The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

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On Monday, June 10, the annual Underclassmen Awards ceremony took place inside of WHSs auditorium.

I think that these awards bring motivation to [WHS] students to preform well academically, Sophomore Rufat Hasanov said.
WHS hosts the annual Underclassman Awards ceremony
June 15, 2024
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NBA mock draft 2024

Credit: Melina Barris
Join WSPN’s Ben Jackson and Bowen Morrison while they make their predictions on the upcoming NBA Lottery Draft.

The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) annual draft will be held in Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The first round of the draft will be June 26, 2024. This draft marks the NBA’s 77th lottery-style draft. It is a somewhat unique system as 14 teams are put into a lottery and their picks are randomly selected.

#1. Atlanta Hawks – Alexander Sarr, center (Perth Wildcats NLB Australia)
This draft might not have a consensus number one overall pick but it is clear that the Hawks need a big man. There isn’t really a better option than Sarr who stands at 6’11 and has a standing reach of 9’2. Sarr would bring much more offense and defense than current “big man” Clint Capela, who they would most likely look to trade if they drafted Sarr at number one.

#2. Washington Wizards – Rob Dillingham, point guard (University of Kentucky)
After finishing the season with a 15-67 record, it is evident that the Wizards need to make numerous upgrades to their roster. While it wouldn’t hurt to draft a center, current point guard Tyus Jones is a free agent this offseason and doesn’t really fit in the direction the Wizards are trying to go. The Wizards would be better off taking Dillingham, a fast paced point guard who also spaces the floor well.

#3. Houston Rockets – Zaccharie Risacher, small forward/shooting guard (Jeunesse Laïque de Bourg-en-Bresse LNB Pro A France)
The Rockets received this pick from the Brooklyn Nets due to the James Harden trade, and it could really go in any direction. They currently have All-Star point guard Fred Vanvleet under a long-term contract, center Alperen Şengün is emerging into a star and former top three picks Jalen Green and Jabari Smith are both coming off on an impressive season. The Rockets would be best off selecting the best player available and that would be Risacher who is already an NBA caliber defender and a capable three-point shooter.

#4. San Antonio Spurs – Reed Sheppard, point guard/shooting guard (University of Kentucky)
The best thing the Spurs can do is draft a point guard that can develop alongside Victor Wembanyama. Sheppard looks like he can be that guy. Sheppard can help space the floor while also being a reliable defender. At Kentucky, he split time as a shooting guard and point guard while sharing the court with Rob Dillingham. If Sheppard’s quick decision making can translate to the NBA, then Sheppard paired with Wembanyama and the rest of the Spurs roster have a bright future ahead of them.

#5. Detroit Pistons – Matas Buzelis, small forward (G League Ignite)
A lot of people expected the Pistons to be a respectable team this year. Maybe even capable of making the playoffs. But after a disappointing season where they went 14-68 and still only ended up with the fifth pick, it appears that Detroit still has a long way to go. Cade Cunningham appears to be the franchise point guard and center Jalen Duren had an impressive sophomore season. It seems like the Pistons need another wing and at 6 ’11 Buzelis can help space the floor and even possibly play as a stretch five, when a team plays a small forward or power forward at center in order to improve floor spacing.

#6. Charlotte Hornets – Nikola Topic, point guard (KK Crvena Zvezda KLS Serbia)
At 6 ‘6, Topic has often been compared to Goran Dragic, another tall guard who can play point guard but also does a good job moving off the ball. His fit alongside LaMelo Ball might be questionable but if he comes off the bench, he could primarily play with the ball in his hands. Topic might not be the best fit for the Hornets if they are looking for a player that can provide an immediate impact, but if Topic is given time to develop he could turn into a valuable and versatile player for the Hornets.

#7. Portland Trail Blazers – Donovan Clingan, center (University of Kentucky)
After trading Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks, it was clear that a rebuild was about to begin in Portland. The Trail Blazers acquired centers DeAndre Ayton and Robert Williams via trades during the last off season. Williams only played in six games this season and although he is a valuable player, he just can’t seem to stay healthy. Clingan provides more defensive versatility than Ayton and his upside might just be too much for Portland to pass up.

#8. San Antonio Spurs – Cody Williams, small forward/power forward (University of Colorado)
The Spurs received the eighth pick in a trade that sent Jacob Poeltl to the Toronto Raptors. Now with the fourth and eighth picks the Spurs could look to package them in a trade and pair an All-Star guard next to Wembanyama. San Antonio could also remain patient and draft a player like Cody Williams who at 6’8, handles the ball like a guard. Williams just needs to improve his shooting to become an all-around-threat.

#9. Memphis Grizzlies – Ron Holland, small forward (G League Ignite)
Both Holland and the Memphis Grizzlies had disappointing seasons this year. Holland turned the ball over an average of three times per game. The Grizzlies went 27-55 and while injuries might have been an excuse, nonetheless, it was still a season to forget. Holland is already a good defensive player who could guard any position, and at 18 years old, he has plenty of time to develop.

#10. Utah Jazz – Dalton Knecht, shooting guard (University of Tennessee)
At 22, Knecht is one of the older players in this draft class, but because of this, he is a much safer pick. Knecht is a knockdown three-point shooter who uses screens efficiently and spaces out defenses. If he can improve on the defensive end, he could have a career similar to JJ Redick or Kyle Korver.

#11. Chicago Bulls – Stephon Castle, shooting guard (University of Connecticut)
Castle is one of the more unique players in this draft class. Castle is 6 ‘6, and is also talented at using his body to finish at the rim through contact, thrives in the pick-and-roll as a ball handler and is an impressive rebounder. While he might be good when it comes to many different aspects, his downside is there isn’t much that he specializes in. Chicago drafting him at 11 can give him time to learn from players like Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball.

#12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jared McCain, point guard/shooting guard (Duke University)
After falling short to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Semifinals, the Thunder have a choice to make: give their young players more time to develop or trade their plethora of future draft picks for a superstar. If they choose the first option it is unlikely McCain will see much floor time due to the Thunder’s unique situation.

#13. Sacramento Kings – Tidjane Salaun, power forward (Cholet LNB Pro A France)
After a disappointing season it appears the Kings might just need a bit more firepower if they want to compete in the playoffs. Salaun has shown flashes of potential, although just as many flashes of being a bust. Salaun could fit well on this Kings team where he could help space the floor and possibly play stretch five when All-Star Domantas Sabonis is on the bench. However, his lack of consistency might make the Kings pass him on.

#14. Portland Trail Blazers – Ja’Kobe Walter, shooting guard (Baylor University)
Walter is a player with a lot of potential if he is put in the right situation. While Portland doesn’t have many veterans Walter can learn from, he would most likely be given the opportunity to play on a team in rebuild mode. Walter could end up being a very respectable player early on in his career.

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About the Contributors
Bowen Morrison
Bowen Morrison, Staff Reporter
Bowen Morrison, Class of 2025, is a second year reporter for WSPN. He plays football and runs track in the spring. Outside of school, he enjoys spending time with friends and watching movies and shows. Contact: [email protected]
Melina Barris
Melina Barris, Staff Reporter
Melina Barris, Class of 2025, is a first year reporter for WSPN. She plays for the high school's field hockey team. Outside of school and sports, Melina enjoys seeing friends, traveling and drawing. Contact: [email protected]
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