2024 NBA Draft Big Board: Kentucky’s Justin Edwards is No. 1 in first prospect rankings of season


In July, I wrote about four early contenders to go No. 1 in the 2024 NBA Draft and two darkhorses who could emerge — highlighted by the always-relevant caveat that the list could change a little or a lot over the next year. Now, as we sit here in late-September, it turns out the answer was that a lot will change and in a short span of time.

Matas Buzelis was No. 1 in our way-too-early rankings for 2024 headlining a loaded G League Ignite crop of talent. That no longer holds after an up and down few months in which he no doubt showcased his potential but also showed he has room to grow if he’s to go No. 1 next summer.

Buzelis bumps down to No. 6 in our updated prospect rankings for 2024 aided in part by his own play but largely due to the rise of other contenders near the top of the class. 

Kentucky’s Edwards is No. 1 in Big Board debut 

Our new No. 1, again with the caveat that this could absolutely change in the coming months, is Kentucky freshman forward Justin Edwards.

Edwards showcased scoring, playmaking and creation for Kentucky in a short stint with the Wildcats in Canada, helping UK bring home hardware despite being limited with injuries to their frontcourt. The former five-star has the physical stature and maturity to be an impact player on and off the ball with a rare blend of length, athleticism and ball skills that makes his projection to the NBA level a natural one.

Holland not far behind at No. 2

On Edwards’ tail is another fast-rising former five-star who also had a good summer in G League Ignite first-year player Ron Holland. Holland, a former Texas signee, looked every bit the part during the team’s recent exhibition games in Vegas vs. the NBL’s Perth Wildcats, as he went off for 56 points in two games and capped his week off with a 33-point explosion to go with five steals and six boards. 

Edwards for now is No. 1 in our rankings, but this is a 1A, 1B situation right now with he and Holland both primed as the clear early favorites.

G League puts four in top 10

Holland’s fellow G League Ignite teammates may have some say in how that race shakes out, though. Buzelis fell to No. 6 in our rankings but remains intriguing as a big-bodied wing who can put the ball on the floor. 

There’s also the meteoric-rising big man in Alexandre Sarr, who was arguably the biggest star of the series against Perth for both sides. Sarr spent the last few seasons with Overtime Elite as an interesting potential first-round pick, and already he looks primed to make the leap from definite first-round pick to possible top-10 pick and darkhorse No. 1 contender. He’s been that impressive.

So how else did the rest of the early rankings shake out in our first official prospect rankings of the 2024 cycle? The first 2024 NBA Draft Big Board Top 10 is below.

2024 NBA Draft Big Board

1 Justin Edwards Kentucky Fr SF 6-8 190
2 Ron Holland G League Ignite N/A SF 6-6 204
3 Isaiah Collier USC Fr. PG 6-5 210
4 Stephon Castle UConn Fr. PG 6-6 215
5 Donovan Clingan UConn Soph. C 7-2 280
6 Matas Buzelis G League Ignite N/A SF 6-8 209
7 Alexandre Sarr G League Ignite N/A C 7-1 205
8 Tyrese Proctor Duke Soph. PG 6-5 183
9 Izan Almansa G League Ignite N/A PF 6-10 216
10 Kyle Filipowski Duke Soph. PF 7-0 248

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