Best picks, worst picks and biggest questions from the 1st round of the NBA Draft

2024 NBA Draft - Round One
2024 NBA Draft - Round One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

It was a relatively calm first round of the 2024 NBA Draft, with none of the earth-shattering trades that were being predicted. 

The Detroit Pistons did surprise fans by choosing Ron Holland II with the 5th pick after a secretive process from which his name never leaked. 

You can read my full grade for the pick here. 

Holland was a controversial pick among fans, but was he one of the worst picks in the draft? 

New entries to the Pistons all-time draft bust starting lineup. New entries to the Pistons all-time draft bust starting lineup. dark. Related Story

Let’s start on the other end. 

Best picks in the 1st round of the 2024 NBA Draft 

#13: Sacramento Kings select Devin Carter 

I like this pick for a team that needs to keep improving its defensive identity, as the Kings have always been able to score. 

Carter can fit in anywhere and will give effort on defense and knock down 3-point shots, so he’ll be able to help the Kings right away. There was buzz he might go higher so the Kings must be happy he fell, as Carter is NBA ready. 

#22: Denver Nuggets select DaRon Holmes II 

The Nuggets always seem to find value later in the draft, part of the reason they are where they are. 

Holmes II fills an immediate need as bench depth who can give them minutes as a shot blocker and versatile defender who can play both spots. He’s going to thrive as a quality role player for the Nuggets and help them immediately. 

Worst picks in the 1st round of the 2024 NBA Draft 

#7: Portland Trail Blazers select Donovan Clingan 

What do you do when you already have over $46 million wrapped up in centers that can’t shoot? Draft another one! 

With Ayton and Robert Williams already on the roster, Clingan is not a clear fit, though this may spell the end for one of those centers in Portland. 

This pick might look better if Portland makes trades, which they probably will, but for now it’s kind of baffling, especially when there were reportedly other teams willing to trade up to get Clingan. 

Biggest questions from the 1st round of the 2024 NBA Draft 

Ron Holland, Matas Buzelis and Cody Williams 

Three wing players with somewhat similar profiles and question marks around their shooting. 

Holland probably has the most defensive upside of the group, but he might also have the worst shot. 

One of these three players is likely to pop and in the case of Holland and Buzelis, it could change the direction of their respective franchise. 

The Detroit Pistons bet on Holland, an explosive athlete who has the potential to be the best perimeter defender in this draft. But there are real questions about fit with Ausar Thompson, Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren, which may force other moves. 

It will be some time before we know which of these wing players end up being the best and it’s one of the more interesting questions from the first round.