Yahoo Sports NBA Draft analyst Krysten Peek takes you through her early projections for the Top 5 picks in the 2024 NBA Draft.
KRYSTEN PEEK: The college basketball season is underway and we've already seen a couple players have big-time performances early on that have gotten NBA scouts' attention. Unlike last year, with Victor Wembanyama, the top of the 2024 NBA draft is wide open and we could see new players crack the lottery in the next couple of months.
Let's take a look at the early projected top five in the draft and how they've made strong statements early on. First up is USC freshman Isaiah Collier. Collier entered the college season as the number one high school player coming in. And he looks fantastic early on. In his first three games, he's averaging 20 points, 4 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. And his shot off the dribble looks much better from last year. For a team like the Washington Wizards, looking for their next franchise guard, Collier could be a player they're eyeing if they get the number one pick next June.
Next up is 7 foot center playing for the Perth Wildcats down in Australia, Alex Sarr. Sarr is the younger brother of Oklahoma City center Olivier Sarr and burst onto the draft scene after playing extremely well in a pair of exhibition games against the loaded G League Ignite in September. Since then, he's been holding his own and sometimes dominating players twice his age in Australia, averaging 9.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 18 minutes on the court.
At number three is Baylor's sharpshooter Ja'kobe Walter. The 6 foot 5 combo guard has met high expectations early on and is averaging 40% from 3-point range on six attempts per game. Defensively, he's great on the boards and is always looking to push the ball up the court. In a close first game against Auburn, Walter finished with a game high 28 points and connected on 4 3-pointers.
Coming in at number four is G League Ignite wing Ron Holland. The Ignite had a rough start to the regular G League season but there's still a ton of potential and upside to like about Holland. At 6 foot 8, he has speed and can handle the ball in traffic. He loves to play above the rim and has a solid mid-range game. His biggest area of development is his 3-point shot. And scouts will be watching his progression closely this season.
And finally is Holland's teammate, Matas Buzelis. The 6 foot 9 forward has added 20 pounds to his frame from his high school season and has the versatility to play inside out at the four position and athleticism to guard the wing off the switch. Buzelis has been sidelined with a minor injury to start the season but is a player projected high in the lottery early on.
There will be plenty of movement in the lottery and the first round in the coming months as the college and professional season continues. And for all information on the NBA draft and NBA news, keep it right here on Yahoo Sports.