2024 NBA Mock Draft: Timberwolves grab seasoned prospect, Wizards reach for center

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2. Washington Wizards - Donovan Clingan, UConn

The first surprise selection of this mock draft belongs to the Washington Wizards. UConn's Donovan Clingan isn't the unicorn like the 7-footer before, however, he is a fierce two-way presence. Clingan is a massive, 7-foot-2 big who sports a 7-foot-7 wingspan.

As a freshman, who only averaged 13.1 minutes, Clingan averaged 1.8 blocks per game. In an extended role this past season, the Huskies pivot averaged 2.5 swats. On a per-40-minute basis, he averaged an incredible 4.4 rejections per game.

Clingan operates best as a help or drop defender. Clingan isn't as mobile as a forward which prevents him from playing defense comfortably in space. While not capable of defending guards one-on-one, he has shown an impressive ability to pursue and recover when beaten.

Aside from his defensive prowess, Clingan is a great rebounder. He anticipates shots well and succeeds on both the offensive and defensive glass. The most questionable part of Clingan's game is his offensive versatility. He hasn't shown much besides dunks, lay-ups, or hook shots. His offensive repertoire might be basic, but he's a great pick-and-roll presence. Clingan's great hands allow him to catch all kinds of passes.

The 7-foot-2 big man will likely be used as a high-post passing hub. He demonstrated the ability to work well with dribble hand-offs and consistently hit his teammates when cutting back door. What makes drafting Clingan so high is his relative lack of production. His per-40-minute averages are beyond great. What's most concerning is Clingan has only played 30-plus minutes on three separate occasions. Can he be a worthwhile starter out the gate?