2024 Aggregate Mock Draft: Ron Holland vs. Matas Buzelis for No. 1 pick? Bronny James Top 20

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

(Ignite: Forward, G League, 6-11)

Best rank: 1 / Worst rank: 17

Matas Buzelis, the potential No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, and Cooper Flagg, the potential No. 1 pick of the 2025 draft, recently worked out with skills trainer Chris Brickley and had social media buzzing.

“When you watch the film on Buzelis, he looks like the real deal,” an NBA executive told HoopsHype. “He can pass, dribble, and shoot. I think the big thing people are excited about is he played a lot of guard in high school. If you can make decisions and shoot at 6-foot-10, that’s a great player.”

The Lithuanian big man goes at opponents and seeks contact, sees the floor very well for his position, and his mental toughness reminded an NBA executive of Chet Holmgren.

“Buzelis’ ability to handle the ball and finishing ability are intriguing,” another NBA executive told HoopsHype. “He’s very creative around the rim with both hands and has lots of counter moves as a finisher. He has good footwork and length. He can finish around or over contests at the rim with either hand.”

“Buzelis can be a coast-to-coast guy,” a third NBA executive told HoopsHype. “He can get a defensive rebound, dribble the ball up and get you into your offense. I think you can play him all over the floor offensively. He’s going to be a good shooter. Ignite will be able to run plays for him, and he’ll be able to get them a bucket. He’s going to be a matchup problem.”

Buzelis is a versatile offensive player who can create for himself and shoot off the dribble with a high release that’s tough to block. He’ll look to improve his strength and conditioning with the Ignite. Defensively, Buzelis needs to work on his footwork to stay in front of smaller and quicker opponents.

“I think the appeal of Buzelis is that he can be a big ball handler,” an NBA scout told HoopsHype. “He tries to be a point forward sometimes, but I don’t know if that’s his thing. He’s not a knockdown shooter or moves that well athletically from a quickness or explosiveness perspective. He has athletic limitations defensively. At this point, the idea of him being a big man who’s a playmaker is what’s appealing about him. We’re not talking Josh Giddey or Anthony Black here. You don’t put the ball in his hands from day one. I think he’s more off the ball to start.”

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