likely scenario to bet on in the top five. The uncertainty that the Wizards’ nearly empty roster provides allows Alex Sarr to have the runway that it appears his team desires. Sarr provides arguably the highest upside in the class with versatility on defense and theoretical floor spacing if the shooting develops.

What I would do: Steph Castle

3. Houston Rockets- Reed Sheppard- University of Kentucky

The Rockets may be the most likely team to trade out of the top five and for a good reason. The young Rockets overachieved last season after making win-now moves to compete with Ime Udoka at the helm. That puts Houston in a particularly interesting scenario where they have a plethora of young talent to continue developing while trying to contend for a playoff spot at the same time. They are not looking for a star with the third pick, they have already had a couple of at-bats in the top five with Jabari Smith Jr, Jalen Green, and Amen Thompson. What they need is a complementary talent, potentially one that shot 50% from three in his freshman season. There may not be a better pairing in the lottery than Reed Sheppard and Houston, whose shooting and team defense would be an absolutely perfect backcourt partnership with Amen Thompson’s playmaking and POA defense.

What I would do: Reed Sheppard

4. San Antonio Spurs- Zaccharie Risacher- JL Bourg-en-Bresse

Not knowing who to pair with your generational talent is a good problem to have, and it is the one the San Antonio Spurs are tasked with. If Risacher were to fall to them, the Spurs would rejoice in finding the perfect complementary role player. The three-point shooting and defense are exactly what the Spurs should be looking to surround Wemby with, and being French and having a connection with Wembenyama doesn’t hurt either.

What I would do: Zaccharie Risacher

5. Detroit Pistons- Matas Buzelis- G League Ignite

The Pistons are rebuilding on top of their rebuild, starting over with a new coach to be named later and Trajan Langdon replacing everybody’s favorite GM: Troy Weaver. They are still stacked with young talent, although it remains to be seen if the new front office will believe in the young players already stocked up in Detroit. Jalen Duren, Jaden Ivy, and even Ausar Thompson are ancillary to how they build around Cade Cunningham. Langdon will have his work cut out for him as he tries to build around Cade, Matas is a big wing that would be a perfect complement. Shooting is at a premium for the Pistons and while Buzelis only shot 22% from three this season in the G League, people seem to believe in the jump shot. If the shot is real, the uber-athletic Buzelis theoretically provides secondary playmaking and well as play-finishing along with hard-nosed defense which would be exactly what the Pistons need at the wing.

What I would do: Dalton Knecht

6. Charlotte Hornets- Stephon Castle- University of Connecticut

Whether Steph Castle is a point guard or not is secondary to the fact that Steph Castle is an extremely complete basketball player. The fledgling young core of Lamelo Ball, Brandon Miller, and Mark Williams could use someone to connect those dots. Steph Castle showed this year at UConn that he was willing to play the role necessary to help his team win. His defense and playmaking would help take Charlotte to the next level in their development.

What I would do: Devin Carter

7. Portland Trail Blazers- Dalton Knecht- University of Tennessee

The Blazers should be in talent acquisition mode as they are still in the early stages of this rebuild. They have more guards than they know what to do with and may have to find a new home for Anfernee Simons. There are still questions about their frontcourt with Deandre Ayton and Rob Williams being interesting pieces that may be better off elsewhere. What they do need, however, is wings and shot-making. Dalton Knecht is a wing that makes shots from all over the basketball court and gives them much-needed spacing for Scoot to thrive in.

What I would do: Ron Holland

8. San Antonio Spurs- Tidjane Salaun- Cholet Basket

Having two picks in the top ten gives an amount of flexibility that other teams would kill for. They have the opportunity to package those picks to trade up or look for a win-now piece to help Wemby compete sooner rather than later. One benefit that comes with that flexibility is to take more of a high-upside project to pair with a ready-made role player like Risacher. Plus: who wouldn’t want to see the Spurs go completely French?

What I would do: Nikola Topic

9. Memphis Grizzlies- Cody Williams- Colorado University

While the world at large thinks that Donovan Clingan is the perfect piece for this Grizzlies team, that does not mean they do not have other needs. They have been chasing that elusive two-way wing since they got Ja. Names like Mikal Bridges and OG Anunoby have often come up as dream targets for them. Cody Williams would allow them to try to grow their own as Jalen Williams’ younger brother has as high of an upside as any wing in the class.

What I would do: Donovan Clingan

10. Utah Jazz- Nikola Topic- Crvena Zvezda

If any team is likely to take the risk of drafting a player likely needing to redshirt their rookie season, it is the Utah Jazz. Nikola Topic was widely considered one of the top three prospects in the class for much of the season until his injury derailed his campaign. The news of a partially torn ACL expedited that process and plummeted his draft stock. The Jazz are building an infrastructure that can handle that delay and are looking for a primary guard to handle the playmaking load along with Keyonte George.

What I would do: Rob Dillingham

11. Chicago Bulls- Zach Edey- Purdue University

The Bulls seem to be finally trending toward blowing it up, or at least rebuilding. While it remains to be seen what will happen with Demar DeRozan and the rest of the old guard, the Alex Caruso trade signals that they are ready to move on. Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, and Josh Giddey give them options in the backcourt, but they are still looking for frontcourt pieces to build around. The two time Naismith Player of the Year is a divisive prospect but it does seem like somebody will take that risk.

What I would do: Matas Buzelis

12. Oklahoma City Thunder- Tristan Da Silva- Colorado University

While it seems pretty obvious at this point that nobody will ever truly know what Sam Presti is going to do, it is clear he will make a smart pick. Nothing can surprise you in the Thunder organization, but it is clear they prioritize players who can dribble, pass, and shoot. An older and ready-to-contribute wing like Da Silva can do all of the above and immediately contribute and give them some depth at the wing.

What I would do: Cody Williams 

13. Sacramento Kings- Devin Carter- Providence College

This is another pick that seems likely to be on the trading block, but they do have some options if they choose to keep it. The Kings have gotten production from their young players in the last few years, and need to continue to draft smart. After resigning Malik Monk, the priority needs to become two-way basketball. A player who can contribute on both sides of the ball is exactly what they need, and a backcourt partner with De’Aaron Fox would be even better. Devin Carter is all of that in a very big way and will make whatever team drafts him very happy.

What I would do: Bub Carrington

14. Portland Trail Blazers- Ron Holland- G League Ignite

A second pick in the lottery means a second swing of the bat for the Portland Trail Blazers. There would be no better choice for them to go with as that potential long-term wing than one of the highest-upside players in the class in Ron Holland.

What I would do: Ja’Kobe Walter

15. Miami Heat- Rob Dillingham- University of Kentucky

29 teams would be upset if Dillingham falls to Miami. There would be no better place for the falling Kentucky Wildcat than the Miami Heat. The Heat and Eric Spoelstra have often gotten the most out of the talent on his roster and that talent would get a significant upgrade with the prolific offensive firepower of Dilly.

What I would do: Isaiah Collier

16. Philadelphia 76ers- Isaiah Collier- USC

The Sixers are loaded up with cap space and completely devoid of any depth or young talent. If they choose to draft at this spot, they should be looking for high-upside contributors along with whatever stars they come up with this off-season. Collier’s ability to get into the paint and attack the basket would be a perfect complement to Tyrese Maxey off the bench.

What I would do: Jared McCain

17. Los Angeles Lakers- Kel’el Ware- Indiana University

Who knows what JJ Redick is going to do now that he is in charge of the Los Angeles Lakers? Maybe listeners of Mind the Game feel like they do but in all reality, the Lakers are a complete crapshoot for the next year. Whether they trade this pick or draft Bronny or something else, nothing will be a surprise. However, a big man who could allow AD to play the four while providing some floor spacing would be ideal and Kel’el Ware does that.

What I would do: Tristan Da Silva

18. Orlando Magic- Jared McCain- Duke University

The Magic are in desperate need of shooting and should be chasing that in every direction. They did last year with Jett Howard and may do it again in free agency with Klay Thompson. Either way, Jared McCain would provide the kind of spacing they desperately need.

What I would do: Jared McCain

19. Toronto Raptors- Bub Carrington- Pittsburgh University

The Raptors are in the midst of recreating their identity, which is mostly in the air right now. The one thing we know for sure is they are committing to Scottie Barnes and need to build a roster around him that can be successful. What that requires is creative scorers and some on-ball juice that can play alongside Scottie as he creates for others.

What I would do: Tidjane Salaun

20. Cleveland Cavaliers- Tyler Smith- G League Ignite

Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley may be the long-term future for the Cavs, or one of them may be shipped off this summer. Until one of them can shoot, there will always be a concern. Tyler Smith can shoot and theoretically is a floor-spacing big man that could play with either Mobley or Allen.

What I would do: Jaylon Tyson

21. New Orleans Pelicans- Kyle Filipowski- Duke University

With Jonas Valanciunas on his way out this summer, the Pelicans need to bolster their frontcourt and find someone to pair with Zion Williamson. FIlipowski’s ability to dribble pass and shoot makes him a good partner to fellow his Duke alumni that plays around the basket and above the rim.

What I would do: DaRon Holmes

22. Phoenix Suns- Yves Missi- Baylor University

After making desperate trades to put together their big three, Phoenix is in need of NBA-level role players. Yves Missi provides a clear-cut role at the NBA level, his ability to set hard screens, catch lobs, and rebound are all basic tasks that the Suns need in a major way.

What I would do: Yves Missi

23. Milwaukee Bucks- Da’Ron Holmes- Dayton University

Rumors of Brook Lopez’s exit are at an all-time high with the Bucks’ future around Giannis floating in chaos and disarray. While the first and foremost priority in this rebuild is getting younger, they need to maintain their flexibility. It is not likely that they will be able to replace the shooting or rim protection they got from Brook Lopez during his peak. However, Da’Ron Holmes is someone who projects to be able to do a lot of things on the court with potential growth in those areas.

What I would do: Kel’el Ware

24. New York Knicks- Ja’Kobe Walter- Baylor University

Having two picks back to back gives the Knicks some versatility even if most experts do not anticipate them using both of them. If a player is to fall into the lap of the Knicks, especially one with a higher upside like Walter, it would make too much sense to pass it up, especially with the option of taking an older more experienced player right after it.

What I would do: Kyle Filipowski

25. New York Knicks- Ryan Dunn- University of Virginia

No name has been more associated with the Knicks throughout this draft cycle than Virginia’s Ryan Dunn. His versatile defense makes him a perfect fit for Thibs’ defensive philosophy. Dunn is one of the most gifted wing defenders I have ever seen and while there are questions about his contributions on offense, his defense more than makes up for it. If he is able to get on the court, he will be able to have a huge impact on defense and that sort of defensive upside is great value at 25, even if the jump shot would create questions for contributing in the playoffs. Dunn, OG, and Mikal Bridges are the sort of defensive unit even Thibs has never dreamed of.

What I would do: Ryan Dunn

26. Washington Wizards- Pacome Dadiet- Ratiopharm Ulm

The Spurs aren’t the only team that could commit to going entirely French. Dadiet is a picture-perfect role player and the Wizards are looking to get their star at 2, which means they want to support him here. Dadiet would provide that support on both sides of the ball and would be an intriguing upside pick in the late first. Plus; who wouldn’t want to see the Coulibaly, Sarr, and Dadiet French trio compete against San Antonio?

What I would do: Pacome Dadiet

27. Minnesota Timberwolves- Johnny Furphy- Kansas University

Minnesota overachieved this year after underachieving the year prior, so maybe they are just achieving. However, they are not getting any younger as their contracts get more and more expensive. That means they need to take some upside swings on younger players they can develop into valuable role players as they can no longer afford to pay their own.

What I would do: Tyler Kolek

28. Denver Nuggets- Tyler Kolek- Marquette University

What is happening in Denver is being watched under a microscope. This year’s title favorite is at risk of losing Kentavious Caldwell Pope as their depth takes another hit. This was an issue this postseason as Jamal Murray battled injuries and they got all they could from Reggie Jackson. Tyler Kolek is a crafty and competitive guard who looks ready-made to run a bench unit and fits Denver’s mold as an older more accomplished college basketball player.

What I would do: Dillon Jones

29. Utah Jazz- KyShawn George- University of Miami

Utah should fully be in home run swing mode as they are looking for a star. If they are bad for another year it gives them a chance at the Cooper Flagg sweepstakes. The Jazz need to replace what they didn’t get from Ochai Agbaji. KyShawn George is a bit of a risk but the shooting is appealing to teams and someone like Utah can take that swing.

What I would do: Nikola Djurisic

30. Boston Celtics- Baylor Scheierman- Creighton University

This pick feels too obvious for too many reasons. I will leave it at that.

What I would do: Baylor Scheierman

31. Toronto Raptors- Bobi Klintman- Cairns Taipans

32. Utah Jazz- Kevin McCullar Jr- Kansas University

33. Milwaukee Bucks-KJ Simpson- University of Colorado

34. Portland Trailblazers- Jaylon Tyson- University of California

35. San Antonio Spurs- Ajay Mitchell- University of Santa Barbara

36. Indiana Pacers- Harrison Ingram- University of North Carolina

37. Minnesota Timberwolves- Enrique Freeman-University of Akron

38. New York Knicks- Adem Bona- UCLA

39. Memphis Grizzlies- Terrence Shannon Jr- University of Illinois

40. Portland Trailblazer- Jamal Shead- University of Houston

41. Philadelphia 76ers- Dillon Jones- Weber State

42. Charlotte Hornets- Jonathon Mogbo- University of San Francisco

43. Miami Heat- Oso Ighodaro- Marquette University

44. Houston Rockets- Ulrich Chomche- NBA Academy

45. Sacramento Kings- Ariel Hukporti- Melbourne United

46. Los Angeles Clippers- Aj Johnson- Illawarra Hawks

47. Orlando Magic- Juan Nunez- Ratiopharm Ulm

48. San Antonio Spurs- Melvin Ajinca- Saint Quentin Basket

49. Indiana Pacers- Nikola Djurisic- KK Mega

50. Indiana Pacers- Justin Edwards- University of Kentucky

51. Washington Wizards- Cam Christie- University of Minnesota

52. Golden State Warriors- Jaylen Wells- Washington State

53. Detroit Pistons- Keshad Johnson- University of Arizona

54. Boston Celtics- PJ Hall- Clemson University

55. Los Angeles Lakers- Bronny James- USC

56. Denver Nuggets- Jalen Bridges- Baylor University

57. Memphis Grizzlies- Trey Alexander- Creighton University

58. Dallas Mavericks- Cam Spencer- University of Connecticut

The draft is my favorite time of the year and this class has been one of my favorite to ever cover. It is a weird, complex, deep, and bad draft class, in all of the best ways. Now it is time to sit back and watch Adam Silver awkwardly dap up 19-year-old kids. Enjoy responsibly!