2024 NBA Draft: Rating the highest level guard prospects, together with UConn’s Stephon Fortress

Yahoo Sports activities is breaking down the highest gamers within the 2024 NBA Draft by place this week. First up, the purpose guards, led by UConn’s Stephon Fortress, who’s projected inside the highest 5 and has elected to show down exercises with groups that have already got established ground generals.

This class additionally options quite a few smaller guards who had been productive throughout in faculty and may very well be first- or second-round picks. Listed below are the 5 greatest lead guards projected within the draft, together with others to observe who could lead on second items subsequent season. The NBA Draft will happen in New York on June 26-27.

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 215 kilos | Age: 19

The UConn freshman has been one of many greatest risers through the pre-draft course of after serving to to guide the Huskies to back-to-back titles. Fortress began the season late following a knee damage and struggled to search out his capturing rhythm, however he was unimaginable within the ultimate two video games of the season. In UConn’s win over Alabama, Fortress completed with 21 factors (7-for-13 from the sphere) and shot 2-for-6 from 3-point vary. Within the championship recreation, Fortress performed each on and off the ball and had 15 factors, 5 rebounds and three assists. He was additionally probably the greatest defensive guards in faculty basketball and was tasked with guarding the opposing staff’s greatest perimeter participant all season.

(Grant Thomas/Yahoo Sports Illustration)(Grant Thomas/Yahoo Sports Illustration)

(Grant Thomas/Yahoo Sports activities Illustration)

Through the mix, Fortress confirmed off an improved 3-point jumper (after capturing simply 26.7% from 3 through the season) and completed third general within the 3-point star capturing drill (18-for-25). He has good measurement at 6-foot-6 and the potential to be probably the greatest two-way lead guards on this draft class. Fortress might go as excessive as No. 2 to the Washington Wizards and is regarded as a goal for the Spurs, Rockets and Hornets, who’re all drafting within the prime six.

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 201 kilos | Age: 18

Topić is beginning to fall towards the again finish of the lottery after it was revealed he has {a partially} torn ACL and measured 6-5 1/2 with a 6-5 wingspan on the draft mix in Italy final week. Earlier stories final fall claimed the Serbian guard was nearer to 6-7 with a 7-foot wingspan. It is a devastating blow for Topić after he was projected inside the highest 5 almost all season lengthy along with his capability to facilitate after averaging 5.5 assists per recreation. Topić was capable of meet with groups in individual final week and can journey to the U.S. to get reevaluated by NBA medical doctors main as much as the draft.

Groups which have the luxurious to be affected person along with his restoration and wait a yr for him to hit the court docket might nonetheless take a swing on the 18-year-old. Memphis, Utah and Sacramento are all doable touchdown spots.

[Check out our latest mock draft]

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 164 kilos | Age: 19

The 6-2 Dillingham has been some of the thrilling gamers to observe due to his quickness, flashy passing and improved shot creation. The freshman got here off the bench throughout his one season at Kentucky and averaged 15.2 factors and three.9 assists in 23 minutes. However Dillingham is undersized as an NBA lead guard and is proscribed defensively. His draft inventory is in every single place after he did not undergo agility or capturing drills on the mix or take part within the Klutch professional day, citing a sore ankle.

Dillingham can be a enjoyable slot in San Antonio alongside Victor Wembanyama and can also be a participant the Jazz, Bulls, Kings or Warmth may very well be concentrating on to guide the second unit.

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Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 195 kilos | Age: 22

Carter was probably the greatest guards within the Massive East this season, averaging 19.7 factors, 8.7 rebounds and three.6 assists throughout his junior season at Windfall. He broke the draft mix 3/4-court dash document (2.87 seconds) and tied for first with the very best max vertical bounce at 42 inches. His vitality throughout capturing drills was infectious, and plenty of scouts and executives left the mix excessive on Carter, who is likely one of the greatest rebounding guards within the draft and makes fast selections with the ball. Carter might sneak inside the highest 10 with the Spurs, Jazz and Kings (his most up-to-date exercise) as potential touchdown spots.

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 190 kilos| Age: 18

Carrington seemingly got here out of nowhere throughout his freshman yr at Pittsburgh after being ranked as a four-star prospect coming into the faculty season. His creativity off the bounce units him aside from different lead guards on this draft, and he can slide into both backcourt spot with how nicely he cuts off the ball as nicely. Carrington averaged 13.8 factors and 4.1 assists within the ACC and may very well be a sleeper within the lottery, with loads of curiosity from a number of groups between picks Nos. 8-20.

USC’s Isaiah Collier struggled all season, however scouts had been happy to see him return after his hand damage and end out his freshman yr. Coming into the yr, his 3-point shot was an space of improvement and, despite the fact that he is nonetheless a piece in progress, his court docket imaginative and prescient and tempo translate higher to the NBA recreation versus his position at USC this previous yr. His draft vary is anyplace from late lottery to early 20s.

Jared McCain shot the ball extraordinarily nicely on the draft mix and groups are going to like how laborious he works. The Duke guard set the staff document for many 3s in an NCAA event recreation when he went 8-for-11 in opposition to James Madison within the second spherical.

One of many older guards on this draft class at 23 years outdated, Tyler Kolek (Marquette) is sensible and shifty, transferring with intention to play to his strengths and making an attempt to complete along with his left hand or on the left facet. He’s additionally an excellent passer and performs greater than his 6-1 body with how nicely he finishes by means of contact.

Senior guards Jamal Shead (Houston) and KJ Simpson (Colorado) had been the most effective level guards through the mix’s 5-on-5 scrimmages. Shead impressed on each ends despite the fact that he nonetheless wasn’t taking part in 100% after an ankle damage he suffered in opposition to Duke within the NCAA event. Simpson likes to get within the lane and has a pleasant floater, and he has proven an extension to his recreation previous the 3-point line.

Scouts and decision-makers across the league have a tough time seeing Bronny James as a real NBA level guard, however he reads the protection nicely off the pick-and-roll and may defend on the perimeter. The Lakers are favored to land the 6-2 guard out of USC with the fifty fifth choose within the upcoming draft as he continues to work on his recreation and develop a bit extra earlier than significant minutes within the NBA.

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