5-star player Donnie Freeman is selected as a lottery player in the simulated 2025 NBA Draft

With the 2024 NBA Draft taking place late last month, experts are starting to reveal very early mock drafts for next summer, with Syracuse basketball freshman Donnie Freeman receiving a lot of attention.

The 6-foot-1 Freeman, a five-star power forward from Washington, D.C. who excelled as a senior for the high-powered IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, during the 2023-24 season, appears in several first-round projections for the 2025 NBA Draft, including one that predicts him as a lottery pick.

I'll be the first to readily admit that these types of simulated 2025 NBA drafts are still very early and don't mean much at this point. Adam Finkelstein, the scouting director for 247Sports, even published a post on his X page reflecting this sentiment.

So yeah, it might be a little premature to talk about Donnie and the 2025 NBA Draft since he hasn't played an official game for the Orange yet. At the same time, I think it's pretty cool that NBA Draft analysts seem to be looking at him as a legit pro prospect, whether after one season on the Hill or several years with the 'Cuse.

Krysten Peek, NBA Draft analyst for Yahoo Sports
Peek has Freeman selected 14th in the first round, which would be the last pick of the lottery. Peek writes, “Freeman was the biggest surprise in the best sense during the postseason All-Star games and made a lasting impression on NBA scouts who had a chance to see him at IMG Academy. The 6-foot-1 forward showed more potential as an outside jump shot in the pick-and-pop, and his blocking of shots from the weak-side block was impressive.”

James Fletcher III, On3 co-editor and NBA Draft coverage for 5 GOATs
In his ranking of the top 30 candidates for the 2025 NBA Draft, Fletcher currently has Freeman at number 16.

Isaac Trotter, national editor at 247Sports and CBS Sports
Trotter lists Freeman as a second-round pick in the 2025 NBA Draft for now, writing, “A 4-man who can pass, dribble and shoot is the archetype that can be a cheat code. Donnie Freeman has some of those skills in his bag. Syracuse is expected to give Freeman every opportunity to start at the 4 and be one of the most impactful freshmen in the ACC. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward is a big man who hones his skills on the perimeter, not the other way around. It's easy to imagine a dribble-hand-off play with Freeman and JJ Starling being a difficult move to defend.”

Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo, NBA Draft analysts at ESPN
Based on social media posts and other online reports, ESPN experts have Freeman selected just outside the first-round lottery at No. 15 overall.

As a senior for IMG in 2023–24, Freeman was a top-10 scorer and top-2 rebounder in the nation's toughest high school basketball league, the 14-team Nike Elite Youth Basketball League Scholastic (“EYBL Scholastic”).

He helped the Ascenders earn a berth at the Chipotle Nationals in Brownsburg, Indiana, in April and also earned a top-10 national ranking, according to MaxPreps.

Freeman, who also played a key role last July when Washington DC-based Team Takeover captured the 17U Peach Jam title on the EYBL tour, garnered attention in future NBA drafts as he played well at various All-America showcases in the spring, including the prestigious McDonald's All-America Game held in Houston.

In the major recruiting services' final rankings for 2024, Freeman is a consensus five-star and among the top 15 prospects in the country. He is ranked as high as No. 6 nationally and several recruiting websites consider him the best power forward in the senior class.

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