2024 NBA mock draft post-March Madness: Donovan Clingan, Zach Edey climb board

A deep NCAA Tournament or a quick exit aren’t the only factors that determine a player’s NBA draft prospects.

The totality of a draft prospect's career is considered when NBA teams evaluate a player – not just a game or even six games.

However, that doesn’t mean March Madness is irrelevant.

Players like UConn’s Donovan Clingan, Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht and Purdue’s Zach Edey helped themselves with impressive tournament performances, and players like Kansas’ Johnny Furphy and Kentucky’s D.J. Wagner didn’t improve their draft stock with late-season efforts.

And a player like Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham is moving up draft boards even though the Wildcats lost in the first round of the tournament.

Let’s take a look at USA TODAY Sports’ post-Final Four NBA mock draft. (Team draft order based on standings after games played April 7.). The NBA draft is June 26-27.

1. Detroit Pistons: Alex Sarr, Perth (Australia) Wildcats

Forward-center, 7-feet-1, 216 pounds, 18 years old

2023-24 stats: 9.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 51.6% FG, 71% FT

A strong defender and shot-blocker who plays with force on both ends; has good hands, uses his body well and though he doesn’t have the prettiest shot, he gets it to go in. His brother player, Olivier, is on two-way G League contract with Oklahoma City.

2. Washington Wizards: Zaccherie Risacher, JL Bourg (France)

Forward, 6-8, 200, 19

2023-24 stats: 9.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 42.8% FG, 34.1% 3PT, 71.3% FT

Has the scoring ability, size, length, quickness and athleticism teams are seeking in today’s NBA. Quick release on catch-and-shoots, is able to create off the dribble and runs the court well.

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3. Charlotte Hornets: Rob Dillingham, Kentucky

Guard, 6-3, 176, 19

2023-24 stats: 15.2 ppg, 3.9 apg, 2.9 rpg, 47% FG, 44% 3PT, 80% FT

As a smaller guard, he is elite at creating own shot, through spot-up shooting or dribble penetration because of his speed and ball-handling. Will need to get stronger and improve shot selection. Even though Kentucky lost in the first round, Dillingham is a hot prospect.

4. San Antonio Spurs: Nikola Topic, KK Crvena Zvezda

Guard, 6-6, 200, 18

2023-24 stats: 18.4 ppg, 7.3 apg, 3.9 rpg, 50% FG, 25.8% 3PT, 86.2% FT

The Serbian point guard, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, has great size for his position; loves to drive to the rim and can finish with either hand; can shoot the 3 but will need to improve his percentage. Strong passer, not flashy, but sees the court and can make the right pass.

5. Portland Trail Blazers: Matas Buzelis, G League Ignite

Forward, 6-10, 209, 19

2023-24 stats: 14.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.9 bpg, 45.3% FG, 26.1% 3PT, 69.6% FT

Good leaping ability, surprises with his dunks, soft shooting touch, plays through contact.

6. Toronto Raptors: Donovan Clingan, UConn

Connecticut center Donovan Clingan dunks against Purdue during the first half of the men's 2024 national championship game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on April 8, 2024.
Connecticut center Donovan Clingan dunks against Purdue during the first half of the men's 2024 national championship game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on April 8, 2024.

Center, 7-2, 280, 20

2023-24 stats: 13 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.5 bpg, 63.9% FG, 58.3% FT

Clingan really improved his draft position as UConn won its second consecutive title. A strong big man with capable hands who is tough to defend in the low post; a worker on the glass, especially offensively; can operate in pick-and-rolls as the screener going to the basket. Has rim protecting skills. Playing away from the basket on both ends will be his challenge in the NBA.

7. Memphis Grizzlies: Reed Sheppard, Kentucky

Guard, 6-3, 187, 19

2023-24 stats: 12.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 4.1 rpg, 2.5 spg, 54% FG, 52% 3PT, 83% FT

Can score, especially off screens, using floaters or pulling up in transition. Lacks elite athleticism but handles ball well enough to warrant look at point guard. Will compete defensively, and rebounds well for his size.

8. Utah Jazz: Stephon Castle, UConn

Guard, 6-6, 215, 19

2023-24 stats: 11.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.9 apg, 47.2% FG, 26.7% 3PT, 75.5% FT

While his stats don’t jump out, he is a big guard, who can slide in at the 4 when a situation dictates. Can create own shot but will be most useful on the defensive end to start career. He doesn’t force shots, picks his spots and was tough to defend in the tournament, scoring 21 against Alabama in the semifinals and 15 against Purdue in the final on a combined 13-for-26 shooting.

9. Houston Rockets: Ron Holland, G League Ignite

Guard, 6-8, 206, 18

2023-24 stats: 19.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.4 spg, 45.5% FG, 23.7% 3PT, 72.8% FT

Sustained season-ending thumb injury but showed his potential as a high-flying wing who flourishes off the dribble and in transition and likes to score; solid shot-blocker for his size; good body control while in the air. His 3-point shot needs improvement.

10. Atlanta Hawks: Dalton Knecht, Tennessee

Guard, 6-6, 213, 22

2023-24 stats: 21.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 47.4% FG, 40.5% 3PT, 75.8% FT

Strong on catch-and-shoot 3s, can drive to the basket with power and finesse and is athletic. Will need work defensively, and yes, he’ll be 23 years old by the draft, but that shouldn’t be a detractor. He delivered great offensive performances late in the season, scoring 40 against Kentucky and 37 against Purdue in the Elite Eight.

11. Chicago Bulls: Cody Williams, Colorado

Forward, 6-8, 190, 19

2023-24 stats: 11.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, 55.2% FG, 41.5% 3PT, 71.4% FT

Williams’ perimeter defense and scoring ability make him a prime candidate for a top-five pick. Can get to the rim with ease, and finishes with power although listed at 6-8, 190 lbs. Has 3-point range, and his mid-range game is solid at the college level.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Ja'Kobe Walter, Baylor

Guard, 6-5, 195, 19

2023-24 stats: 14.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.0 spg, 37.6% FG, 34.1% 3PT, 79.2% FT

Typical 3-and-D player who will fit NBA teams looking for a shotmaker. Will need to make up deficiencies, such as questionable ball-handling skills. He competes defensively and rebounds well for a two-guard.

13. Portland Trail Blazers: Isaiah Collier, Southern California

Guard, 6-5, 210, 19

2023-24 stats: 16.3 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.9 rpg, 1.5 spg, 49% FG, 33.8% 3PT, 67.3% FT

Should be healed from hand injury suffered during season. Has an NBA-ready frame and gets to the rack and finishes. Still needs to work on inconsistent jump shot and can be a shut-down defender if he puts his mind to it.

14. New Orleans Pelicans: Jared McCain, Duke

Guard, 6-3, 197, 20

2023-24 stats: 14.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg, 46.2% FG, 41.4% 3PT, 88.5% FT

An efficient scorer on a talented team, McCain has range from 3 and can shoot it off the dribble or on the catch. Made eight 3-pointers in a game twice this season, including 8-for-11 against James Madison in the NCAA Tournament.

15. Miami Heat: Tidjane Salaun, Cholet (France)

Forward, 6-9, 205, 18

2023-24 stats: 8.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.1 spg, 37.2% FG, 35.2% 3PT, 76% FT

Another athletic and lengthy wing from France who has immense offensive potential as a scorer. Can handle the ball and is focused on making the right play. The success of NBA rookies Victor Wembanyama and Bilal Coulibaly this season has put a spotlight on these young French players.

16. Philadelphia 76ers: Kyle Filipowski, Duke

Center, 7-0, 248, 20

2023-24 stats: 16.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.5 bpg, 1.1 spg, 50.6% FG, 34.8% 3PT, 67.1% FT

A low-post big who uses his size, strength and athleticism. As the screener on pick-and-rolls, he can step outside and hit 3s and go to the bucket for dunks and layups.

17. Toronto Raptors: Tristan da Silva, Colorado

Forward, 6-9, 220, 22

2023-24 stats: 16.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.1 spg, 49.3% FG, 39.5% 3PT, 83.5% FT

Displays a versatile and savvy skillset offensively, including ability to shoot 3s, cut to the rim, post up and run the offense. He played well in the tournament, making 9 of 16 3s.

18. Atlanta Hawks: Devin Carter, Providence

Guard, 6-3, 195, 22

2023-24 stats: 19.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.8 spg, 47.3% FG, 37.7% 3PT, 74.9% FT

Strong, physical guard who can score from multiple spots on the court and will post-up smaller guards. Provides outstanding rebounding and shot-blocking from his position. Son of former NBA guard Anthony Carter.

19. Cleveland Cavaliers: Yves Missi, Baylor

Center, 7-0, 235, 19

2023-24 stats: 10.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 61.4% FG, 61.6% FT

Good athlete and is an effective rim protector and rebounder, but must work on offensive game, especially establishing post moves, to justify lottery pick. Has trouble at free throw line and could add pounds to body to boost draft stock.

20. Phoenix Suns: Zach Edey, Purdue

Purdue center Zach Edey (15) celebrates after blocking a shot against Connecticut during the first half of the 2024 men's national championship game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on April 8, 2024.
Purdue center Zach Edey (15) celebrates after blocking a shot against Connecticut during the first half of the 2024 men's national championship game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on April 8, 2024.

Center, 7-4, 300, 21

2023-24 stats: 25.2 ppg, 12.2 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 62.3% FG, 71.1% FT

Edey was outstanding in the tournament, leading Purdue to the title game where he had 37 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in the loss to UConn. Had 40 points and 16 rebounds against Tennessee in an Elite Eight game. Edey is a bear to defend in the low post, and he may just win the college player of the year award. But in the NBA, is he mobile enough, especially defensively, to keep up with style and pace?

21. New Orleans Pelicans: Kel'el Ware, Indiana

Center, 7-0, 242, 19

2023-24 stats: 15.9 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 1.5 apg, 58.6% FG, 42.5% 3PT, 63.4% FT

Solid defender and rebounder and runs the floor well for a 7-footer. Has tendency to disappear in games but is effective on pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops. Tends to struggle defensively against bigger, stronger foes, but has an offensive game that can translate.

22. New York Knicks: Tyler Smith, G League Ignite

Forward, 6-11, 224, 19

2023-24 stats: 13.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 bpg, 47.4% FG, 36% 3PT, 73.2% FT

Definition of a stretch 4 and as a lefty, he can pick his spots and extend shooting range beyond free-throw line. Ability to space floor, but improvement on defensive end could set him apart from other bigs in this draft class.

23. Orlando Magic: Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas

Guard, 6-7, 212, 23

2023-24 stats: 18.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.5 spg, 45.4% FG, 33.3% 3PT, 80.5% FT

Injury concerns aside, McCullar is an outstanding defender and productive scorer. One of oldest prospects in draft class, can also be a playmaker, and is slotted at a 2 or 3 at the next level.

24. Milwaukee Bucks: Terrence Shannon Jr., Illinois

Guard, 6-6, 225, 23

2023-24 stats: 23.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.0 spg, 47.5% FG, 36.2% 3PT, 80.1% FT

Shannon can score and proved that in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments, putting up at least 26 points in five of his final six games, including 40 against Nebraska. However, he faces a rape charge from an alleged incident in Lawrence, Kansas, and has a preliminary court hearing May 10.

25. New York Knicks: Johnny Furphy, Kansas

Guard, 6-9, 202, 19

2023-24 stats: 9.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 46.6 FG%, 35.2% 3PT, 76.5% FT

Has moved up draft boards, especially with his play in Big 12 regular-season games but dropped a bit after conference and NCAA tournaments. Runs the court well, finishes in transition and can knock down spot-up 3s.

26. Washington Wizards: Bobi Klintman, Cairns (Australia) Taipans

Forward, 6-8, 225, 21

2023-24 stats: 9.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 44.3% FG, 79.3% FT

Likes to run the court, can score in transition or on drives to the bucket; does not have a textbook jump shot, but gets it to go down. Played one season at Wake Forest before going to Australia to start his pro career.

27. Utah Jazz: Carlton Carrington, Pitt

Guard, 6-5, 190, 18

2023-24 stats: 13.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.1 apg, 41.2% FG, 32.2% 3PT, 78.5% FT

Great size for guard who can play point and off the ball. Has range with his shot (he needs to become more proficient) and does a little bit of everything offensively, keeping teammates involved with his passing. He is a solid rebounder.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kyshawn George, Miami

Guard, 6-8, 205, 20

2023-24 stats: 7.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.2 apg, 43% FG, 41.7% 3PT, 77.8% FT

Born in Switzerland, George is inconsistent as a scorer and playmaker, but has the ability to knock down 3s. Has shown enough as a scorer and rebounder with his size to attract first-round attention.

29. Denver Nuggets: Ryan Dunn, Virginia

Guard, 6-8, 216, 21

2023-24 stats: 8.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 1.3 spg, 54.8% FG, 20% 3PT, 54.8% FT

Dunn excels in transition but will need to improve his outside shot and offensive skills in halfcourt offense. Outstanding defender on the ball and as a shot-blocker using his length, strength and athleticism.

30. Boston Celtics: Tyler Kolek, Marquette

Guard, 6-3, 195, 23

2023-24 stats: 15.3 ppg, 7.7 apg, 4.9 rpg, 1.6 spg, 49.6% FG, 38.8% 3PT, 85.1% FT

A playmaker and scorer, especially off the dribble, Kolek sees the court well, operates with savvy in the pick-and-roll and is clever with his finishes at the rim. He has six double-doubles in points and assists this season.

Contributing: Scooby Axson

Follow NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt on social media @JeffZillgitt

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2024 NBA mock draft post-March Madness: Who climbed board? Who fell?