The 2024 NBA Draft Class Packs an Exciting Punch

July 09, 2024

The NBA Draft has come and gone — are you excited yet? With the plethora of talent selected, the next generation of hoops is looking bright, and 2024-25 is set to be an exciting season full of fresh faces and superb skills. These rookies will be heavily featured in Panini America basketball cards in the near future, so let’s give a nice little introduction and preview some of the most exciting names and how they are going to impact their squads.

Let’s start in Charlotte with Tidjane Salaun, the sixth overall pick. The French star was selected alongside two of his fellow countrymen, making France the first foreign nation to have at least three native players picked in the top 10 of an NBA Draft. The young phenom brings explosive scoring and unlimited upside to the Hornets.

Reed Sheppard is also a name you’ll be hearing a lot about soon. A standout with Kentucky, the No. 3 pick racked up 12.5 points, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game in 2023-24. His most notable skill is his unbelievable long-range shot. The newest member of the Rockets made 52.1 percent of his 3-point tries during his freshman campaign.

Dalton Knecht was a bucket-getting star in college and is bringing a high level of confidence to a loaded Lakers roster. “I felt like I always had that,” the first-rounder said. “Ever since I touched the basketball, I knew that I could do it, it was just a matter of how.” The ready-for-action rookie is primed to soak up the spotlight in L.A.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on Zach Edey and Matas Buzelis, two more lottery picks. Edey starred with Purdue for four years and bagged a pair of National Player of the Year trophies before taking his talents to Memphis. Buzelis skipped the college route and got an early start as a pro. That led him straight to Chicago, and his all-around offensive game will be a huge boon for the new-look Bulls.

There are plenty of other rookies to keep your eye on as summer league, training camp and preseason matches take center stage over the coming months. These names are sure to be some of the most exciting, and you’ll have every opportunity to collect exclusive cards of them all once the 2024-25 season gets underway.