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Four G League Prospects To Know For 2024 NBA Draft



We already did a breakdown of some of the best international prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft class, and now it’s time to hit on the guys playing for the G League Ignite. There are four players on the team that look like first-round draft picks, so you’ll want to get familiar with all of them. The group is headlined by Ronald Holland II. He was once considered a real threat to go first overall. But all four of these players will be highly coveted by NBA franchises.

  • Ron Holland – 6’8’’ Forward

Holland was viewed as the prize of this G League Ignite team before the season, but he has had some trouble adjusting to the professional game. Holland just hasn’t been able to score with any sort of efficiency, and a lot of that boils down to questionable feel for the game. Holland has good size for a wing and some real pop as an athlete, but his jumper leaves a lot to be desired. His three-point shooting has been dismal early in the year, and it’s hard to see that changing drastically in the near future. Good free throw shooting is generally the indicator that a player has the capacity to improve the jumper, but Holland is shooting just 68.2% from the stripe. Holland has also been coughing the ball up 3.4 times per game. Overall, he is hurting the Ignite more than he is helping on offense. So, even though he should eventually be a plus-level defender, the buzz surrounding him has cooled off considerably. Holland likely won’t play his way out of the lottery as the raw tools are there and somebody will take a shot on molding him. But his season has been extremely disappointing.

  • Matas Buzelis – 6’11’’ Forward

Buzelis is going to be a long-term project, but his potential is off the charts. There just aren’t many players with his combination of athleticism, length and skill. Buzelis hasn’t been hitting threes at an impressive clip in the G League, but he has a nice looking stroke and should be a stretch big, at the very least. But Buzelis also has a real off-the-dribble game, and he moves well in the open floor for a player his size. So, it isn’t crazy to think that he’ll eventually be a dangerous offensive weapon. He just needs to add some muscle and polish. Buzelis’ flaws are that he still doesn’t quite know what he is as a player, so he lacks consistency in his game on both ends of the floor. And defensively, it’s rough watching him guard in space. He’s not hopeless when it comes to isolation defense, as he has everything you need to be a good defender. But that’s really keeping him from being viewed as one of the top prospects in this class. Perhaps he’ll find a way to figure it out the rest of the season.

  • Izan Almansa – 6’10’’ Forward

Almansa is a tough player to evaluate, as he’s not a great fit in today’s NBA. The Spaniard is a traditional post player, capable of scoring with his back to the basket and finishing around the rim. He does both of those things rather well. However, Almansa isn’t exactly an explosive athlete, and he doesn’t possess much versatility. He’s a little small for a guy that plays like a true center, and he lacks the craft and passing ability of a guy like Alperen Sengun. You need that in order to overcome size differences. Almansa also lacks the ability to step out and shoot, making him a rather one-dimensional offensive piece. But Almansa is a pretty solid defender, mostly because he’s smart in the team concept and has good instincts. He should ultimately be a good role player, as he has been highly productive at every stage of his career. But he doesn’t have as much upside as the other players on this Ignite team.

  • Tyler Smith – 6’11’’ Forward

If Smith was ranked higher coming into the season, he’d possibly be viewed as the top prospect on this Ignite team. However, people are a little hesitant to loop him in with the top two players on this list, even though he has been the most impressive player of anybody mentioned in this article. At 6-foot-11, Smith looks like he’s going to be a huge asset as a stretch big in the NBA. He’s an absolute sniper from deep, with a gorgeous, lefty release. He gets his shot off in a hurry and is comfortable shooting off movement. Smith also happens to be pretty athletic, and he just looks smooth moving around the court. All of that gives him a relatively high floor as a prospect. The question with Smith is whether or not he’ll make significant leaps with other parts of his game. He’s capable of getting to the rim, but can he create offense for himself? And he has shown some flashes as a rim protector, but will that be something his next team can rely on? That second question is an important one, as Smith might ultimately be asked to play center at the next level. Either way, players with Smith’s size and shooting ability are rare. He should make a lot of money in the NBA.

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