2024 NBA Mock Draft 5.0: Spurs find point guard, Raptors keep lottery selection

Nailing the 2024 NBA Draft is a must for the Spurs to upgrade around Victor Wembanyama.
2024 NBA Draft, Zaccharie Risacher
2024 NBA Draft, Zaccharie Risacher / Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages
9 of 30
Next Slide

9. Houston Rockets (via Nets) select Reed Sheppard

Sheppard is not the prototypical NBA player. He was ranked 33rd in his high school class but skyrocketed up draft boards during his lone season at Kentucky where he made a massive two-way impact coming off the bench.

It felt like Sheppard never missed as he shot 53.6 percent from the field and 52.1 percent on his 144 3-point attempts. Add in 12.5 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.5 steals in 28.9 minutes per game to make the 19-year-old one of the most impactful NCAA players this season.

Sheppard is not an elite athlete and does not possess game-changing speed like his teammate Rob Dillingham. He has a high basketball IQ and makes his team better. Getting a 6’3 guard capable of spacing the floor, handling the ball, making plays, and playing stout defense is a massive win, but can Sheppard overcome his lack of physical gifts?

This is a common mistake in the draft. Front offices shoot for upside and find ways to knock productive players with NBA skills. It prevented Luka Doncic from going number one overall. Sheppard is a plus-shooter and secondary creator at the next level right now. He must improve his game to be a starter and key contributor on a contender, but the Rockets need a connector and enhancer like Reed Sheppard to balance out their young core.