With the college basketball season tipping off today, Jonathan Givony of ESPN has posted his top 25 prospects for the 2024 NBA draft, putting G League Ignite forward Ron Holland at the top of the list. Givony notes that Holland was already being hyped before impressive performances in exhibition games against Perth and in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup, where he averaged 20.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals.
Scouts like Holland’s competitiveness, his ability to attack in the open court and the improvement he has shown as an outside shooter, Givony adds, but he needs to work on his shot selection and decision making. Givony also cautions that Holland isn’t viewed as a definite No. 1 pick like Victor Wembanyama was this year, and the ratings could change throughout the season.
Second on Givony’s list is Australian big man Alexandre Sarr, who also impressed scouts this summer. He totaled 43 points, 18 rebounds, 12 blocks and four assists in two games against the G League Ignite and provides a combination of mobility, skill and defensive versatility that’s rare in a 7-footer.
Rounding out Givony’s top five are USC point guard Isaiah Collier, Kentucky swingman Justin Edwards and French forward Zaccharie Risacher.
Here’s more from around the basketball world:
- Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has updated his full mock draft, with Holland and Sarr also holding the top two spots. G League Ignite forward Matas Buzelis is third in Wasserman’s rankings, followed by Connecticut shooting guard Stephon Castle and Duke point guard Tyrese Proctor. Another notable prospect, USC freshman Bronny James, is listed at No. 43 because of concerns over his health after he suffered cardiac arrest during a July workout.
- In a discussion of Australian basketball, Kane Pitman, Olgun Uluc and Peter Hooley of ESPN discuss whether Sarr should consider wrapping up his NBL season by Christmas to start preparing for the draft. Sarr’s Perth Wildcats are off to a slow start, and it doesn’t appear his role on the team is likely to expand.
- The NBA’s new in-season tournament was inspired by soccer’s FA Cup, which has captivated fans for a century and a half because of its unpredictable nature, notes Richard Sutcliffe of The Athletic. Players and coaches are optimistic about what the tournament can grow into, adds Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “I’ve been a part of (the) conversations since they first happened,” said Warriors guard Chris Paul, the former president of the National Basketball Players Association. “I think the in-season tournament has an opportunity to be something big for the league. … As players, as the league and everything, you (are) always trying to continue to grow the game. I think this is a good way.”