Two Illinois basketball stars selected in latest mock 2024 NBA Draft

The Illinois basketball program could be sending two more players to the NBA, according to a recent 2024 NBA mock draft
Illinois v Iowa State
Illinois v Iowa State / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

It's that time of the year, the college basketball season is behind us and we start looking at which Illinois basketball players are going to be selected in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Good news for both the Illini program and fans; two stars from this season's squad were selected in a recent 2024 NBA mock draft Bleacher Report dropped this week. Let's take a look at the two lone Illini included on the list.

Round 1, Pick 21: Terrence Shannon, Jr. | New Orleans Pelicans

Terrence Shannon, Jr. was the first of the two Illini taken off the board. He would be headed to play with an up-and-coming New Orleans Pelicans squad.

This would be a great scenario for Shannon, as the Pelicans are coming off a postseason appearance. Shannon would get the opportunity to play with guys like Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum, and Brandon Ingram, barring any offseason moves.

There's a chance Shannon could push Herbert Jones, who averaged 11 points and three boards this season, for that starting small forward spot. Otherwise, Shannon would still likely get plenty of playing time in the rotation.

Shannon's first-round projection can be largely attributed to his dominant March Madness run, averaging 27.8 points per game in the Illini's seven postseason contests. This includes a 40-point eruption against Nebraska in the Big Ten Tournament's semifinals.

Shannon will have to stand trial in June, however, for a rape charge in Kansas. Needless to say, his future in the NBA could be significantly impacted by the verdict of this trial. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Former Illinois basketball forward Coleman Hawkins is projected to land with one of the GOATS in the 2024 NBA Draft

Round 2, Pick 55: Coleman Hawkins | Los Angeles Lakers

What an opportunity this would be for Coleman Hawkins. The big man would not only get the opportunity to play with the man who many consider to be the greatest of all time, LeBron James, but he'd be able to learn some expertise from one of the most dominant big men of this generation, Anthony Davis.

Sure, Hawkins' game is different from Davis', as Hawkins is more of a perimeter guy, but learning under a nine-time NBA All-Star big would be to his benefit.

Shannon and Hawkins would become the eighth and ninth Illini hoopers to be selected in the NBA Draft in the last 19 years.

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