2024 NBA Mock Draft: Spurs prioritize two-way talents, Magic land surprise steal

Predicting how the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft will unfold with less than a week to go.
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Paris Basket v Bourg en Bresse Basket - Betclic Elite / Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages
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Fenerbahce Beko v Kizilyildiz - Turkish Airlines Euroleague / Anadolu/GettyImages

Pick No. 10: Utah Jazz select Nikola Topic

The Utah Jazz could take this draft and overall offseason in various directions. They have an All-Star in his prime in the 27-year-old Lauri Markkanen. However, their roster is far from contending for a playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference. They also have a promising young core between Keyonte George, Walker Kessler, and others. Despite this, they have an absurdly high asking price for Markkanen, according to Jazz beat writer Tony Jones of The Athletic. This suggests they don't intend to move their All-Star piece, even though they likely should consider offers.

Regardless of what Utah decides to do with Markkanen, their best shot at finding a core piece to build around is through the draft. Due to a partially torn ACL, Nikola Topic could miss the entire 2024-25 NBA season, potentially causing him to fall in the draft. In retrospect, it may seem foolish if Topic slips too far because teams were too impatient to wait for his injury recovery. Similarly to Dillingham, Topic is another prospect who could fall but has the upside of being the best player in the draft class.

A team like the Jazz, who can afford to be patient with Topic, makes a lot of sense as a landing spot. They already have George, the No. 16 overall pick in last year’s draft, who showed a lot of promise during his rookie season. However, he’s more of a combo guard, while Topic is a true playmaking point guard who can be the floor general for an offense. The potential backcourt pairing could work well together, even allowing Collin Sexton to slide into a sixth-man role as a score-first point guard to provide a spark off the bench.