Four Landing Spots for Kel'el Ware in the 2024 NBA Draft

The Indiana seven-footer continues to improve and grab the attention of scouts across the NBA

Indiana v Ohio State
Indiana v Ohio State / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

Kel'el Ware transferred to Indiana for a fresh start and a chance to make it to the NBA. As the season nears its end, Ware has solidified himself as one of the best big men in the Big Ten and is projected to be picked in the mid-to-late first round of the 2024 NBA Draft. 

Scouts are drawn to Ware's versatility on offense with his efficient three-point shooting and ability to score in the interior. His height makes him an effective rebounder and a lob threat on offense. His length allows him to contest shots near the basket and perimeter. Although there are concerns about Ware's strength and motor, many teams will be willing to pull the trigger on such an intriguing and unique talent. Here are four possible landing spots for the Hoosier sophomore:

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have had a disappointing 2023-24 season, partly due to their lack of depth at the center position. Aside from Jakob Poeltl, who has had a solid season, the Raptors' only other bigs in their rotation have been Chris Boucher and Kelly Olyknk.

Kel'el Ware could give Toronto youth and depth at the center position to add to their young core of Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley, and RJ Barrett. The Raptors own the Indiana Pacers' first-round pick, allowing them to select Ware in the mid-to-late first round if available.

New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans will have multiple first-round picks in the upcoming draft, allowing them to improve an already talented roster. New Orleans may look to Kel'el Ware to give them more depth at the center position. Their only true centers, Jonas Valančiūnas and Cody Zeller, will be unrestricted free agents this summer.

Whether or not the Pelicans re-sign both, one or none, they could look to draft and develop Ware as their center of the future. Ware's ability to shoot and stretch the floor is something the Pelicans have lacked with Zion Williamson and Valančiūnas in the starting lineup. New Orleans owns their first-round pick and the Lakers' pick, which could be in the lottery.

Boston Celtics

The league-best Celtics have few glaring weaknesses, but they may spend the upcoming offseason attempting to bolster the back end of their roster. Selecting Kel'el Ware in the draft would give Boston a young backup center and allow Ware to develop behind Kristaps Porzingis. The two seven-footers are very similar players as they are stretch 5s who are threats behind the arc and great rim protectors.

Al Horford has been solid off the bench for Boston, but the Celtics may look to add youth as he nears his 38th birthday. Centers Xavier Tillman and Luke Hornet also come off the bench, but neither has been good enough to solidify themselves as backup centers. The Celtics will have a pick in the late first round, depending on their playoff results.

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets have a superstar in Nikola Jokić at starting center, but Kel'el Ware could be a serviceable backup for Denver. They are thin in the backup big man department, with Zeke Nnaji and DeAndre Jordan struggling to give the Nuggets much production.

If Ware could give Denver 10-15 minutes per game as he adjusts to the NBA and develops, it would give them a crutch if Jokić gets into foul trouble and also provide him with more rest. The Nuggets will likely have a late first-round pick and must hope that Ware is still on the board if they want him.