NBA Rookie Rankings: Top Players for 2024 Class

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Alexandre Sarr does the agility drill during the 2024 NBA Combine on May 13, 2024 at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images
Shane Jackson @Sjacksonmgm Jul 03, 2024, 4:25 PM
  • Alex Sarr is the best player in this year’s rookie class.
  • Reed Sheppard is my No. 2-ranked player.

While this year’s rookie class may not boast immediate star power, it is rich in quality players, assuring a promising future for the NBA.

Every top rookie has areas for improvement. The crucial role of NBA teams will be to harness their strengths and ensure that players can thrive for their respective franchises.

As a result, there will be differing opinions on how these rookies stack up. This particular rookie rankings list is no different, as I strayed from consensus on multiple players in this year’s class.

Here is a look at how I rank the top players in this rookie class and the best way to bet on each player based on the latest NBA odds:

NBA Rookie Rankings 2024

1Alex SarrF/CWizards
2Reed SheppardGRockets
3Ron HollandWPistons
4Donovan ClinganCTrail Blazers
5Devin CarterGKings
6Zaccharie RisacherFHawks
7Matas BuzelisW/FBulls
8Cody WilliamsWJazz
9 Dalton KnechtWLakers
10Stephon CastleG/WSpurs

1. Alex Sarr, F/C

There are offensive concerns for Sarr, but there is no denying his defensive prowess. 

Sarr, who is 7-foot with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, can cover plenty of ground. He averaged 1.5 blocks per game for the Perth Wildcats last year in the NBL.

I’m always willing to bet on players like Sarr to have a solid NBA career as an impact defensive player in the frontcourt. If he does improve on the offensive end, his upside stands out in a weak class.

2. Reed Sheppard, G

At 6-foot-2, Sheppard will be one of the smaller guards in the NBA and could be exposed to teams hunting him on defense. But he shot an absurd 52.1% from long range during his lone season with Kentucky at the collegiate level.

Sheppard is arguably the best shooter in this class, which gives him a higher floor than most rookies.

3. Ron Holland, W

There were rumblings that Holland might slide after an underwhelming season with G League Ignite, but the Detroit Pistons made sure that didn’t happen. They took him with the No. 5 pick.

Holland, 6-foot-6 and 18 years old, has a quick first step and a high motor. He has two-way potential and is a solid basketball odds contender for Rookie of the Year.

4. Donovan Clingan, C

The 7-foot-2 center won back-to-back championships with UConn, flashing a dominant defensive presence with an average of 2.5 blocks per game. However, it’s fair to question Clingan’s conditioning and health after only averaging 22.5 minutes per game last year.

5. Devin Carter, G

Carter, a 6-foot-2 guard with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, is one of the best defensive players in this class. That alone would be enough for me to buy him as a prospect, but the offensive growth he demonstrated last season in Providence was impressive.

The son of Memphis Grizzlies assistant coach Anthony Carter is a superb athlete and averaged 8.7 rebounds per game last year, illustrating his competitiveness.

It’s easy to see why Carter is everyone’s favorite prospect.

6. Zaccharie Risacher, F

Despite Risacher being the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s class, I’m not sold on his upside. He is a streaky shooter who struggles to finish at the rim.

Yet it’s difficult to ignore his measurables as a 6-foot-9 forward. There is a solid floor with this type of player, especially on the defensive end.

7. Matas Buzelis, W/F

Buzelis, who is 6-foot-9, is a versatile offensive player who can succeed with and without the ball. He’s solid in transition and willing to start his own fast break.

After going to the Bulls at No. 11 overall, Buzelis is my early NBA Rookie of the Year odds prediction.

8. Cody Williams, W

The younger brother of Oklahoma City’s Jalen Williams projects to be a two-way wing with incredible measurements at 6-foot-6 and a 7-foot-1 wingspan. It’s easy to see why he’s been one of the biggest risers in this class.

9. Dalton Knecht, W

After averaging 21.7 points per game for Tennessee last year, Knecht has too much scoring potential to fail in the NBA. He’s an excellent shooter with great size at 6-foot-5.

If Knecht can avoid being a liability on the defensive end, he will succeed as a pro.

10. Stephon Castle, G/W

Castle’s weakness is shooting, as he hit just 26.7% of his 3-pointers during his lone collegiate season with UConn. 

The measurables are there for the 6-foot-6 combo guard with a 6-foot-9 wingspan. I just wish the Spurs would surround Wemby with more shooters.

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About the Author

Shane Jackson

Read More @Sjacksonmgm

Shane Jackson is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM, covering MLB and NBA. After graduating from the University of Kansas, his previous stops include, Lawrence Journal-World, Manhattan Mercury, Bet Chicago Sports, WynnBET, and Sportsbook Review.

Shane Jackson is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM, covering MLB and NBA. After graduating from the University of Kansas, his previous stops include, Lawrence Journal-World, Manhattan Mercury, Bet Chicago Sports, WynnBET, and Sportsbook Review.