NBA Draft Combine 2024 winners and losers, starring Bronny James, Zach Edey, and more

May 15, 2024 | Sports | 0 comments

Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Let’s go over the biggest winners and losers of the 2024 NBA Draft combine.

The 2024 NBA Draft has been defined by its lack of consensus at the top of the class from the very start of the cycle, and a wild draft lottery certainly didn’t help add any more clarity. The Atlanta Hawks cashed in on a three percent chance to jump up and win the lottery from the No. 10 position. Atlanta is projected to select French big man Alex Sarr with the No. 1 overall pick in our latest mock draft, but the first pick is far from the sure thing it usually is after the lottery is finalized.

Ask five scouts who they view as the best prospect in this class and you may get five different answers. That uncertainty has trickled down to the rest of the class, setting the stage for the 2024 NBA Draft combine.

Players were measured, tested, and pushed in drills and scrimmages in Chicago in the wake of the lottery. While the NBA combine isn’t as influential as the NFL version, there are still players every year who parlay a standout showing at the combine to a leap up the draft board. When I wrote this column in 2022, the first player named as a winner was Jalen Williams. Two years later, he’s a breakout star for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

Let’s dive in to the biggest takeaways from the 2024 NBA Draft Combine.

Winner: Devin Carter

Devin Carter, the son of former NBA guard Anthony Carter, blossomed into a star in his junior season at Providence. Always a stout point-of-attack defender, Carter suddenly became a dangerous pull-up three-point shooter and a skilled finisher around the basket. His breakout season earned him Big East Player of the Year honors, and put him squarely on first round radars for the 2024 draft.

Carter’s showing at the combine should only help his stock. Here’s a brief recap of his time in Chicago:

Measured with a +6.5-inch wingspan (6’2.25’’ barefoot height with 6’8.75’’ wingspan)
Set the combine record for the fastest 3⁄4 court sprint time (2.87 seconds)
Finished No. 1 in the class in max vertical leap at 42 inches
Finished third in Lane Agility Time
Placed No. 10 in shuttle run

Carter can jump out of the gym.

Providence’s Devin Carter w/ a 42” max vertical leap, tied for the best at the NBA Draft Combine.

Also tied the top standing vert mark at 35”.

Looking really bouncy. pic.twitter.com/rmBB6GGhr4

— Jon Chepkevich (@JonChep) May 13, 2024

Of course, that was evident on tape, too.

I think Devin Carter is going to test well vertically at the combine pic.twitter.com/r7pKdqpYd6

— Stone Hansen (@report_court) April 12, 2024

We had Carter projected No. 15 to the Miami Heat in our post-lottery mock draft. That felt like a higher-end outcome for his draft position, but he may have just moved up another couple spots.

Winner: Reed Sheppard’s leaping

We knew Sheppard would measure small, and that’s exactly what he did by logging a 6’1.75’’ barefoot height with a 6’3.25’’ wingspan. What the NBA probably didn’t expect was that Sheppard would tie Carter, Arizona forward Keshad Johnson, and NBL wing Trentyn Flowers as the best leaper in the class.

Reed Sheppard measured a 42 inch max vertical leap. Best at the NBA draft combine so far. pic.twitter.com/MhQsWsDFJG

— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 13, 2024

Sheppard’s signature skill is his shooting, which grades out at or near the top of the class after making 52 percent of his threes with Kentucky. He also might have the best hands defensively of any player in this draft. None of that is going to fully offset Sheppard’s physical limitations of often being the smallest player on an NBA court, but at least it’s nice to see he can gain a few inches in the air when he’s making a hard contest on a closeout.

Winner: Zach Edey

Zach Edey is a legitimate giant, but anyone who watched college basketball the last four years already knew that. Edey’s measurements at the combine confirmed he’ll the be the second longest player in the NBA next year behind Victor Wembanyama. He’ll also be the heaviest player in the league at 299 pounds.

Edey measured at 7’3.75’’ barefoot height with a 7’10.75’ wingspan and 9’ 7.00’’ standing reach. He also had 10-inch hands, which tied Donovan Clingan for the biggest in the class. Edey also trimmed a little time off his sprints, and beat Clingan in the 3⁄4 run.

7’4” Zach Edey running the 3/4 court sprint at the combine pic.twitter.com/6vjdGc5q2y

— Krysten Peek (@krystenpeek) May 13, 2024

Of course, it’s no surprise that Edey is huge. The real reason we’re putting him as a winner from the draft combine is because there are apparently people in NBA front offices who view Edey as a potential top-10 pick, according to ESPN’s Jon Givony.

Edey has quite a few fans around the NBA at this point, and there are plenty of executives who say they have him ranked as a lottery pick, or even as a top-10 prospect because of how well he rates in their analytics models

We had Edey projected as the No. 26 pick to the Washington Wizards in our latest mock draft. Read our in-depth scouting report on his NBA translation.

Winner: Bronny James

Bronny James’ freshman year at USC began with a terrifying scene at a summer practice when he collapsed due to a heart defect. James missed the few first weeks of the season before eventually returning to play, but by that time the Trojans were already off to a rough start. He never looked fully comfortable on the court, and ended the year with limited production in a small role off the bench.

James’ draft stock has been a point of contention ever since. We scouted James extensively as a high school player, and have long believed there’s a pathway for him to be a legitimate NBA role player. We even advised James to enter this draft class and see where the chips fall, and that’s exactly what he plans to do. James is reportedly all-in on the draft, and he’s been fully cleared to play by the league’s safety panel. He was the biggest attraction at the combine, and for the most part he acquitted himself well.

James measured at 6’1.50’’ barefoot with a 6’7.25’’ wingspan at 210 pounds. He posted a 40.5-inch vertical, which tied for the sixth-highest at the event.

Bronny James records a 40.50 inch max vertical at the NBA Draft Combine.

4th highest of any participant. pic.twitter.com/a5cuAXEMRx

— Joe Doerrer (@jd3hoops) May 13, 2024

James also shot the ball extremely well in drills. His offensive skill set hinges on the ability to space the floor and knock down shots, and he certainly looked good doing it in an empty gym.

Bronny just went a full minute and 15 seconds without missing in movement shooting drill, which is also a test for conditioning, shooting when tired. Impressive stuff here pic.twitter.com/SD6p95cK07

— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) May 14, 2024

James played in the first scrimmage, starting for the winning team. He finished 2-of-8 from the field for four points, four rebounds, two steals, and three turnovers. It was an underwhelming performance, but tested well enough in terms of strength and athleticism to help his stock a bit this week.

Winner: Adem Bona

Bona had a solid sophomore season for a decidedly mid UCLA team. The big man has long showcased impressive athleticism and physicality, and he proved it at the combine.

Bona graded out with the best athletic performance of any player at the combine, according to Jared Dubin’s model:

Unlike in many recent seasons, most of the top prospects actually participated in this year’s NBA Combine.

So, using 25 years of combine data, the bSPARQ athleticism ratings are back.

Who are the best and worst athletes in the 2024 NBA Draft?

Free/ .https://t.co/BIqZJp20PY pic.twitter.com/UFF2qN3XL7

— Yaya Dubin (@JADubin5) May 15, 2024

Bona posted a 40-inch vertical at 243 pounds, which is pretty remarkable. He struggled with turnovers and fouls in the scrimmage, but still showed off his ability to run the floor, finish above the rim, and compete on the glass. He’s an interesting second round big man in this class.

Loser: Donovan Clingan’s athleticism

Clingan is absolutely massive at 7’1.75’’ barefoot with a 7’6.75’’ wingspan at 282 pounds. It’s hard to find basketball players this big and this smart, which is why he’s being projected as a likely top-10, possibly top-5 pick in this class.

No one expects Clingan to be a burner at his size, but his testing was still a bit underwhelming. He was either dead last or close to it in lane agility, shuttle run, and 3⁄4 court sprint, losing to Edey in all three events. His 29-inch vertical leap was the third lowest among all players, and a couple inches below Edey.

Clingan shot the ball decently well in drills, but it’s hard to believe that’s going to translate to games. He only made 55 percent of his free throws over two years at UConn, and shot only 2-of-9 from three-point range as a college player.

Feels like part of the predraft plan for Clingan will be really trying to sell teams on long-term shooting potential pic.twitter.com/MXASu3jCZu

— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) May 13, 2024

Clingan’s fingerprints are all over UConn’s back-to-back national championships, and the game tape was always going to do way more for him than the testing. There are concerns about his conditioning and foot speed, though, and he didn’t exactly put those to bed at the combine.

Loser: Rob Dillingham’s weight

Dillingham is the most electric on-ball creator in this class, which is why we have him projected to go No. 3 overall to the Houston Rockets in our latest mock. His ability to knockdown shots on- and off-the-ball, break through tight spaces with his advanced ball handling, and tremendous vision as a passer makes him an appealing prospect in a league emphasizing speed and skill.

The flip side is that Dillingham is just very, very small. He measured at 6’1 barefoot with a 6’3 wingspan. He only weighed 164.2 pounds. That gives Dillingham similar dimensions to Trae Young at the 2018 combine, but he’s quite a bit lighter: Young weighed in at 177.8 pounds entering the league.

For what Dillingham lacks in size, he certainly makes up for it with charisma on and off the court.

Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham was great to talk with. Energetic, funny, charismatic personality.

He even thanked @SBN_Ricky for pointing out his floor general abilities pic.twitter.com/26lQPpEuA7

— Will Gottlieb (@Will_Gottlieb) May 14, 2024

Three other players who impressed us at the combine

Jonathan Mogbo, F, San Francisco: Mogbo will be labeled as an undersized big man who can’t shoot, but it’s impossible not to be impressed by his mix of physicality and skill. He’s so good at attacking in transition, is a skilled finisher and passer, has tremendous body control, and always plays with a high motor. A 7’2 wingspan for a guy who barely measured 6’6 barefoot is pretty nice, too.

DaRon Holmes, F/C, Dayton: Holmes measured well with a 7’1 wingspan at 236 pounds. Judging by our 10-minute conversation in media availability, he’s also going to impress teams in interviews. He’s an incredibly chill guy who is easy to be around and fun to talk to. He should be a wonderful teammate in addition to having plenty of NBA-caliber skills.

Jamal Shead, G, Houston: Shead was the standout of the second scrimmage, which is no surprise if you watched his Houston career. He’s an elite on-ball defender for a guard, and turned into a solid scorer when he needed to for the Cougars this year. He looks like a potential second round steal.
[#item_full_content]Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Let’s go over the biggest winners and losers of the 2024 NBA Draft combine. The 2024 NBA Draft has been defined by its lack of consensus at the top of the class from the very start of the cycle, and a wild draft lottery certainly didn’t help add any more clarity. The Atlanta Hawks cashed in on a three percent chance to jump up and win the lottery from the No. 10 position. Atlanta is projected to select French big man Alex Sarr with the No. 1 overall pick in our latest mock draft, but the first pick is far from the sure thing it usually is after the lottery is finalized.
Ask five scouts who they view as the best prospect in this class and you may get five different answers. That uncertainty has trickled down to the rest of the class, setting the stage for the 2024 NBA Draft combine.
Players were measured, tested, and pushed in drills and scrimmages in Chicago in the wake of the lottery. While the NBA combine isn’t as influential as the NFL version, there are still players every year who parlay a standout showing at the combine to a leap up the draft board. When I wrote this column in 2022, the first player named as a winner was Jalen Williams. Two years later, he’s a breakout star for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2024 NBA Playoffs.
Let’s dive in to the biggest takeaways from the 2024 NBA Draft Combine.
Winner: Devin Carter
Devin Carter, the son of former NBA guard Anthony Carter, blossomed into a star in his junior season at Providence. Always a stout point-of-attack defender, Carter suddenly became a dangerous pull-up three-point shooter and a skilled finisher around the basket. His breakout season earned him Big East Player of the Year honors, and put him squarely on first round radars for the 2024 draft.
Carter’s showing at the combine should only help his stock. Here’s a brief recap of his time in Chicago:

Measured with a +6.5-inch wingspan (6’2.25’’ barefoot height with 6’8.75’’ wingspan)
Set the combine record for the fastest 3⁄4 court sprint time (2.87 seconds)
Finished No. 1 in the class in max vertical leap at 42 inches
Finished third in Lane Agility Time
Placed No. 10 in shuttle run

Carter can jump out of the gym.

Providence’s Devin Carter w/ a 42” max vertical leap, tied for the best at the NBA Draft Combine.Also tied the top standing vert mark at 35”.Looking really bouncy. pic.twitter.com/rmBB6GGhr4— Jon Chepkevich (@JonChep) May 13, 2024

Of course, that was evident on tape, too.

I think Devin Carter is going to test well vertically at the combine pic.twitter.com/r7pKdqpYd6— Stone Hansen (@report_court) April 12, 2024

We had Carter projected No. 15 to the Miami Heat in our post-lottery mock draft. That felt like a higher-end outcome for his draft position, but he may have just moved up another couple spots.
Winner: Reed Sheppard’s leaping
We knew Sheppard would measure small, and that’s exactly what he did by logging a 6’1.75’’ barefoot height with a 6’3.25’’ wingspan. What the NBA probably didn’t expect was that Sheppard would tie Carter, Arizona forward Keshad Johnson, and NBL wing Trentyn Flowers as the best leaper in the class.

Reed Sheppard measured a 42 inch max vertical leap. Best at the NBA draft combine so far. pic.twitter.com/MhQsWsDFJG— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 13, 2024

Sheppard’s signature skill is his shooting, which grades out at or near the top of the class after making 52 percent of his threes with Kentucky. He also might have the best hands defensively of any player in this draft. None of that is going to fully offset Sheppard’s physical limitations of often being the smallest player on an NBA court, but at least it’s nice to see he can gain a few inches in the air when he’s making a hard contest on a closeout.
Winner: Zach Edey
Zach Edey is a legitimate giant, but anyone who watched college basketball the last four years already knew that. Edey’s measurements at the combine confirmed he’ll the be the second longest player in the NBA next year behind Victor Wembanyama. He’ll also be the heaviest player in the league at 299 pounds.
Edey measured at 7’3.75’’ barefoot height with a 7’10.75’ wingspan and 9’ 7.00’’ standing reach. He also had 10-inch hands, which tied Donovan Clingan for the biggest in the class. Edey also trimmed a little time off his sprints, and beat Clingan in the 3⁄4 run.

7’4” Zach Edey running the 3/4 court sprint at the combine pic.twitter.com/6vjdGc5q2y— Krysten Peek (@krystenpeek) May 13, 2024

Of course, it’s no surprise that Edey is huge. The real reason we’re putting him as a winner from the draft combine is because there are apparently people in NBA front offices who view Edey as a potential top-10 pick, according to ESPN’s Jon Givony.
Edey has quite a few fans around the NBA at this point, and there are plenty of executives who say they have him ranked as a lottery pick, or even as a top-10 prospect because of how well he rates in their analytics models
We had Edey projected as the No. 26 pick to the Washington Wizards in our latest mock draft. Read our in-depth scouting report on his NBA translation.
Winner: Bronny James
Bronny James’ freshman year at USC began with a terrifying scene at a summer practice when he collapsed due to a heart defect. James missed the few first weeks of the season before eventually returning to play, but by that time the Trojans were already off to a rough start. He never looked fully comfortable on the court, and ended the year with limited production in a small role off the bench.
James’ draft stock has been a point of contention ever since. We scouted James extensively as a high school player, and have long believed there’s a pathway for him to be a legitimate NBA role player. We even advised James to enter this draft class and see where the chips fall, and that’s exactly what he plans to do. James is reportedly all-in on the draft, and he’s been fully cleared to play by the league’s safety panel. He was the biggest attraction at the combine, and for the most part he acquitted himself well.
James measured at 6’1.50’’ barefoot with a 6’7.25’’ wingspan at 210 pounds. He posted a 40.5-inch vertical, which tied for the sixth-highest at the event.

Bronny James records a 40.50 inch max vertical at the NBA Draft Combine. 4th highest of any participant. pic.twitter.com/a5cuAXEMRx— Joe Doerrer (@jd3hoops) May 13, 2024

James also shot the ball extremely well in drills. His offensive skill set hinges on the ability to space the floor and knock down shots, and he certainly looked good doing it in an empty gym.

Bronny just went a full minute and 15 seconds without missing in movement shooting drill, which is also a test for conditioning, shooting when tired. Impressive stuff here pic.twitter.com/SD6p95cK07— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) May 14, 2024

James played in the first scrimmage, starting for the winning team. He finished 2-of-8 from the field for four points, four rebounds, two steals, and three turnovers. It was an underwhelming performance, but tested well enough in terms of strength and athleticism to help his stock a bit this week.
Winner: Adem Bona
Bona had a solid sophomore season for a decidedly mid UCLA team. The big man has long showcased impressive athleticism and physicality, and he proved it at the combine.
Bona graded out with the best athletic performance of any player at the combine, according to Jared Dubin’s model:

Unlike in many recent seasons, most of the top prospects actually participated in this year’s NBA Combine.So, using 25 years of combine data, the bSPARQ athleticism ratings are back.Who are the best and worst athletes in the 2024 NBA Draft?Free/ .https://t.co/BIqZJp20PY pic.twitter.com/UFF2qN3XL7— Yaya Dubin (@JADubin5) May 15, 2024

Bona posted a 40-inch vertical at 243 pounds, which is pretty remarkable. He struggled with turnovers and fouls in the scrimmage, but still showed off his ability to run the floor, finish above the rim, and compete on the glass. He’s an interesting second round big man in this class.
Loser: Donovan Clingan’s athleticism
Clingan is absolutely massive at 7’1.75’’ barefoot with a 7’6.75’’ wingspan at 282 pounds. It’s hard to find basketball players this big and this smart, which is why he’s being projected as a likely top-10, possibly top-5 pick in this class.
No one expects Clingan to be a burner at his size, but his testing was still a bit underwhelming. He was either dead last or close to it in lane agility, shuttle run, and 3⁄4 court sprint, losing to Edey in all three events. His 29-inch vertical leap was the third lowest among all players, and a couple inches below Edey.
Clingan shot the ball decently well in drills, but it’s hard to believe that’s going to translate to games. He only made 55 percent of his free throws over two years at UConn, and shot only 2-of-9 from three-point range as a college player.

Feels like part of the predraft plan for Clingan will be really trying to sell teams on long-term shooting potential pic.twitter.com/MXASu3jCZu— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) May 13, 2024

Clingan’s fingerprints are all over UConn’s back-to-back national championships, and the game tape was always going to do way more for him than the testing. There are concerns about his conditioning and foot speed, though, and he didn’t exactly put those to bed at the combine.
Loser: Rob Dillingham’s weight
Dillingham is the most electric on-ball creator in this class, which is why we have him projected to go No. 3 overall to the Houston Rockets in our latest mock. His ability to knockdown shots on- and off-the-ball, break through tight spaces with his advanced ball handling, and tremendous vision as a passer makes him an appealing prospect in a league emphasizing speed and skill.
The flip side is that Dillingham is just very, very small. He measured at 6’1 barefoot with a 6’3 wingspan. He only weighed 164.2 pounds. That gives Dillingham similar dimensions to Trae Young at the 2018 combine, but he’s quite a bit lighter: Young weighed in at 177.8 pounds entering the league.
For what Dillingham lacks in size, he certainly makes up for it with charisma on and off the court.

Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham was great to talk with. Energetic, funny, charismatic personality. He even thanked @SBN_Ricky for pointing out his floor general abilities pic.twitter.com/26lQPpEuA7— Will Gottlieb (@Will_Gottlieb) May 14, 2024

Three other players who impressed us at the combine

Jonathan Mogbo, F, San Francisco: Mogbo will be labeled as an undersized big man who can’t shoot, but it’s impossible not to be impressed by his mix of physicality and skill. He’s so good at attacking in transition, is a skilled finisher and passer, has tremendous body control, and always plays with a high motor. A 7’2 wingspan for a guy who barely measured 6’6 barefoot is pretty nice, too.

DaRon Holmes, F/C, Dayton: Holmes measured well with a 7’1 wingspan at 236 pounds. Judging by our 10-minute conversation in media availability, he’s also going to impress teams in interviews. He’s an incredibly chill guy who is easy to be around and fun to talk to. He should be a wonderful teammate in addition to having plenty of NBA-caliber skills.

Jamal Shead, G, Houston: Shead was the standout of the second scrimmage, which is no surprise if you watched his Houston career. He’s an elite on-ball defender for a guard, and turned into a solid scorer when he needed to for the Cougars this year. He looks like a potential second round steal.SBNation.com – All Posts

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