2024 NBA Mock Draft: Grizzlies add key piece in lottery, Pistons get future star

The Grizzlies select a high-upside forward in this mock draft.
2024 NBA Draft, Alex Sarr
2024 NBA Draft, Alex Sarr / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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29. Indiana Pacers (via Thunder) draft Kel’el Ware

Ware was ranked 6th in his class coming out of high school in 2022 and many expected him to be a lottery selection before his freshman year at Oregon. Little went to plan as the seven-footer struggled on both ends of the floor. He transferred to Indiana for his sophomore year where his play has improved.

Ware is averaging 14.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.6 blocks in 31.2 minutes per game over his first 16 contests. The 19-year-old has struggled against top competition but has time to prove himself with a loaded Big Ten slate ahead. Ware’s size, length, athletic ability, and shooting potential have scouts intrigued. He needs to be more consistent and prove he can sustain his numbers against the best competition.

The 19-year-old big man will need time to blossom in the NBA. His basketball IQ and strength must improve to handle stronger players in the paint. Ware is far from a finished product, but he has intriguing potential as a stretch five who protects the rim. Nobody is expecting it from day one, and he would benefit from a situation eager to develop him.

The Indiana Pacers have two first-round draft picks in 2024, and they should shoot for upside. Kel’el Ware could be their starting center of the future, but it is likely multiple years away.