NBA draft first-round wrap-up: New homes for Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard, Rob Dillingham

Reed Sheppard was selected third overall by the Houston Rockets in Wednesday’s 2024 NBA Draft.

Reed Sheppard didn’t have to wait long to learn his NBA destination, being picked No. 3 overall by the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

Sheppard, who spent just one season at Kentucky, became the highest-selected Wildcat since 2017.

This follows a stellar freshman season, where despite starting only five games, Sheppard averaged 12.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. He also shot 52.1 percent from three, making 75 three-pointers during the season.

Sheppard was named the SEC’s Freshman of the Year.

“Sheppard is coming off a remarkable season, as he shot extremely well, both off the catch and off the dribble,” Givony said.

“He came up with a huge volume of steals and blocks despite his limited length and posted efficient numbers in nearly every category. It will be fascinating to see how Sheppard’s unique blend of skill, feel, and instincts translates to the NBA level.”

Sheppard was not projected as a first-round selection a year ago, but his consistent play and shooting ability proved too appealing for NBA teams. Several teams graded Sheppard as their best available player in the weeks leading up to the draft.

He was also widely regarded as the best shooter in the draft class by numerous analysts.

Sheppard was named National Freshman of the Year by the NABC, CBS Sports, ESPN, and other outlets.

Coming out of North Laurel (Ky.), Sheppard was a McDonald’s All-American as a senior and ranked No. 43 overall in the 2023 class according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

This marks Kentucky’s 16th top-10 pick since 2010, the most among all college programs.

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