2024 NBA Mock Draft: Raptors win the Lottery, Kentucky guards plummet

It's time for another 2024 NBA Mock Draft! This version has the Raptors picking first, the Spurs taking another Frenchman, and Kentucky's guards plummeting.
Jesse Wagstaff, Alex Sarr, Perth Wildcats and Matas Buzelis, Ron Holland, G League Ignite
Jesse Wagstaff, Alex Sarr, Perth Wildcats and Matas Buzelis, Ron Holland, G League Ignite / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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8. Utah Jazz select Ron Holland

Ron Holland was the No. 1 prospect in the draft class when he chose to play for the G League Ignite, but a rocky season has tarnished his standing. That could be more on the Ignite than Holland, though, and that's the evaluation that NBA teams will be trying to make.

Holland is 6'8" with a smooth shot and a comfort level shooting from all three levels; he loves to get to his spot inside the arc and rise up to shoot. Against G League defenders, however, he struggled to gain separation and often settled for contested jumpers.

On the Utah Jazz, he would be part of a flowing offensive system that would manufacture open looks and advantage touches, setting him up for success. If he can put the offensive package together he has the ability to be an All-Star; at worst, however, he has the size and tools to be a long-term rotation player. For a Jazz team that desperately needs 2s and 3s, he's worth drafting here.

9. Houston Rockets select Reed Sheppard

Anyone watching college basketball this season would likely be surprised to see Reed Sheppard fall this low, and it's very possible the Kentucky guard goes much higher. He was one of the best shooters in the nation and a bulldog on defense. He is the kind of player who knows exactly where to be and what his team needs.

The Houston Rockets have elite athletes, they have high-volume scorers, they have toolsy defenders, they have skilled bigs. What they don't have is a young backcourt player who combines defense and shooting; Fred VanVleet won't be running the show forever, and whether it's Jalen Green or Amen Thompson or Cam Whitmore taking over, they need a complementary player just like Sheppard to step in.

He can be the guard defender the Rockets need in their young core, as despite his 6'3" size he is a difference-maker at that end. On offense, he can shoot it from anywhere and will help space the court for Alperen Sengun, Thompson or anyone else he is playing alongside. Sheppard could be a steal at pick No. 9, and he's certainly an ideal addition for the Rockets.