May 25, 2024

NBA Rumors: Donovan Clingan ‘Rocketed’ Up 2024 Draft Boards, in Mix for No. 1 Pick | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - APRIL 08: Donovan Clingan #32 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates after defeating the Purdue Boilermakers in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament National Championship game at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Donovan Clingan’s breakout season for Connecticut has significantly raised his stock for the 2024 NBA draft.

In the latest big board from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo, Givony wrote that Clingan has “rocketed” up draft boards since the Huskies’ victory over Purdue in the national title game.

“That gives him a chance to get drafted as high as No. 1 depending on which team wins the lottery,” Givony explained.

B/R’s Jonathan Wasserman had the Hornets taking Clingan with the fifth pick in his most recent mock draft, up from ninth in his previous mock.

Wasserman noted there has been “plenty of front-office chatter” about Clingan landing in Charlotte after the team posted the second-worst defensive rating in the league this season.

The Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards are tied for the best odds in the lottery at 14 percent, followed by the Hornets (13.3 percent), Portland Trail Blazers (13.2 percent) and San Antonio Spurs (10.5 percent) rounding out the top five.

That’s a potential problem for Clingan’s draft position because the Pistons (Jalen Duren), Spurs (Victor Wembanyama) and Blazers (Deandre Ayton) all have starting-caliber centers in place.

Of that group, the Spurs are the only team that should feel comfortable with their big man. Ayton is a capable big at this stage of his career, but he’s not a player who impacts the overall performance of a team. Duren averaged a double-double as a 20-year-old this season, but the Pistons should be willing to overhaul pretty much everything after posting a 14-68 record.

The top 14 picks in the 2024 NBA draft will be set when the lottery takes place on May 12.

After playing a key role off the bench as a freshman during the 2022-23 season, Clingan moved into the starting lineup as a sophomore. He averaged 13.0 points and a team-high 7.4 rebounds per game to earn an All-American honorable mention selection.