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Ranking the 5 most underrated prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft

This handful of players should be leaping up draft boards.



Mar 14, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard Carlton Carrington (7) drives to the basket as Wake Forest Demon Deacons guard Hunter Sallis (23) defends at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard Carlton Carrington (7) drives to the basket as Wake Forest Demon Deacons guard Hunter Sallis (23) defends at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With night one just two weeks away, it’s time to delve a little deeper and rank the most underrated prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft.

There’s no consensus top player among teams; there might not even be a consensus top group. Alex Sarr and Zaccharie Risacher land at Nos. 1 and 2 in most mock drafts, but after that, things go haywire.

With what’s so widely considered a weak class, will teams draft for need? For upside? How many will trade down in the first round or out completely? There should be no shortage of surprises and fireworks on June 26 (or the second round on June 27).

To that end, here are five prospects who are being overlooked, ranked in order from, “Yeah, he should probably go a little higher,” to “That guy should be the No. 1 pick.”

5 most underrated prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft

5. Devin Carter

Devin Carter may end up being the most immediately impactful player in this class. He averaged 8.4 rebounds last year at Providence and racked up 77 career blocks – as a 6-foot-3 guard.

His combination of elite perimeter defense and rebounding (buoyed by his 6-foot-9 wingspan) make him a valuable prospect on its own, but add in his 37.7 percent shooting from three last season and improvement as a pick-and-roll playmaker and you get a unique player who can help a contending team in multiple ways.

The 22-year-old has steadily climbed boards and may be a lock to go somewhere in the lottery, but he has an argument to be a top-eight selection if not top-six.

4. Dalton Knecht

Despite averaging nearly 22 points per game and shooting almost 40 percent from three on a high volume, Dalton Knecht has gotten lost in the pre-draft shuffle.

Sure, he’s an older prospect at 23 and could be a defensive liability in certain matchups, but the latter is being overblown. Knecht is strong and competitive with a 6-9 wingspan and performed well in agility tests at the combine. He won’t be a sieve on defense.

But more than anything, the Tennessee product is a pure scorer whose skill set will undoubtedly translate. He has deep range on his shot and is comfortable coming off screens, pin-downs or spot-ups.

He’s not simply a shooter, though; he can attack closeouts and get to the rim where he’s a solid finisher. He can create his own shot off the dribble and can pull up from three or from the mid-range.

Knecht is a polished offensive player who will get buckets the second he steps on an NBA floor.

3. Carlton Carrington

A 6-foot-4 combo guard with a 6-8 wingspan, obvious shotmaking skills and the ability to play as a pick-and-roll creator, Carlton Carrington is tailor-made to play in an NBA backcourt.

Still one of the youngest players in the draft at 18 years old, he has drool-worthy upside. Carrington averaged 13.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists (compared to just 1.9 turnovers despite a 23 percent usage rate) as a freshman in the ACC.

He shot just 32.2 percent from deep on the season which is a concern, but he hit 38.9 percent of his threes over his last 12 games, including a 7-for-12 performance against Boston College on March 2.

The Baltimore native’s positional size, proven shotmaking and flashes of high-level point guard ability at his age point to a potential All-Star, which should have him in consideration to be a top-10 pick.

2. Ron Holland

Ron Holland was the No. 1 high school recruit in the class of 2023 according to both ESPN and 247Sports before landing with the G League Ignite. He had significant issues with his shooting efficiency and decision-making last year, and his season ended early after he tore a ligament in his thumb.

Overall, it was a disappointing season for Holland in the G League.

But the flashes of stardom in his game are being drowned out by the drawbacks.

He scored 19.5 points per game – which led the Ignite – relying almost exclusively on his speed, athleticism and explosiveness at the rim. He has a non-stop motor and is one of the most competitive players in this class.

He’s also 6-foot-7 and only 18 years old. A player with Holland’s pedigree, natural physical gifts and all-out relentlessness should be getting looks closer to the top five.

1. Stephon Castle

Castle is a near lock to be a top five, maybe top three selection.

He should be the No. 1 pick in this draft.

The 19-year-old can defend at least three positions, possibly four, with his sturdy 6-foot-6 frame and tenacity on that end of the floor. He’s versatile offensively, capable of playing either guard spot or on the wing.

As the fifth starter on a veteran UConn team that won its second straight national title, Castle didn’t get to show his full repertoire as a pick-and-roll playmaker. He can use his change-of-pace dribble to navigate through defenses and his size and strength to bully through contact.

He’s never been a knockdown shooter, but even if he doesn’t become a major threat from deep, his versatility on both ends of the floor, potential as a lead ballhandler and tone-setting defensive aggressiveness give him a chance to be the most impactful prospect in the 2024 draft.

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Andrew Hanlon is the Assistant Editor for The Dunk Central. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and has been writing about sports professionally for more than a decade. He started out covering local high school sports before transitioning into a full-time NBA connoisseur. He has been published on FanSided, SBNation and Sportscasting.