Yahoo Sports NBA Draft analyst Krysten Peek gives you five of the best prospects to keep an eye on for next year’s 2024 NBA Draft.
KRYSTEN PEEK: The NBA draft is still 10 months away. But NBA scouts and executives are already hitting the road, getting early eyes on some of the prospects projected at the top of the draft. Unlike last year, there is no consensus number one pick with the top of the draft wide open. Let’s take a look at five prospects to keep tabs on heading into the college and pro season.
First up is Ron Holland from the G-League Ignite. Holland is a 6 foot 8 wing who might be the most explosive player in this draft class with his quick first step and change of speed in transition. Holland was one of the best prospects on the court in a pair of exhibition games between the Ignite and Perth Wildcats and averaged 28 points and 5 steals in the two games last week.
Up next is the 7 foot 1 18-year-old out of France Alex Sarr. He was the biggest surprise last week in Las Vegas as he showed an improved motor, tighter handle outside of the paint, and elite rim protection. Sarr, the younger brother of Oklahoma City center, Olivier Sarr, elected to join the Perth Wildcats and is one year before hitting the NBA. Sarr averaged 21.5 points and 6 blocks against the Ignite in front of several NBA scouts and executives.
The Ignite roster is loaded with young talent. And Matas Buzelis passes the [? eye ?] test as an intriguing versatile forward. At 6 foot 10, Buzelis can play both down low and out on the perimeter. The biggest improvement he’s made over the summer is adding muscle to his frame as he went from 185 pounds last March to 203 pounds now. Buzelis is taking a little bit more time to let the game come to him, but there’s a ton of upside in the young forward.
Kentucky has the number one recruiting class coming in. And one player that could separate himself from the rest of the group is 6 foot 8 wing Justin Edwards. Edwards is a long athletic small forward who does a lot of things really well.
Defensively is where he’s most impactful with his change of speed, shooting the gaps, and quickly getting the ball out in transition. If his 3-point shot starts to get more consistent, Edwards could be one of the players in contention for the number one spot in next year’s draft.
And, finally, we have a bit of a dark horse, but he’ll be playing for the defending national champions, the UConn Huskies. It’s big guard Stephon Castle. The 6 foot 6 combo guard out of Georgia is a three-level scorer who loves to get downhill and facilitate for his teammates.
During Uconn’s overseas tour in August, he led all players in scoring with 16.7 points and added 2.3 steals per game while shooting 60% from the field and 43% from 3-point range. The way he can switch and play on and off the ball makes him a guard to watch closely this college season.
Fall ball and preseason games are right around the corner with the college basketball regular season kicking off in November. For all coverage and analysis on the top NBA draft prospects, keep it right here on Yahoo Sports.