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Matthew Cleveland and Wooga Poplar Projected as Second-Round Picks in 2024 NBA Mock Draft



Photo Credit: Miami Athletics

The 2023 NBA Draft was a successful one for the Miami Hurricanes, as both Jordan Miller and Isaiah Wong were selected. UM was one of just 12 schools to have multiple players drafted.

A couple of Hurricanes are already receiving buzz as potential picks in the 2024 NBA Draft.

In a two-round 2024 NBA Mock Draft, NBA Draft Room projects Florida State transfer Matthew Cleveland as the 50th overall pick and returning guard Wooga Poplar as the 60th pick. 

While the 60th pick would be the last selection in a normal draft, there are only 59 picks in next year’s draft because the Philadelphia 76ers had their 2023 and 2024 second-round picks rescinded after a tampering investigation found that the team violated the NBA’s free agency rules.

Cleveland led the Seminoles with 13.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last year. He’s an intriguing prospect because he has the ideal length and athleticism that are sought after in NBA wings. Standing at 6-foot-7 with long arms, Cleveland has multi-positional defensive upside that will likely be tapped into this upcoming season with the Hurricanes, who play a switch-heavy defense.

Offensively, Cleveland is at his best when attacking the rim, especially in transition. He shot a fairly efficient 35% from deep last season, but he only attempted two of these shots per game. Cleveland has also shown some promise as a passer as well as a self-creator on mid-range jumpers.

Poplar was Miami’s breakout player last season. After a subpar freshman campaign, the 6-foot-5 guard blossomed into a reliable contributor for UM in its starting lineup. He gained more and more confidence as the year went on and averaged 10.5 points over the last nine games of the year, which is over two points more than his season average.

Poplar has a terrific pull-up jump shot that’s hard to defend because of how quickly he can stop on a dime. Poplar is a consistent 3-point shooter, making 37.5% of his perimeter shots last year with fluid mechanics. Because of his tremendous athleticism and verticality, Poplar is also a threat when he attacks the basket.

The area of his game that Poplar may have improved the most from his freshman to sophomore seasons is his defense. This was a weakness of his entering college, but by the end of last year, he was usually the defender that began games guarding the opposing team’s best guard or wing.

If Cleveland and Poplar are both selected in next year’s draft, it would mark the first time in program history that at least two Miami players are chosen in consecutive drafts.

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