Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Donovan Clingan climbing draft boards after declaring for NBA Draft

Purdue v Connecticut
Purdue v Connecticut / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Connecticut Huskies center and catalyst, Donovan Clingan, declared for the 2024 NBA Draft in the past few weeks and reportedly has been ”rocketing” up draft boards after past projections had him going in the mid-to-late lottery. There are many executives and draft analysts who now believe Clingan has the potential to be the number one overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft, depending on which team ends up winning the lottery.

The sophomore was always an impressive and versatile prospect with NBA size and an NBA frame, but the first overall pick remained a stretch. However, a dominant performance in the NCAA Tournament intensified his value as a prospect at the next level. He was one of the best big men all year in college basketball but often fell in the shadow of Zach Edey. 

He stands at 7-foot-2, 280 pounds, and has a 7-foot-7 listed wing span. That wing span played a massive role in UConn’s success. Clingan blocked and contested countless shots throughout the season and basically forced the opposition to alter their shot due to his rare length. He was the focal point that made Dan Hurley’s team have one of the best defenses in the entire nation. 

Clingan remains just 20 years old, and in 2024 season, he walked away with many coveted awards. Clingan was named as a 2024 Big East All-Conference Honorable Mention, the 2024 East Region Most Outstanding Player, and was on the 2024 NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team. 

He averaged 13.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and shot 63.9% from the field. The Bristol, Connecticut prospect also averaged 2.5 blocks per game. Against Northwestern in the Sweet 16, he had an eight-block performance and racked up two double-doubles in his four final tournament games. 

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The draft board is not yet set; however, the Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, and Charlotte Hornets will hold the highest projections to be within the top three. All of which could use a center of Clingan's caliber. He would fit perfectly in with any of these three rosters, and depending on which team has the lottery balls fall in their favor, they could get their hands on one of the best two-way players in this year's NBA Draft class.