2024 NBA Draft Big Board: Ranking the top 40 players

The weeks leading up to the NBA Draft on June 26-27 are crucial to NBA teams as players travel around the country and participate in individual workouts at different NBA facilities. In a draft that is still considered widely unpredictable with no consensus top pick — and a potential second-round pick in Bronny James grabbing a lot of the attention — teams will be looking more for fit and not necessarily to build around a specific player.

With that said, a few players are already sneaking up draft boards after strong showings at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago and during agent pro days. Yahoo Sports breaks down the top 40 prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft after the combine and pre-draft testing. (Also check out our latest mock draft.)

The 7-foot-1 center originally from France is an elite rim protector and the safest pick to go No. 1 with his length and potential. He tested well at the combine and has shown more fluidity moving off the ball with a promising inside-out game in the pick-and-pop.

Risacher is still playing his season in France as Bourg-en-Bresse advanced past Nanterre in the first round of the playoffs. The 6-foot-9 wing is one of the best catch-and-shoot 3-point threats in this draft class and had his best game of the season last week when he finished with 28 points (5-for-9 from 3) and six rebounds.

(Mallory Bielecki/Yahoo Sports Illustration)
(Mallory Bielecki/Yahoo Sports Illustration)

Castle struggled to find consistency with his jumper all season, but he showed scouts promising upside as a two-way player with how good he was offensively during the Final Four, scoring 21 points against Alabama and 15 points in the championship game against Purdue. The UConn freshman also had the third highest score in the 3-point star drill at the combine and has great size for an NBA combo guard.

The G League Ignite didn't win many games in their final season, but Buzelis showed flashes of his versatility as a playmaking big, particularly in the open court with his quick decision-making. The 6-9 forward improved his motor and added 20 pounds of muscle from this time last year.

Holland will see early minutes next season because of what he can do defensively, averaging 2.3 steals per game in the G League last season. He's a high-volume scorer and one of the quickest players in transition for his size at 6-8 and he favors the left side of the rim.

The 7-2 center moves extremely well for his size and, when fully healthy this season, was blocking shots and beating opponents down the court for easy buckets in transition. Clingan shot the ball OK at the combine but was much better during his pro day, extending his shot past the 3-point line.

Sheppard was one of the most reliable players for Kentucky this year and displayed a mature game for a freshman. Scouts knew he could shoot the ball well and is a solid defender, but his 42-inch max vertical (the highest this year) at the combine was surprising and he looked more athletic during agility drills.

Feb 24, 2024; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Rob Dillingham (0) talks with guard Reed Sheppard (15) as time runs out in the second half against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Just like Bilal Coulibaly shot up inside the top 10 last year with how well he played in the LNB Pro A playoffs, Salaun could do the exact same thing this year. The 6-9 wing finished his season playing his best basketball of the year and had 19 points, eight rebounds and two assists in Game 1 against Paris Basketball.

Topic reinjured his left knee during a game on May 13 and it was diagnosed as a sprain, avoiding a serious injury weeks before the draft. Topic was sidelined for three months earlier this year with a ligament injury, but prior to that, the 6-6 point guard was one of the best passers in the Serbian league, averaging 5.5 assists on the season.

Dillingham has shown enough from his one year at Kentucky that he can be a successful lead guard at any level. His measurements at the Draft Combine were officially 6-1 1/2 and 164.2 pounds and teams might have pause with how small he is, especially seeing how much Scoot Henderson struggled to start the season and how long it took him to adjust to the physicality and length of the NBA.

[Check out our latest mock draft]

The senior guard was the best scorer in college basketball and can get a shot off from anywhere, averaging 21.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. His defense improved this year with an uptick in lateral movement and, in a draft that remains wide open, Knecht is one of the most consistent guards available.

The younger brother of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams, Cody has similar size at 6-8 and can guard multiple positions. He is not as polished as his brother was coming out of college but has a ton of upside with a high IQ and natural feel for the game.

Walter started his freshman season at Baylor hot from 3-point range but cooled once conference play started. He finished the season shooting 34% from 3 but has promising shooting mechanics with a high-release and ability to shoot off the dribble.

DALLAS, TEXAS - MARCH 29:  Jared McCain #0 of the Duke Blue Devils controls the ball during the 1st half of the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament game against the Houston Cougars at American Airlines Center on March 29, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Duke's Jared McCain turned heads during the NCAA tournament. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

McCain has found ways to win at every level and doesn't shy away from big moments. In the second round of the NCAA tournament, McCain, a freshman guard, broke the Duke record for most 3s in a tournament game, going 8-for-11 and finishing with 30 points.

Carter broke the 3/4 sprint combine record (2.87 seconds) and also tied for first for the highest max vertical at 42 inches. The 6-2 junior point guard averaged 19.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists and is one of the most well-rounded point guards in the draft.

Collier was the top-ranked high school recruit coming into his freshman year at USC and had an off year, first with a hand injury that kept him off the court for a month, then not finding his rhythm once he returned. He's one of the best guards when getting downhill and his game will translate better to the NBA with the spacing of the game.

George has two things NBA teams love: length (6-8 with a 6-11 wingspan) and consistent outside shooting. He's a prototype of a blossoming 3-and-D wing and a player who can be inserted into numerous systems in the NBA.

The 7-foot center elected to return for his sophomore season after undergoing double hip surgery last spring. He looked great, and Duke ran most of its offense through him. He is smart at recognizing the mismatch off the switch, can take players off the dribble and has a solid face-up game.

The freshman guard is a scoring machine who is great at creating separation and can finish through contact. He showed more upside as a facilitator during the second part of the season, averaging 4.8 assists in the month of March.

Shannon's off-the-court issues and pending trial date June 10 will be watched closely by NBA teams. The lefty shooting guard was one of the best scorers in the Big Ten and put up huge numbers in the postseason, averaging 34 points in the Big Ten tournament.

Missi has only been playing organized basketball for six years and shot up seven inches over the course of two seasons. The 7-footer has great hands and, even though he didn't shoot very well during the combine, his upside trends toward being effective in the pick-and-roll.

The 6-9 senior was one of the most consistent players on Colorado this year and carried over his strong NCAA tournament performance to the Draft Combine, where he tested well in the agility drills and shot the ball well. He's a player who could sneak up draft boards if he has strong individual workouts.

In a disaster of a season for the Ignite, Smith really popped and showed great NBA potential as a versatile 6-10 big. He has a smooth 3-point jumper and became more aggressive defensively, blocking shots and grabbing 50/50 balls.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - MARCH 14: Kel'el Ware #1 of the Indiana Hoosiers goes up for a shot against Zach Hicks #24 of the Penn State Nittany Lions in the first half in the Second Round of the Big Ten Tournament at Target Center on March 14, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Kel'el Ware is one of the top big men in the draft. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Ware was one of the most improved players from his freshman year at Oregon to his sophomore year at Indiana, where he averaged 15.9 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. His timing as a rim protector has improved and he recorded three or more blocks seven times this season.

The senior guard had back-to-back double-doubles in the NCAA tournament — 18 points and 11 assists against Western Kentucky and 21 points and 11 assists against Colorado two days later. Kolek is a smart player and plays to his strengths, finishing on the left side of the rim every chance he can.

The 6-6 guard was one of the biggest draft risers after a strong showing at the Draft Combine. On the first day of scrimmages, he finished with 13 points and followed up the second day showing more of his versatility as a playmaker, dishing out six assists. Johnson also had the dunk of the combine and attacked the rim while finishing through contact.

Dadiet doesn't turn 19 until July, and a veteran team with the luxury of developing the 6-8 wing might take a swing on his potential as a 3-and-D perimeter player. In his final two games of the season during the playoffs, Dadiet scored in double digits and shot more confidently from deep.

Klintman spent his freshman year at Wake Forest before electing to play one season in Australia's National Basketball League. The Taipans played a pair of preseason NBA games against the Raptors and Wizards, and he confidently shot the 3-ball. Klintman has good size at 6-9 and in a draft that is wide open, a team could take a chance on him as a long-term prospect.

The 7-4 center silenced critics at the combine and shot the ball well during 3-point shooting drills. His shot is far from fluid, but he improved on his agility testing from last year and could be a defensive anchor for a second unit in the NBA.

The talk at the combine is that Furphy is possibly returning to Kansas for another year, but he shot the ball so effortlessly, it's hard to imagine he didn't leave with first-round interest after the week in Chicago. The 6-9 wing didn't get a ton of touches during his freshman year at Kansas and shot 35.2% from 3-point range.

Edwards didn't do much at Kentucky during his freshman year after entering the season as a top-five high school recruit. But the 6-7 wing has had a resurgence during the pre-draft process with how well he played during the Draft Combine scrimmages, and he showed more durability as a two-way player.

The senior wing let it fly during scrimmage play at the combine. In a double-overtime win against Oregon in the second round of the NCAA tournament, it was Scheierman who was clutch down the stretch in the back-and-forth battle. The 6-7 wing averaged 18.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists last season and is looking like a safe pick late first round or early second round.

The 6-5 guard was one of the best scorers in the Pac-12 and skyrocketed up draft boards after vast improvement from his sophomore to junior season. The Texas Tech transfer averaged 19.6 points and was a top rebounding guard, grabbing 6.8 per game.

The 6-7 senior guard was the go-to option for the Jayhawks until he suffered a knee injury late in the season. McCullar was at the combine but didn't participate in any on-court testing or drills after he had his knee scoped last month. He was on crutches during the week in Chicago, where he met with teams and media, and he is hopeful to be back on the court for Summer League.

Dunn was the best perimeter defender in college basketball, and although his outside jumper remains an area of improvement, there's a lot to his game that translates to the NBA. The 6-7 guard will likely fall to the second round because of his shooting numbers, but he can impact teams right away on the defensive side.

Jones is the only player in Division I men's basketball in the last 30 years to finish a single season with 600 points, 300 rebounds, 160 assists and 60 steals. He's a walking triple-double, and although his athleticism doesn't shine through, he is one of the smartest players with the ball in his hands and makes winning plays consistently.

The Serbian guard is peaking at the right time. He finished his season with a five-game stretch averaging 26.8 points and 4.2 assists. Then, Đurišić didn't shy away from competition at the combine, where scouts and executives walked away impressed with his quick decision-making as a scorer and creative playmaking.

Simpson was one of the best players during the combine scrimmages and completely controlled the pace. He plays much bigger than his 6-2 frame and has been working on his floater in the lane, successfully finishing over 7-footers consistently in his two days on the court.

Every year there's a player who emerges out of nowhere at the combine, and this year that player might be the 6-7 senior wing. Freeman played well at the Portsmouth Invitational and received an invite to the G League Camp. He then got a call-up to the draft combine and was incredible in 5-on-5 action while hitting tough shots and defending 1-through-4.

After not logging many minutes in the Australian league this past year, Flowers was a nice surprise at the combine and played more to his strengths as an off-ball scorer. Teams are familiar with his athleticism and what he can do at the rim, but it was his cutting and court vision that has been positive during the pre-draft process.