Busting Brackets

Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard forgoes the rest of his college eligibility and declares for the 2024 NBA Draft

Stonehill v Kentucky
Stonehill v Kentucky / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Multi-talented guard Reed Sheppard has announced Thursday that he will declare for the 2024 NBA Draft after just one season at Kentucky under former head coach John Calapari. Sheppard is an expected top-ten lottery pick and has immense value on the offensive end, making him one of the most sought-out prospects in this year's draft class.

He can score in all facets, from creating shots behind the arc with his crisp footwork and smooth jumper to inside the paint, where he has nice enough touch to finish around and in the lane through contact. 

With the role that Sheppard played for the Wildcats, which was coming off the bench yet playing the bulk of the game, it resembles the past Kentucky prodigy, Devn Booker. Booker is an elite scorer and one of the NBA’s best, and I think that is what a lot of NBA scouts see as well. They both have different pros and cons to their games. But playing under the same legendary collegiate coach and having similar roles and styles of play, it’s a proper comparison. 

Still being just 19 years old could land him into the hands of any of the lottery teams, and we won’t know the order until the draft lottery, but some potential teams that could target Sheppard include the Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, and the Utah Jazz. 

Sheppard will also more than likely share the lottery with teammate Rob Dillingham, who had an astounding year for Kentucky as well. Sheppard averaged 12.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and shot 53.6% from the field. The overall stats may not jump off the screen, but Sheppard had some monstrous games throughout the season in key moments.

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Scoring 32 points against Mississippi State on the road and 27 points against Tennessee on the road. He also had games where he put up 24, 21, and 16 points. He was consistent in his role, which is why he will be a gem to whoever drafts him. He can multi-dimensionally play different roles and in different spots in a wide range of minutes. The only thing Reed Sheppard will have to show improvement on is the defensive side of the ball, and he is more than capable of doing so.