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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Brazos County officials are distributing free backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for K-12 students on July 12 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Bryan High Silver Campus Cafeteria.
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Texas A&M infielder Ali Camarillo (2) thros to first during Texas A&M’s game against Louisiana at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Regional Final at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
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Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

Projected Top 5 picks of the 2024 NBA Draft

Photo by Ishika Samant
Graduate G Tyrece Radford (23) shoots the ball during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024 at Reed Arena.(Ishka Samant/The Battalion)

In the 2024 NBA draft, there is an incredible amount of talent available for teams to pick. We have players from college basketball, G-League and overseas who display high levels of talent. In this article, I will review my projected top 5 picks in this year’s NBA Draft on June 26th, 5 p.m. CT. Other stories surrounding this year’s draft include buzz around which team will take Bronny James, what JJ Redick can do for the Lakers to make them a winning team again, and which NBA rookie will have the biggest first-year impact.

#1. Zaccharie Risacher – France
Atlanta Hawks
Comparison: Harrison Barnes
The Hawks have a variety of talent to choose from with the top selection. Because they have an All-Star backcourt (Trae Young and Dejaunte Murray) and reliable big men (Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu), the Hawks could use some help on their wing positions. With Saddiq Bey and AJ Griffin struggling from deep, adding a “3 and D” player would satisfy their needs. With the 1st pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks should select Zaccharie Risacher from France. Risacher is a great off-ball defender and is a confident 3-point shooter. He is great in catch-and-shoot situations and can also finish at the basket.

#2. Alex Sarr – France
Washington Wizards
Comparison: Jared Jackson Jr.
The Wizards are in need of a big man who can defend and score. They currently do not have a true center on their roster and have been playing small ball the whole season. In the regular season, the Wizards finished last in “Opponents 2nd chance points” and tied for last in “Opponents points in the paint”. They could definitely use the dominance down low and the interior defense. With the 2nd pick in the 2024 NBA draft, the Washington Wizards should select Alex Sarr from France. The athletic big man handles the ball like a guard and at 6 ’11 ¾ can more than hold his own in the frontcourt. Sarr is a great finisher around the basket, a skilled passer and a great rim protector. Without a doubt, he will be able to intimidate and lock down the paint for the Wizards.

#3. Reed Sheppard – Kentucky
Houston Rockets
Comparison: Donte DiVincenzo
With a great young center in Alpheren Sengun, the Rockets need some complementary pieces to build around him. Houston is ready to move on from its current starting shooting guard (Jalen Green) and replace him with a knockdown shooter. While putting up solid numbers this past season, Green shot around 42% from the field and 33% from deep. If the Rockets want to become a playoff team, they have to have reliable knockdown shooters on their wings. With the 3rd pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, the Houston Rockets should select Reed Sheppard out of Duke University. Sheppard is an absolute sniper from 3-point range as he shot a ridiculous 52.1% from 3-point territory last season at Duke. He is also a solid playmaker as he averaged 4.5 assists per game in that same season. He will provide the Rockets with a reliable knockdown shooter who can distribute the ball to his teammates.

#4. Nikola Topić – Serbia
San Antonio Spurs
Comparison: Goran Dragic
After a great 2023 draft courtesy of the Victor Wembenyama pick, the Spurs are looking to add to their roster to build around the 7 ‘4 Frenchman. A great passer and efficient scorer is going to be their target in this year’s draft. With the 4th pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs should select Nikola Topić from Serbia. The 18 year old has proven to be an efficient scorer as he shot almost 50% from the field last season. He is also a beast out of the pick-and-roll which would pair well with Spurs star Wembenyama. This would be a great fit for San Antonio.

#5. Stephon Castle – UConn
Detroit Pistons
Comparison- RJ Barrett
Following a season where the Pistons finished with a last place 14-68 record, they are in need of a spark. While they have solid young talent right now with Cade Cunningham and Jalen Duren, they will need some help on the wings. Detroit finished the 2024 season tied for last in steals per game and requires some help on the perimeter. With the 5th pick in the 2024 NBA draft, the Detroit Pistons should select Stephon Castle from the University of Connecticut. Castle is a great all-around defender and will certainly disrupt offenses in the league. He is also very efficient at the rim and does not shy away from contact. Castle would be a great fit for Detroit.

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About the Contributor
Ishika Samant
Ishika Samant, Former Photo Chief
Ishika Samant served multiple roles at The Battalion as photo chief, managing editor, multimedia editor and social media editor through her tenure from 2021 to 2024.
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