Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (2024)

The 2024 NBA Draft is in the books, and the big father/son union is happening. The Lakers have picked Bronny James at No. 55, where he'll likely pair with his father.

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (1)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (2)

John Hollinger, Sam Vecenie and more

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (3)

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Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (4)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (5)

Mike Vorkunov·Staff Writer, NBA and Basketball Business writer

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (8)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (9)

Bronny James, son of LeBron, joins father with Lakers

NEW YORK — Years of speculation have finally ended. Bronny James, the eldest son of Lakers star LeBron James, indeed has a home in the NBA, on his father’s team.

Bronny James, one of the most highly scrutinized amateur basketball players of the last decade, was taken 55th overall Thursday night in the NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. The selection capped 12 long months of guessing about James’ place in the game, which included questions about whether he could compete professionally following a cardiac arrest.

“My dream has always just been to put my name out, make a name for myself, and, of course, get to the NBA,” James said at the NBA Draft Combine in May.

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GO FURTHERBronny James selected by Lakers with No. 55 pick in NBA Draft, joins father’s team
June 27, 2024 at 5:10 PM EDTSam Vecenie·Senior Writer, NBA Draft

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (14)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (15)

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (16)

The Philadelphia 76ers selected Adem Bona with the No. 41 pick.

The Athletic NBA Draft analyst Sam Vecenie on Bona:

Adem Bona is limited, but he’s good at the things NBA teams ask their bigs to be good at. He’s a good rim protector, and he’s an active, aggressive defender who has versatility on the perimeter. He’s athletic and consistently plays with a high-end motor. He’s a true energy-giver to his team in the way he’s able get second-chance opportunities and momentum-shifting recovery blocks. Still, Bona needs to improve in specific areas of his skill to reach even just the bare minimum level required for an NBA rotation big.

He needs to operate in dribble-handoffs comfortably and to feel more comfortable on the perimeter with the ball in his hands. He needs to finish more efficiently inside if someone takes away a dunking opportunity. And he needs to read the floor better as a passer and playmaker. I think these are reachable goals, and Bona projects as a solid backup NBA center long-term with potential starter upside if he can clean up all those factors. He’ll have limited usage, but the strengths dovetail nicely with what teams want from the center position.

GO FURTHERAnalysis, fits for all 58 NBA Draft picks from John Hollinger and Sam Vecenie

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June 27, 2024 at 5:06 PM EDTDavid Aldridge·Senior Columnist, NBA

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (21)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (22)

A college assistant coach whose team played Marquette said this about Oso Ighodaro, picked by the Suns at No. 40.

He’s not very big. He might be 6-9-ish, maybe. But he and (Tyler) Kolek were incredible, because Oso can really handle and pass and create at the five spot, incredibly athletic, and really, really good defensively. He didn’t shoot at all outside of five, 10 feet. He had that floater he was shoot in the paint off of dribble handoff keeps. So, he’s a guy, I hope I’m wrong, was a great college player, had a really good team, the shooting around him, and an incredible playmaking and creative guard like Tyler Kolek. But I just don’t quite know how he will translate as a five man at the next level. Because he’s small. And he doesn’t shoot it. If he was a 3-point shooter, with his playmaking ability, and his athleticism, and his defense, then I would say, no doubt about it. But his shooting is worrisome to me at the next level. There’s a place for him in the league, because he is talented. I just don’t know how you become successful with him in the game, offensively. If he’s in the game, I’m in perpetual drop (coverage) at all times.

GO FURTHER2024 NBA Draft Confidential: Coaches, executives, scouts on Alexandre Sarr and top big men
June 27, 2024 at 5:04 PM EDTJohn Hollinger·Senior Writer, NBA

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (27)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (28)

How Oso Ighodaro fits with Suns

Ighodaro was one of my favorite sleepers in this draft, and as an added bonus, he's a native Arizonan who gets to come home and join the Suns. With his ability to pass from the elbows and switch onto the perimeter defensively, I think he is capable of playing backup 5 minutes immediately, although he doesn't do some of the "traditional" big things (rebound, block shots) at a super high level.

June 27, 2024 at 5:03 PM EDTSam Vecenie·Senior Writer, NBA Draft

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (31)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (32)

Round 2, No. 40: Phoenix Suns draft Oso Ighodaro

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (33)

The Phoenix Suns selected Oso Ighodaro with the No. 40 pick.

The Athletic NBA Draft analyst Sam Vecenie on Ighodaro:

Oso Ighodaro was one of my favorite players to watch in college basketball over the last two years. His blend of ingenious playmaking and pristine synergy with Tyler Kolek in ball screens was a sight to behold. He was constantly communicating with his teammates and helping them get into the right spots. He’s an incredible passer from all areas of the court, and I’m not sure I saw someone as dynamic in screens, re-screens, handoffs and all the little ways big men help their guards get loose on the perimeter. He also moves his feet well and was useful on defense. Yet, I just couldn’t quite get there for his NBA projection because of his lack of size and strength. Bigs in the NBA are physical.

They move big players around like it’s nothing. Additionally, the players in Ighodaro’s archetype — interior scorer and passer — that tend to work (think Jokić, Sabonis, even Nikola Vučević) tend to be of the much more physical, strong types as opposed to the finesse types. I ended up with a second-round grade and see him on the borderline of being worth a guaranteed contract or a two-way contract.

June 27, 2024 at 4:59 PM EDTJohn Hollinger·Senior Writer, NBA

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (36)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (37)

How Jaylen Wells fits in Memphis

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (38)

(Michael Reaves / Getty)

Jaylen Wells is the exact player archetype the Grizzlies need, a 6-7 shooter who nailed 41.7% of his 3s for Washington State last season. The question is whether the rest of his game holds up well enough to eventually become a rotation player. Having him on a rookie minimum deal should help Memphis manage the luxury tax dance this year, too. And amazingly, the Grizzlies once again did NOT trade up!

June 27, 2024 at 4:58 PM EDTSam Vecenie·Senior Writer, NBA Draft

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (41)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (42)

Round 2, No. 39: Memphis Grizzlies draft Jaylen Wells

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (43)

(Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images)

The Memphis Grizzlies selected 20-year-old Washington State wing Jaylen Wells with the No. 39 pick.

The Athletic NBA Draft analyst Sam Vecenie on Wells: Jaylen Wells is the kind of player a lot of teams see as an undervalued asset. With a COVID-19 season breakout in high school, combined with a late growth spurt, Wells was off the radar for so long that he didn’t get noticed until this season. He wasn’t even starting on his junior varsity high school team as a sophom*ore. That means he’s early in his developmental process, and it shows on tape. He’s still learning a large portion of his game, from defense to passing to overall movement and footwork on offense.

Wells has one thing that you cannot teach: He can fire the ball up from 3. His mechanics and touch are pristine. On top of that, the intel is he's a high-character person who works hard at his game. I think he’s worth a bet in the top 50. The rest of his game outside of his shot is so far away that it would be hard for me to give him a guaranteed contract, but I see him as one of my priority two-way bets in the class because of his jumper. If you can knock down shots from distance at this level, you have a real chance to make an impact in the NBA.

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June 27, 2024 at 4:57 PM EDTJames L. Edwards III·Staff Writer, Pistons

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (46)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (47)

Klintman is another high-upside swing for Detroit. Likely spends next year in the G League. Needs to bulk up and the defense is a mess, but there are some offensive tools.

June 27, 2024 at 4:55 PM EDTJohn Hollinger·Senior Writer, NBA

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (50)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (51)

How Ajay Mitchell fits in Oklahoma City

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (52)

(Icon Sportswire / Getty Images)

Ajay Mitchell was without a doubt the highest-ranked left-handed Belgian on my board. More importantly, perhaps, he joins what is suddenly a very crowded backcourt in Oklahoma City after the Thunder dealt themselves back into the second round just to grab him. As with the Thunder's first-rounder, Nikola Topic, tightening up his shooting stroke off the dribble will be key.

June 27, 2024 at 4:52 PM EDTSam Vecenie·Senior Writer, NBA Draft

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (55)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (56)

Round 2, No. 38: Oklahoma City Thunder draft Ajay Mitchell after trade

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (57)

The Oklahoma City Thunder selected 22-year-old UCSB guard Ajay Mitchell with the No. 38 pick after a trade with the New York Knicks.

The Knicks received cash from the Thunder for the pick, league sources said.

The Athletic NBA Draft analyst Sam Vecenie on Mitchell: Ajay Mitchell is one of my favorite upside swings in the draft. His ability to decelerate and play through contact as a shot creator is somewhat rare across the NBA. I buy his footwork translating to the NBA, where he’ll have even wider driving lanes. I also think he’s an underrated passer, and the NBA setting — where he’ll be surrounded by better players — will show those gifts even more. This grade is a bet on him as a shooter. He must improve significantly there from average to well above-average as he scales down his usage. Because of that, I didn’t quite have what I’d consider to be a normal “first round” grade on Mitchell. His floor is not an NBA player if the jumper doesn’t improve, but his ceiling is higher than what meets the eye if his jumper takes a sizable leap — which could very well happen given his touch and the shot’s mechanics.

June 27, 2024 at 4:51 PM EDTJohn Hollinger·Senior Writer, NBA

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (60)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (61)

How Bobi Klintman fits with Pistons

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (62)

(Emily Barker / Getty Images)

Klintman will end up in Detroit as a result of a previous trade between the Wolves and Pistons. I wasn't a big fan of his but we're at a point in the draft where everyone is throwing darts. If he hits, he at least projects as something the Pistons desperately need, a stretch 4.

June 27, 2024 at 4:50 PM EDTDavid Aldridge·Senior Columnist, NBA

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (65)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (66)

An Eastern Conference executive sizes up Bobi Klintman, who just went to the Pistons with the No. 37 pick:

His body has really, really improved since last year. That year in Australia playing against men, he’s big. When you have him come into your building, you’re like, damn, this dude is like, 6-10-ish, 6-9 1/2. He’s a fluid, smooth athlete, runs the floor, like a wing. He’s not a big trying to masquerade or transition into being a wing. He’s a wing. Still needs to be more consistent with the 3. But good IQ in terms of pushing the ball in transition and making the next play. If you run him off the 3-point line, he actually is a facilitator. He can get into the paint, come to a two-foot stop, find a guy, relocate. He’s a second-action, third-action guy. His swing skill is going to be, how consistent will his catch and shoot 3 be?

GO FURTHER2024 NBA Draft Confidential: Coaches, executives, scouts on Risacher and top forward prospects

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June 27, 2024 at 4:50 PM EDTJohn Hollinger·Senior Writer, NBA

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (71)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (72)

Indiana sent out cash to San Antonio to move up one spot in the draft. The Pacers have had a history of selling second-rounders; them being the ones writing the check might be more shocking than the Anthony Bennett pick.

June 27, 2024 at 4:49 PM EDTEric Nehm·Staff Writer, Bucks

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (75)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (76)

Bucks are getting younger

The Bucks have really decided to lean into a youth movement on the back end of their roster over the last two days with these selections. It won't necessarily draw the same amount of attention as the Warriors' infamous "two timelines" strategy since AJ Johnson and Tyler Smith were selected at the end of the first round and start of the second round, instead of the lottery, but this is a fascinating decision by the Bucks.

Like Johnson on night one, it seems unlikely that Smith is going to find a way to contribute immediately for the Bucks next season. And the Bucks will be looking to develop Johnson and Smith on the side while still trying to compete for a championship in the 2024-25 season. That puts extraordinary pressure on general manager Jon Horst to find players that can make an impact with veteran minimum contracts when free agency opens up on Sunday.

To bring the focus back to today's selection, Smith is a fascinating player. The 19-year-old big man is 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and posted a 38-inch vertical at the combine, but profiles as more of a switch defender with strong side-to-side movement instead of a rim protector in the NBA. Smith's best skill is his 3-point shot. He hit 36 percent from deep this past season and he has a pretty left-handed stroke.

June 27, 2024 at 4:47 PM EDTJohn Hollinger·Senior Writer, NBA

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (79)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (80)

How Juan Núñez fits in San Antonio

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (81)

(DeFodi Images / Getty Images)

Pretty sure this is the first draft in NBA history with multiple players selected from Ratiopharm Ulm. The Spurs trade down one spot and take a long-term stash in Núñez who already has a deal to play in Spain next season. The Spurs have always loved their stash guys and Núñez has some long-term potential because of his size at the point and flashy passing skills. His athleticism and lack of shooting are concerns that pushed him down to the second round, however.

June 27, 2024 at 4:46 PM EDTSam Vecenie·Senior Writer, NBA Draft

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (84)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (85)

Round 2, No. 37: Detroit Pistons draft Bobi Klintman after trade

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (86)

The Detroit Pistons selected 21-year-old Cairns Taipans forward Bobi Klintman with the No. 37 pick after a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Athletic NBA Draft analyst Sam Vecenie on Klintman: Bobi Klintman is a fascinating bet for a team that buys into his tools and talent. He is the type of player NBA teams search the globe to acquire. He’s a big wing creator who can knock down shots from distance at a high level and has potential as a ballhandler and playmaker given his tape at lower levels. He can handle the ball and make passing reads, both in transition and out of ball screens. These qualities are exceedingly difficult to find in players this big; that alone will draw him a ton of interest. He has some athletic deficiencies, however, that could hinder him from reaching his ceiling.

He’s not overly explosive or powerful, which means it will be tough for him to get into the paint and create enough pressure on his defender to allow his skills to flourish. He needs to get bigger and stronger while maxing out his limited quickness. If he does that, Klintman will play in the NBA for a while, because the league is always looking for players his size who can dribble, pass, shoot and rebound.

GO FURTHERAnalysis, fits for all 58 NBA Draft picks from John Hollinger and Sam Vecenie
June 27, 2024 at 4:44 PM EDTSam Vecenie·Senior Writer, NBA Draft

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (91)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (92)

Round 2, No. 36: San Antonio Spurs draft Juan Núñez

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (93)

The San Antonio Spurs selected 20-year-old Ratiopharm Ulm guard Juan Núñez with the No. 36 pick.

The Athletic NBA Draft analyst Sam Vecenie on Núñez: Juan Núñez’s tape may be the most enjoyable to watch in this draft class. He’s an aesthetically pleasing player with his passing ability. He’s as good at keeping his team’s offense in rhythm as any 20-year-old playing high-level European hoops in a while. His pedestrian stats understate his value on the court. At the same time, it’s hard to be a small, non-scoring guard in today’s NBA. Even successful ones like Monte Morris are capable shooters— Morris was a midrange assassin at Iowa State and has made 38 percent of his 3s in his NBA career. Núñez’s archetype is something in the T.J. McConnell mode, but McConnell is faster. Maybe Núñez grows into his body and adds some quickness to take the fullest advantage of his game. Alternatively, maybe he develops into a more proficient outside shooter. Those possibilities make him an attractive option for teams without roster spots available and thus in need of someone they can stash in Europe for a season.

I wonder if Núñez’s fate will be like that of Sergio Rodriguez, the player to whom he’s often compared. Rodriguez is having an all-time career in Spain and has been a Spanish national team stalwart for nearly two decades. While Rodriguez was good enough to play in the NBA, he was much more valuable overseas as a professional.

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June 27, 2024 at 4:43 PM EDTJohn Hollinger·Senior Writer, NBA

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (96)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (97)

How Johnny Furphy fits in Indiana

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (98)

I had a lottery grade on Furphy. He's a big win who can shoot and has some athletic pop, and he got progressively better during his one year at Kansas as he adjusted to the competition. Obviously I'm a fan of this pick, and I'm a little bewildered that San Antonio didn't just keep it given the Spurs' own need for big wings in the pipeline. Instead, he'll go to an Indiana squad that has done a great job drafting and developing.

June 27, 2024 at 4:40 PM EDTSam Vecenie·Senior Writer, NBA Draft

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (101)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (102)

Round 2, No. 35: Indiana Pacers draft Johnny Furphy

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (103)

The Indiana Pacers selected 19-year-old Kansas wing Johnny Furphy with the No. 35 pick.

The Athletic NBA Draft analyst Sam Vecenie on Furphy: Johnny Furphy is an NBA project who must improve his jumper and ballhandling. Defensively, Furphy will have to work on his mechanics and become more instinctive. However, physically and athletically, he’s the kind of big wing every team is desperate to find. He’s been productive in college basketball and he’s still a teenager. I’m lower on Furphy than the consensus because I’d be less inclined to be the first team that must put in the time to develop him, but he’s well-regarded as a competitor and worker. It’s believable that Furphy will be the impact wing in a role that NBA teams covet by the time he turns 24. I just think it will take some time and a developmentally minded organization willing to put in the effort. .

June 27, 2024 at 4:39 PM EDTJohn Hollinger·Senior Writer, NBA

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (106)Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (107)

How Tyler Kolek fits with the Knicks

Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (108)

This is a solid move for a win-now team, getting a reliable ballhandler for its bench when one of the real weaknesses of the Knicks' roster was the lack of playmaking behind Jalen Brunson. Kolek profiles as a backup, at best, but the other angle here is that the Knicks will likely have him on a rookie minimum deal, helping them further their quest to limbo below the tax apron while completing their trade for Mikal Bridges.

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Round 2, No. 41: Philadelphia 76ers draft Adem Bona (2024)
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