Syracuse, NY ― The NBA held its 2023 draft on Thursday, and while fans eagerly await Victor Wembanyama’s professional debut, some analysts are already eyeing the 2024 draft.
Syracuse has not had a player drafted in the NBA since 2020, when Elijah Hughes was the 39th player drafted. The last Syracuse player chosen in the first round was Tyler Lydon in 2017.
A roundup of some fictional early drafts indicates that both of these things could change in 2024.
As expected, Judah Mintz, who put his name in this year’s draft before deciding to return to Syracuse for his sophomore year, is mentioned in several of the fake drafts. However, another Syracuse player is also generating buzz in the 24-year-old draft.
ESPN.com’s 2024 Simulation Project lists Mintz and JJ Starling as likely second-round picks. Mintz averaged 16.3 points per game as a rookie last year. He also led the ACC in steals and led the conference freshmen in assists. ESPN.com’s Simulation Draft places Mintz as the No. 42 pick, going to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Starling, a 6-foot-4 guard, transferred to Syracuse after spending his freshman year at Notre Dame. Starling, a native of Baldwinsville, is expected to go to the Houston Rockets with the No. 35 pick.
ESPN.com has five ACC players in its first round; three from Duke and two from Virginia. Duke players are Kyle Filipowski (#10), Tyrese Proctor (#12) and Mark Mitchell (#27). Virginia’s two players are Ryan Dunn (#21) and Reece Beekman (#30).
But the two Syracuse guards are mentioned in several other fictional drafts.
SB Nation’s latest sim has Starling finishing the first round at No. 26. This sim does not include a second round and does not list NBA teams only pick order.
Starling is not in the mock draft on NBADraftRoom.com, but Mintz is at No. 56 where he would go to the Charlotte Hornets.
The last time Syracuse had two players selected in the same draft was in 2016. That year, Malachi Richardson went to Sacramento with the No. 22 pick and Michael Gbinije went to Detroit with the 42nd pick.
A few sites have only published simulations for the lottery in 2024. They include CBSSports.com and Bleacher Report.
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