Best and worst picks of the NBA Draft first round

2024 NBA Draft - Round One
2024 NBA Draft - Round One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The first round of the 2024 NBA Draft didn’t have nearly as much action as some predicted. There weren’t many trades and all of teams at the top kept their picks. 

The Chicago Bulls drafted Matas Buzelis with the 11th overall selection, a guy who was ranked in the top five by many publications. 

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He was one of the best value picks in the first round but there were others that made far less sense. 

Best picks in the 1st round of the 2024 NBA Draft 

Let’s start with three picks I loved for their respective teams: 

#11: Matas Buzelis to the Chicago Bulls 

You can read my full grade for the pick here, so I’ll keep it short. Buzelis has elite size and athleticism for a wing and if his shot develops could be the two-way steal of the draft. Things fell into place when the Pistons took Ron Holland and the Jazz selected Cody Williams, who both would have been possibilities for Chicago. 

#13: Devin Carter to the Sacramento Kings 

I love this pick for the Kings, who get a player who can step in and make an impact right away. 

He’s a good defender and 3-point shooter who can fit with a lot of lineups because of his rebounding. He’ll be another impact defender coming off the bench with Keon Ellis. 

#18: Tristan da Silva to the Orlando Magic 

The Magic built their team around jumbo wings and defense but lacked shooting. Now they have some in da Silva, another big wing who shot just under 40 percent from 3-point range and should be able to play right away. 

Orlando addressed their biggest need and got a guy with a high floor who can help them now. 

Now onto the picks that were questionable. 

Worst picks of the 2024 NBA Draft 

#7: Donovan Clingan to the Portland Trail Blazers 

I like Clingan as a prospect and think he’s one of the safest bets as a rim protector. 

But he has limited range offensively and Portland already has a guy who fits that description in Deandre Ayton, who is still under contract for two more seasons at a hefty price. 

Portland may try to move Ayton (good luck) but if not is potentially bringing a $35 million player or the 7th pick in the draft off of the bench while they are trying to rebuild, as it is hard to picture a world outside of the 1990's where the two can play together.

This one could look a lot different depending on what further moves the Trail Blazers make. 

#9: Zach Edey to the Memphis Grizzlies 

I should first say that I am higher on Edey than most. I also like him as a fit for Memphis, as they can move Jaren Jackson Jr. to power forward and Edey and Morant are instantly an intriguing pick-and-roll option. 

My question is whether anyone else was going to take Edey this high. Couldn’t Memphis have traded back? I am not privy to NBA big boards but it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the top 12 taking him. 

I like Edey for Memphis, just think they could have squeezed a little more value out of their pick. 

#10: Cody Williams to the Utah Jazz 

Williams is another prospect I like. He has a fairly high floor as a two-way wing and has NBA DNA. But he doesn’t scream Utah Jazz to me, and they already have similar players at his position in Lauri Markkanen, John Collins and Taylor Hendricks. 

Williams can potentially play alongside any of those guys, but if they keep them all, it’s going to be hard for everyone to get minutes. Like Portland, Utah may look to shed the surplus (probably John Collins) which could make this pick look different but for now, their forward rotation is crowded.