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2024 NBA Draft: Kel’el Ware lands in final mock drafts, projections

Indiana sophomore center Kel’el Ware made huge developmental strides this past season with the Hoosiers, and this week the 7-footer will hear his name called in the 2024 NBA Draft. Ware’s draft projections have largely varied across media publications and prognosticators, but if he is selected in the first round as many predict, it will mark the second-straight season Mike Woodson has sent a first-round selection to the NBA, following Jalen Hood-Schifino in 2023.

Ware, a former five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American, blossomed at IU in his second college season after transferring from Oregon last offseason. The second-team All-Big Ten selection set new career-highs in minutes per game (32.2), points (15.9), rebounds (9.9), blocks (1.9), field-goal percentage (58.6%), 3-point percentage (42.5%) and significant improvements in several more statistical categories.

With the NBA Draft beginning Wednesday, June 26, in Brooklyn, N.Y., here is one final look at Ware’s draft projections and what national writers are saying about Ware’s fit in the NBA. All relevant links can be accessed by clicking on the bold font below.

Kevin O’Connor (The Ringer): No. 13 overall to the Sacramento Kings — “Ware could be a rookie lob threat and rim protector in the mold of Dereck Lively II. But if his 3-pointer translates as well as it did during his sophomore year at Indiana, he could bring an added dimension to Sacramento’s frontcourt next to Domantas Sabonis.”

Jonathan Wasserman (Bleacher Report)No. 19 overall to the Toronto Raptors — “An impressive pro day of shooting has had teams buzzing about Kel’el Ware. Sources say he’s generating realistic consideration in the late lottery. His draft range seems wide, with teams seeing underrated upside and others worried about his toughness. The late teens to early 20s feels like a realistic landing spot for a team that could use more frontcourt depth.”

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