2024 NBA Draft Odds: First Overall Pick

The Atlanta Hawks won the lottery and will be picking first overall in the 2024 NBA Draft. This year’s draft class is viewed as a weaker one, as there aren’t many clear-cut franchise players in the group. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be any All-Stars that emerge from this class. And while the Hawks obviously wish they picked first in a draft like last year’s, when Victor Wembanyama was the first player selected, they should feel like this is a good opportunity for them to pick up an important core piece. Well, there are a lot of reports out there that the Hawks still haven’t decided who they are taking, adding some serious intrigue as we approach June 26th. That said, keep reading to see how you might want to go about betting on Atlanta’s selection. We’ll also be talking about the draft quite a bit on VSiN programming!

MORE: Check out our Pro Picks page for everything our experts have!


2024 NBA Draft: First Overall Pick – Betting Favorite

Zaccharie Risacher (-110) – Forward, JL Bourg

When the Hawks first won the lottery, Alexandre Sarr was the favorite to be the first player selected. However, the 19-year-old big man reportedly hasn’t worked out for Atlanta, and it now seems like the Hawks are looking in other directions. Now, Atlanta is seemingly deciding between French wing Zaccharie Risacher and Connecticut center Donovan Clingan. And as of right now, Risacher is the betting favorite to be selected first.

Risacher is coming off a year in which he averaged 11.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, while also shooting 38.7% from 3 on 3.7 attempts per game. And the 6-foot-9 forward did that while playing in a very competitive league. Risacher also played some very good basketball in his team’s postseason, which helped him jump to the top of a lot of big boards later in the year.

Risacher might not be a player that has superstar potential, but he’s viewed as a surefire 3-and-D prospect that could offer a little more off the bounce. And in a draft like this, teams might have a hard time turning that down. For Atlanta, it certainly makes some sense to draft an off-ball player that can space the floor and help on the defensive end. But I don’t think the Hawks will go this direction, as I believe there’s a better fit out there for them.

2024 NBA Draft: First Overall Pick – Prediction

Donovan Clingan (+460) – Center, Connecticut

I know a lot of people have been mocking Risacher and Sarr to the Hawks for quite some time, but I immediately saw this as a Clingan destination.

I wish I ended up writing about it a little sooner, but I did go on A Numbers Game on May 16th and give out Clingan at +1400 odds. And while I’m not sure it’s playable anymore, I still think it’s likely Atlanta is going to draft this mountain of a man. Clingan is the most impressive interior defender in this draft, as he uses every bit of his 7-foot-3, 283-pound body and 7-foot-6 wingspan to perfection. Not only is Clingan a very good shot blocker (2.5 blocks per game), but he’s also good at contesting shots without fouling. He’s also solid when it comes to moving his feet on the perimeter, and he projects as a stellar drop-coverage defensive big.

Clingan is the exact type of defensive anchor that Quin Snyder needs behind Trae Young. And Snyder was one of the main reasons I saw this as a fit early on. He coached Rudy Gobert in his time with the Utah Jazz, so he likely sees the value in a player like Clingan more than anyone.

Offensively, Clingan is going to be a good finisher around the basket, but he’s also a very good decision maker. Dan Hurley runs a very complicated offensive system at UConn, and it’s one that asks a lot of the big men. Well, Clingan showed that he was capable of making reads quickly, and he flashed some impressive passing ability out of the post. That should make him a nice fit for a team that already has some ball-dominant players.

Clingan has also been shooting the 3 rather well in his pre-draft workouts, according to some of the mainstream draft analysts. If he does end up being a true pick-and-pop threat, there’s virtually no chance Atlanta would regret taking him with the first overall pick. I know I just mentioned Gobert as a comparison, and a lot of people throw around Brook Lopez as another. But I think Clingan has the potential to be more like a Marc Gasol, and that’s the exact type of center that can push the Hawks forward if they decide to continue building around Young.

Overall, in a weak draft, it’s hard to pass up on a player with All-Defense potential. Clingan definitely has that. And what he can do on offense right now happens to help the Hawks. So, even if he never turns into a good outside shooter, Clingan should be a very good center that helps his team win a lot of games.