NBA draft 2024: Projecting 30 of the best prospects

Where do Donovan Clingan and Zach Edey land in Kevin Pelton's top 30 prospects? Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Atypically in the one-and-done men's college basketball era, Monday's national championship game featured two of the top four prospects in my stats-based projections squaring off against each other. Purdue center Zach Edey, the consensus national player of the year, and UConn counterpart Donovan Clingan are among the standouts in what's been panned as a weak 2024 NBA draft class.

Although Edey had a dominant game (37 points, 10 rebounds), Clingan's ability to defend him one-on-one enabled the Huskies to stay home on Edey's teammates and limit 3-point attempts as the Huskies won their second title in a row.

Clingan and Edey are among four prospects with a consensus projection of 3.0 wins above replacement player (WARP) or better per season at the NBA level. Only the acclaimed 2014 draft (five) featured more such prospects dating back to 2012.

This year's top players are atypical in terms of establishing themselves late in the process, however. Edey was projected in the second round of the preseason mock draft from ESPN's Jonathan Givony, while Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard was nowhere to be found before his freshman season in Lexington.

My projections translate performance in NCAA Division I and other levels to an NBA equivalent then adjust for age and position to project value over a player's next five seasons. Lastly, I add in ESPN's top 100 prospect rankings for the best consensus projection.

For more on how my projections work and past examples, see here.

Now, let's get to the projections for players currently in the top 100.