NBA Mock Draft: Final lottery and first-round predictions before the big night

Exploring a few first-round predictions and a final lottery NBA Mock Draft.
SEC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals
SEC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
16 of 20

17. Los Angeles Lakers - Bronny James, G, USC

It may be difficult to believe but I still have this feeling that the Los Angeles Lakers are going to end up drafting Bronny James a little earlier than expected. I'm not sure if it will end up being with the No. 17 overall pick but I do believe it's going to happen in the first round. Maybe the Lakers will trade down a few spots, but I do believe Bronny is going to begin his career playing alongside his father in Los Angeles.

It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out over the next few months, but Bronny could be a useful talent down the line for the Lakers. His development, though, is likely a bit behind compared to the prospects that are going to be taken in the first round of this year's class.

18. Orlando Magic - Ja'Kobe Walter, G, Baylor

Looking for some added pop in the backcourt, Ja'Kobe Walter could be a potential target for the Orlando Magic with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Even more so if they aren't viewed as a realistic option for a veteran guard in the trade market or free agency. Walter has the talent to be considered a worthy option at this point in the first round.