Grading the 2024 NBA Draft

Isaiah Collier
The top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2023, USC point guard Isaiah Collier was one of the steals of the 2024 NBA Draft. An All-Pac-12 Freshman selection, Collier ranked in the top 10 of the conference for field-goal percentage (49%) in addition to points (16.3), assists (4.3), and steals (1.5) per game. (Photo courtesy of USC Athletics)

With a medical situation mostly behind me, the crew and I were able to resume the Hoops Prospects Podcast (HPP) last week.  The topic of the show was grading each team’s draft performance.  The factors considered were the overall talent accumulated, the fit of the acquired talent, the value obtained from trades, and opportunity cost.  Myself, Drew Barton, Cam Riehl and Caleb Slaton all graded each team separately, and those individual grades were averaged for an overall team grade (complete results below).  

It was nearly unanimous that the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves were the biggest winners.  The Jazz selected three players with lottery-like potential with picks 10, 29, and 32; all three ranked in the top 20 of the 2023-24 Hoops Prospects Draft Board.  Meanwhile, the T’wolves did something similar with picks 8 and 27, but unlike Utah’s rookies, both Rob Dillingham and Terrence Shannon appear ready to contribute to a Minnesota squad that is already close to the top in the Western Conference.  

There also wasn’t a big difference of opinion when it came to handing out the lowest grades.  Teams with a single pick that fell outside the top 40, such as Golden State and Dallas, were bound to get a poor grade, but our 4-member panel also didn’t have much good to say about the performances of the Hornets and the Bucks.  In the case of Charlotte, the general consensus was that taking Tidjane Salaun at No. 6 was an opportunity lost.  Similar arguments were used against Milwaukee’s selection of AJ Johnson at No. 23, but more importantly, both of the Bucks’ picks were high-upside teenagers who are unlikely to contribute anytime soon to a championship contending team with a thin bench.

The biggest differences in opinions were found amongst the teams who fell into the “B” range, specifically Oklahoma City, Memphis, and Atlanta.  The individual grades for the Thunder ranged from C+ (from me) to A (from Slaton); I had a difficult time giving OKC much more than a passing grade, knowing that Nikola Topic (ACL injury) may not play at all this coming season and thinking that Dillon Jones and Ajay Mitchell were very likely selected too early.  The grades for Memphis ranged from a C from Barton to an A- from both Slaton and Riehl.  The Grizzlies’ grade was greatly influenced by the varying opinions on Zach Edey’s value in the NBA.  Personally, I think the Purdue center will be a solid rotational piece, but I have doubts that he will ever be a regular starter.  Lastly, I was high on the Hawks’ draft (A-) while Barton and Slaton both gave C’s to Atlanta.  In my opinion, Zaccharie Risacher was the best player in this draft class, and I believed that 20-year-old Nikola Djurisic had first-round potential and was widely underrated.  The Hawks apparently had similar feelings about Djurisic, who was acquired in a three-team trade that involved sending AJ Griffin to Houston.  The 16th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Griffin is actually six months younger than Djurisic.  

For more on how we arrived at our draft grades, check out this week’s podcast episode (HPP S3-E39).   


  • Richard C. Harris

    Richard has worked as a sports writer/editor/scout/analyst since 1998. He has been credentialed for a variety of special events and games by the NBA, the NFL, the G League, and numerous college athletic programs and conferences. He has contributed to various magazines, radio shows, and a number of other sites, including,, and Richard is the former CEO of and a former member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA). An active member of the US Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), Rich is currently the Managing Director at Hoops Prospects, a site that specializes in evaluating potential pro basketball talent. Follow on Twitter @HoopsProspects.

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