2024 NBA Mock Draft: Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard shoots his way to Wizards at No. 2

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Alex Sarr


C

France

• 7’1″

/ 217 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

9.4

RPG

4.3

APG

0.9

BPG

1.3

Sarr is a high-energy, versatile frontcourt prospect who should be the second straight French player to go first overall in the NBA Draft. Think Jaren Jackson Jr. but without the established 3-point shot. Is Sarr a can’t-miss player? No. But Atlanta would be smart to grab him after looking into the first pick unless, of course, the front office decides to move it for any number of reasons — most notably veteran help.

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Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’3″

/ 187 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

12.5

RPG

4.1

APG

4.5

3P%

52.1%

Nobody had Sheppard projected as a one-and-done lottery pick before the season started — but that’s what he’ll be after shooting 52.1% from 3-point range in his lone season at Kentucky while earning CBS Sports National Freshman of the Year honors. Yes, I recognize this is higher than most have Sheppard going next month. But I’m a big believer in his ability to flourish as a lead guard and elite shot-maker, and I do not think his lack of size will prevent him from being special.

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Zaccharie Risacher


SF

France

• 6’9″

/ 204 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

10.6

RPG

3.6

APG

1.0

3P%

38.8%

Risacher is among the candidates to go No. 1 overall, which by definition makes him a reasonable option for Houston at No. 3. He’s a 6-8 wing who is shooting 56.1% from 3-point range in France this season. That he’s doing this despite not turning 20 years old until next April is another thing working in Risacher’s favor.

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Nikola Topic


PG

Serbia

• 6’6″

/ 201 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

15.1

RPG

3.4

APG

5.7

3P%

30.6%

Topic is an 18-year-old point guard from Serbia with great positional size who has already been a professional for multiple years. If you watched the Spurs at all this season, you know the need for a lead guard is real. There’s no guarantee Topic will be available at No. 4, but if he is he’ll be among the obvious targets for San Antonio.

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Matas Buzelis


SF

G League Ignite

• 6’8″

/ 209 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

14.3

RPG

6.9

APG

1.9

3P%

27.3%

Is Buzelis a reliable 3-point shooter like he seemed to be during his senior year of high school (43.1%) or a below-average 3-point shooter like he was this season for the G League Ignite (27.3%)? How front offices answer that question will determine whether the 6-11 forward goes inside or outside of the top five of this draft. Either way, falling outside of the top 10 seems unlikely considering Buzelis has undeniable upside and real star-potential, and, for what it’s worth, he would also fill a positional need for the 14-win Pistons.

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Connecticut

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Charlotte

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

11.1

RPG

4.7

APG

2.9

3P%

26.7%

Castle projects as a combo guard at the next level with nice positional size and all of the intangibles you could want. At UConn, he was comfortable just fitting in and taking tough defensive assignments while impacting winning despite arguably being the Huskies’ best prospect. The main concern is an unreliable jumper that led to the Castle shooting just 26.7% from 3-point range this season, but everything else is in place for him to be a difference-maker alongside LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller in Charlotte.

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Connecticut

• Soph

• 7’2″

/ 280 lbs

Projected Team

Portland

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

13

RPG

7.4

APG

1.5

3P%

25%

Clingan was a monster in the NCAA Tournament while helping UConn win a second straight national championship. The only real thing preventing him from being an ideal big in the modern-NBA is a reliable jumper. But everything else — an ability to block and alter shots, switch comfortably onto smaller players, etc., — is pretty easy to see and why Clingan could be a great long term fixture in the middle for Portland.

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Baylor

• Fr

• 6’5″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

14.5

RPG

4.4

APG

1.4

3P%

34.1%

Walter entered Baylor with the reputation as one of the world’s best amateur prospects and had a productive freshman year even if he didn’t quite meet expectations in his one season with the Bears. The 6-5 guard averaged 14.2 points per game while helping Baylor secure a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He would make a nice building block in Charlotte next to LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller.

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Tennessee

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 213 lbs

Projected Team

Memphis

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

21.7

RPG

4.9

APG

1.8

3P%

39.7%

Arguably no player helped his stock this past season more than Knecht. The former JUCO standout (who also spent two years at Northern Colorado) was fabulous in his fifth year of college basketball at Tennessee — averaging 21.7 points while shooting 39.7% from 3-point range on 6.5 attempts per game while earning SEC Player of the Year honors. Knecht should be one of the most impactful rookie offensive players in the NBA next season, and he could play a role in getting the Grizzlies back to the Western Conference Playoffs after this season was derailed by Ja Morant’s 25-game suspension and injuries up and down the roster.

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Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’3″

/ 176 lbs

Projected Team

Utah

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

15.2

RPG

2.9

APG

3.9

3P%

44.4%

Dillingham was one of two projected top-10 picks coming off of Kentucky’s bench this season for reasons that remain confusing. Regardless, most evaluators now believe he’ll be the latest guard to shine in the NBA after not really doing it as much as his talent suggested he should’ve in one year at Kentucky. I agree with them. But Dillingham measuring only 6-1 (without shoes) at the combine is likely to create some skeptics at the top of the draft.

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USC

• Fr

• 6’5″

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

Chicago

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

16.3

RPG

2.9

APG

4.3

3P%

33.8%

Considering the Heat are forever shopping Tyler Herro, and don’t seem thrilled with Jimmy Butler, adding a young guard in anticipation of a roster-shakeup might be the move. Collier spent a pretty forgettable one season at USC, where he lost more than he won and shot just 33.8% from 3-point range. Still, the top-ranked recruit from the Class of 2023 still possesses all of the things that made him the top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2023 and is worth a serious look this deep in this draft.

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Colorado

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 190 lbs

PPG

11.9

RPG

3

APG

1.6

3P%

41.5%

Williams is the brother of Oklahoma City standout Jalen Williams — but taller and a lot more heralded at the same age. He needs to add weight and continue to develop as a 3-point threat, but there are reasons to believe he’ll do both things in time. If he eventually pops, Williams would be a steal in this draft after averaging 11.9 points in his one season at Colorado.

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Duke

• Soph

• 7’0″

/ 248 lbs

Projected Team

Sacramento

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

16.4

RPG

8.3

APG

2.8

3P%

34.8%

Among the things Filipowski needed to do this season to improve his stock is make a higher percentage of 3-point shots to show that he can truly be a stretch-big at the next level. He did it. The 7-foot center made a respectable 34.8% of the 3.1 3-pointers he attempted per game while helping Duke make the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. That’s 6.6 percentage points better than what Filipowski shot from beyond the arc as a freshman, which should solidify his status as a top-15 pick.

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Ron Holland


SF

G League Ignite

• 6’6″

/ 204 lbs

Projected Team

Portland

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

20.6

RPG

6.6

APG

3.2

3P%

24.0%

Holland skipped college to play for the G League Ignite — but it didn’t go too well even though he averaged a team-high 20.6 points. The problem is that Holland only shot 24.0% from 3-point range and was the face of a team that finished 2-32. Both things are concerning — but I remain open to the idea that this 18 year-old wing still has plenty of time to get to a point where his production matches his potential.

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Duke

• Fr

• 6’3″

/ 197 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

14.3

RPG

5

APG

1.9

3P%

41.4%

McCain lived up to his reputation as an elite shooter in his one season at Duke, where he averaged 14.3 points while making 41.4% of the 5.8 3-pointers he attempted per game. Considering the Heat are forever shopping Tyler Herro, and don’t seem thrilled with Jimmy Butler, adding a young guard who can shoot in anticipation of a roster-shakeup might be the move.

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Colorado

• Sr

• 6’9″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

16

RPG

5.1

APG

2.4

3P%

39.5%

For a Sixers franchise in win-now mode, adding a 23 year-old like da Silva who can guard his position and reliably make 3-pointers should be preferable to adding a teenager who needs time to develop. The 6-9 forward should be a plug-and-play addition for basically anybody on Day 1.

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Providence

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

L.A. Lakers

PROSPECT RNK

21st

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

19.7

RPG

8.7

APG

3.6

3P%

37.7%

Carter, the son of a former NBA player, is the reigning Big East Player of the Year after averaging 19.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.8 steals in his second season at Providence. He’s a terrific competitor, elite defender and improved shooter who could theoretically fill a rotation spot for a playoff team as a rookie.

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Kansas

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 202 lbs

Projected Team

Orlando

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

9

RPG

4.9

APG

1

3P%

35.2%

Kansas coach Bill Self recently said he expects Furphy to remain in the draft because he’s going to be a first-round pick. I agree with the Hall of Fame coach. Furphy, an unusually long guard, comes from a family of athletes in Australia and just shot 46.6% from the field and 35.2% from 3-point range while starting 19 times for the Jayhawks.

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Tidjane Salaun


SF

France

• 6’9″

/ 212 lbs

Projected Team

Toronto

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

9.5

RPG

3.8

APG

0.9

3FG%

31.8%

Salaun should be the third French player to go in the top 20 of this draft. He’s a wing with size who is an emerging shooter and plus-defender with a good motor. At this point in his career, he’s more of a spot-up shooter than an off-the-bounce shooter. But Salaun is still only 18 years old, point being there’s plenty of time to expand his game on both ends for a Toronto franchise that’s still likely multiple years from competing in the Eastern Conference again.

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Pittsburgh

• Fr

• 6’5″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

Cleveland

PROSPECT RNK

31st

POSITION RNK

8th

PPG

13.8

RPG

5.2

APG

4.1

3P%

32.2%

Carrington won’t turn 19 years old until nearly a month after the draft, making him one of the youngest players available. The 6-5 guard was merely a borderline top-100 prospect coming out of high school, but he quickly showed enough promise as a shooter and passer with good positional size to emerge as a reasonable first-round option.

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Baylor

• Fr

• 7’0″

/ 235 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

10.7

RPG

5.6

APG

0.4

BPG

1.5

Missi is an incredible physical specimen who is excellent at the rim on offense and in possession of enough athleticism, size and strength to excel defensively. The 7-footer from Cameroon would be fortunate to land in New Orleans, where he could support Zion Williamson and eventually serve as a suitable replacement for Jonas Valanciunas.

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Marquette

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Phoenix

PROSPECT RNK

29th

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

15.3

RPG

4.9

APG

7.7

3P%

38.8%

Kolek has some obvious issues as an NBA prospect, most notably a lack of athleticism relative to what’s desired from lead guards. Still, at 6-3, Kolek is adequately sized for his position, terrific in pick-and-rolls, an A-plus passer and reliable 3-point shooter. Needless to say, Phoenix needs help at point guard. Kolek could provide some help.

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Kansas

• Sr

• 6’7″

/ 212 lbs

Projected Team

Milwaukee

PROSPECT RNK

39th

POSITION RNK

11th

PPG

18.3

RPG

6

APG

4.1

3P%

33.3%

McCullar’s season came to an unfortunate end early because a nagging knee injury that derailed Kansas’ season — but before that he was clearly KU’s best player while averaging a career-high 18.3 points per game in his fifth year of college. He’s an elite defender at his size and should be, at the age of 23, a solid plug-and-play option for a Milwaukee franchise that doesn’t need to waste any more of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s prime years.

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Purdue

• Sr

• 7’4″

/ 300 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

28th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

25.2

RPG

12.2

APG

2

3P%

50%

As incredible as Edey was at Purdue over the past two years, he remains a divisive NBA prospect with what appears to be a pretty big range. He could go in the lottery or slip into the 20s. Either way, Edey would be a sensible option for the Knicks if he’s still available at this point in the draft considering they could be on the verge of losing Isaiah Hartenstein in free agency.

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Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 203 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

32nd

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

8.8

RPG

3.4

APG

0.9

3P%

36.5%

Edwards was the highest-ranked prospect in Kentucky’s top-ranked recruiting class but was largely disappointing all season. He finished sixth on the team in points, sixth on the team in scoring and averaged roughly as many turnovers as assists. Is he worth a flier at this point in the draft by a New York franchise with back-to-back picks? Sure. But Edwards did very little at UK to suggest he should be selected anywhere close to where most had him projected six months ago.

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Tyler Smith


PF

G League Ignite

• 6’11”

/ 224 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

13.4

RPG

5.0

APG

1.2

3FG%

36.4%

Smith making better than 36% of the four 3-pointers he attempted per game for the G-League Ignite this season is a huge positive for the Overtime Elite alum. To stick in the NBA, the defense will have to improve dramatically. But Smith’s shooting alone could prove valuable for a Washington franchise that ranked 25th in 3-point percentage this season.

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Sweden

• Fr

• 6’10”

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

30th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

10.2

RPG

4.7

APG

0.9

3FG%

33.7%

Klintman is a two-way wing from Sweden who should be able to alternate between both forward spots. He initially declared for the 2023 NBA Draft after one year at Wake Forest but ultimately withdrew to pursue a professional opportunity in Australia. With another year of development under his belt, and not many great options in the 20s, Klintman will have a better chance to get a guaranteed contract in this draft than he did last year.

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Dayton

• Jr

• 6’10”

/ 235 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

20.4

RPG

8.5

APG

2.6

3P%

38.6%

Holmes is the rare top-55 high school prospect who enrolled at an Atlantic 10 school. He’s a reasonable option at this point in the draft in part because of the way he’s gone from a non-shooter upon enrolling at Dayton to a real stretch-the-floor threat as a third-year player who made 38.6% of the 3-pointers he attempted this season.

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Virginia

• Soph

• 6’8″

/ 216 lbs

Projected Team

Utah

PROSPECT RNK

25th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

8.1

RPG

6.9

APG

0.8

3P%

20%

Some consider Dunn a high-floor/low-ceiling prospect who has the potential to be an elite defender who guards multiple positions but will maybe never amount to much on offense. I don’t completely disagree with the sentiment. But using the 29th pick in a weak draft on a high-IQ, high-energy player who projects as the best versatile defender in this draft doesn’t seem like the type of thing a franchise would regret.

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Marquette

• Sr

• 6’11”

/ 235 lbs

Projected Team

Boston

PROSPECT RNK

37th

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

13.4

RPG

6.9

APG

2.9

3P%

0%

Ighodaro doesn’t project as the type of big who will stretch the floor because he never even took 3-pointers at Marquette. But the 6-11 athlete is a versatile defender and lob threat who could be a real weapon in Boston, where 37 year-old Al Horford averaged 26.8 minutes per game this season.

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