2024 NBA Draft sleepers: 7 under-the-radar players who could surprise in the draft

In an NBA Draft that is considered to be completely unpredictable, the opportunity for surprise picks and the range for draft sleepers is wide. Each draft there is always someone who completely outperforms his draft stock, and in this class specifically we could see some of the best players picked all over the place over the course of both rounds.

There are multiple players projected in the second round who have more upside than what their body of work indicated at the college level or overseas. Here are seven sleepers to keep an eye on in this draft.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 30: Terrence Shannon Jr. #0 of the Illinois Fighting Illini drives to the basket against Hassan Diarra #10 of the Connecticut Huskies during the second half in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at TD Garden on March 30, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Terrence Shannon Jr. is rising up draft boards. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Shannon was one of the best scorers in the Big Ten and had to fast-track his pre-draft process after he was found not guilty earlier this month in a court case that was looming over him since January. He's a three-level scorer and there are rumblings around the league that he could go as high as 11 to the Bulls after a strong workout that had him canceling workouts afterward.

As a fifth-year senior, Shannon averaged 23 points and shot 36.2% from 3-point range, an area that scouts said he needed to improve on during the two times he previously tested the NBA waters and elected to return to school. The 23-year-old guard has great size at 6-6. His draft range is anywhere from the back half of the lottery to the mid-20s.

Holmes shot into the first round during the pre-draft process and has a game, especially at forward, that translates well to the NBA. A 6-9 junior out of Dayton, Holmes shot just under 40% from 3-point range this past season and has the potential to be a valuable floor spacer who can also take players off the dribble in the pick-and-pop. Many sources around the league believe he has a promise at No. 28 to Denver, but he could go as high as 23 to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Klintman's draft buzz has cooled and he could fall to the second round. But his potential as a perimeter threat at 6-10 is very intriguing with how well he moves and cuts off the ball. Teams were hoping to see more consistency from his outside jumper after he struggled in his one year at Wake Forest before electing to play for the Cairns Taipans in Australia's National Basketball League, where Klintman averaged 10.2 points and shot 33.7% from 3-point range in 21 minutes per game. He is a couple years away from being an inside-out four who can space the floor with a consistent 3-point jump shot.

Bona's best feature is his physicality and the way he uses his strength to assert his presence in the lane. In two years at UCLA, Bona was used more in high-low, back-to-the-basket sets. During the 5-on-5 scrimmages at the combine and pre-draft workouts, he's shown more promise as a high pick-and-roll option with improved footwork and the ability to get to his spots.

He's a great rebounder and becoming more of a consistent rim protector, but needs a bit more improvement on his timing defensively. For teams looking for a center with great size and room to grow, Bona is a second-round sleeper. He might go higher than many think, possibly in the 35-45 range.

Jones has improved his body, has a high basketball IQ and can be a plug-and-play guy right away on any team. He is an elite passer who is very patient and doesn't force things when he has the ball in his hands, and at 6-6, he can play anywhere along the perimeter as well as drop to the post in mismatch situations on smaller guards. Jones averaged 20.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists during his senior year at Weber State and could be a second-round target for the Bucks (33), Spurs (35) or Timberwolves (37).

What teams love most about Ighadaro and his potential as an NBA big is his passing and how well he sees the court. During his senior season at Marquette, the 6-10 center averaged only 1.8 turnovers per game and had 12 games where he dished out four or more assists. He's comfortable in the pick-and-roll, playing alongside an elite guard in Tyler Kolek at Marquette. After strong workouts with teams, he is inching up draft boards in the second round. His draft range is now anywhere from 35-50.

Freeman has one of the best stories of the draft. He went from a walk-on at Akron to a starter by his senior year. He then got an invite to the Portsmouth Invitational, where he was one of the best players on the court. And after the G League Combine, he got called up for the NBA Draft Combine, where he really popped in 5-on-5 scrimmages.

Teams love his production on both ends of the court. At Akron, Freeman was a walking double-double, averaging 18.6 points and 12.9 rebounds. He shows flashes of being a reliable shooter off the block, too. Freeman could hear his named called anywhere from 30-45 on the second night of the draft.