2024 NBA Draft Highlights: Father-Son Duo Enters the Game and “The French Invasion” Continues

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From June 26 to 27, the NBA held its annual NBA Draft, where the top college basketball prospects are selected by all 30 teams. This year’s draft had several highlights on days one and two; tune in as we cover some of the special moments that occurred in this year’s draft.

For those unfamiliar with the format of the NBA Draft, here’s a quick breakdown of how it works:

  • There are two rounds in the draft. Each round has 30 picks, and all teams have the ability to draft college prospects for their team.
  • Typically, draft picks between #1 and #14 are for teams that didn’t manage to make it into the playoffs. The team with the worst record is guaranteed a spot in the top five.
  • The remaining picks (#15 to #30 and #30 to #60) are based on an inverted order of the regular season record. So, the team with the worst record that did not make the lottery becomes the fifteenth pick. The next team with the worst record following the fifteenth pick becomes the sixteenth pick, and so on.
  • Teams can trade their picks throughout the draft. If they do so, the trade will be broadcast and announced by the NBA Commissioner (Adam Silver).
  • To be eligible for the NBA Draft, one year must pass since a prospect last completed high school. Stemming from this rule, you typically see most prospects attend college, play in the developmental league or play internationally for a year before entering the draft. It’s also worth mentioning that players have to be at least 19 by the time the draft takes place.

Now with the basics of the draft covered, let’s dive in with several of the key takeaways of this year’s NBA Draft that we’ve gathered thus far:

The first and second picks of this year’s NBA Draft were French prospects, Zaccharie Risacher (#1) and Alex Sarr (#2). Risacher was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks and Sarr by the Washington Wizards. Both Risacher and Sarr were ranked top two by ESPN, Risacher being the number one ranked and Sarr the second. The two prospects were selected one year after former number #1 pick and current rookie of the year (ROTY) Victor Wembenyama, who is also French. The amount of French prospects being drafted in recent years has been catching widespread attention, even being dubbed “The French Invasion” by several news outlets.

To add to the number of top French prospects being drafted, the sixth pick of this draft was Tidjane Salaün. Salaün was ranked ninth by ESPN. He previously played professional basketball back in his home country of France for the Cholet Basket, where he played for two seasons before declaring for the draft.

The eighth-ranked prospect by ESPN, Rob Dillingham, was initially drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the eighth pick, but was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves during the draft in exchange for future 2030 and 2031 draft picks. It’ll be very exciting to see Dillingham, who was referred to by ESPN as “the most dynamic scoring guard in this draft,” play with the likes of Anthony Edwards, Karl Anthony-Towns and Rudy Gobert. Who knows? Dillingham might be the component needed for the Timberwolves to make the finals next year.

The following pick happened to be top prospect Zach Edey out of Purdue. The 7-foot-4 center was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies. Similar to Dillingham, it’ll be interesting and exciting to see how Edey plays with several key players on the Grizzlies, such as superstar Ja Morant and starting power forward Jaren Jackson Jr.

As the draft progressed, prospect and TikTok star Jared McCain was selected with the sixteenth pick by the Philadelphia 76ers. McCain had a solid season during his time at Duke, where he averaged a decent statline of 14.3 points per game (PPG), five rebounds per game (RPG) and 1.9 assists. Although he doesn’t have the greatest finishing skills at the rim or the strongest playmaking skills, he makes up for it greatly with his sheer competitive skills. McCain’s competitive instincts will most likely match well with those of the 76ers, and he’ll most likely develop and harness the skills that scouts are concerned about over time.

Aside from the first round, the second also had highlights:

Duke forward Kyle Filipowski was drafted with the thirty-second pick of the draft by the Utah Jazz. Initially, Filipowski was slated to be drafted in the middle of the first round and was considered a decent prospect by scouts. Additionally, he was invited into the green room, which is usually where the top prospects reside during the draft. However, Filipowski’s draft stock plummeted, and he collapsed into the second round.

According to several news outlets, teams were troubled about Filipowski’s relationship with his current spouse, who is a bit older than him. The relationship between Filipowski and his spouse has received widespread media attention. It’s worth mentioning that the controversy is mere speculation and hasn’t been confirmed yet. To read more about the speculation surrounding the two, click here.

Lastly, history was also made during the second round. Bronny James (age 19), the son of NBA legend and future Hall of Famer LeBron James (age 39), was drafted with the fifty-fifth pick by the Los Angeles Lakers. For the first time in NBA history, there is a father-son duo playing in the league simultaneously. To add to this special moment, both LeBron and Bronny are on the same team together: the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s a special moment for both the James family and the NBA world. And it’s also very reminiscent of when Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr.  were both on the Mariners from 1990 to 1991.

That concludes several of this year’s draft highlights. If you’re still interested in any other news related to the draft or are curious to see the rest of the draft picks, head on over to the official NBA website to receive up-to-date information on the draft.

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