2024 NBA Lottery Mock Draft: Blazers swing for upside, Spurs stockpile guards

The Portland Trail Blazers swing for upside in this 2024 NBA lottery mock draft.
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The 2024 NBA Draft seems particularly challenging to predict compared to previous years. There are no clearly defined tiers of prospects, as there typically have been in previous seasons. Many players in the lottery have a wide range of outcomes, and it seems someone will inevitably have to fall much further than anticipated.

2024 NBA Lottery Mock Draft: 1. Atlanta Hawks select Alexandre Sarr

The Atlanta Hawks had a measly three percent chance of winning the lottery. Now, they have a difficult decision to make at the top of the draft, and there is no clear-cut consensus. Another prospect who will be highly in the mix is Zaccharie Risacher.  

This season, it was apparent Trae Young and Dejounte Murray couldn't effectively share the backcourt, and one or both could potentially be on the move this offseason. Despite their roster uncertainty, Alex Sarr seems like the safest bet for Atlanta to take at No. 1 overall; this would make it back-to-back drafts where French-born players were selected No. 1 overall after the Spurs drafted Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama last season.

Sarr has a lower floor than typical No. 1 overall picks. He's relatively raw offensively, averaging less than ten points a game with Perth in the NBL. But regardless of how Sarr pans out on offense, he will undoubtedly be a defensive anchor for whatever team selects him. Sarr is 7-foot-1 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, but his agility and ability to guard out on the perimeter is the defensive trait that separates him from other big men in the draft class. He's an ideal modern-day center from a defensive standpoint.

With the emergence of forward Jalen Johnson and the potential addition of Sarr, the Hawks could be on the verge of establishing a new team identity. This new identity, centered around length, physicality, and defense, contrasts the style of play associated with Trae Young. Assuming they keep him around, it could compensate for Young's weaknesses.