Home » Reed Sheppard a projected Top 10 pick in ESPN’s latest 2024 NBA Mock Draft

Reed Sheppard a projected Top 10 pick in ESPN’s latest 2024 NBA Mock Draft

It’s officially official — Reed Sheppard is forgoing his college eligibility and will head off to the NBA. He announced the news on Thursday afternoon.

Kentucky fans believed that the hiring of Mark Pope might be enough to convince the London, KY product for a sophomore season in Lexington, but when you’re in Sheppard’s position, it’s tough to rationalize another year in college.

It’s especially tough when you’re a projected top-10 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, which Sheppard is and has been for months now. On Wednesday, ESPN draft insiders Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo unveiled an updated 2024 Mock Draft. In it, they tabbed Sheppard to the Memphis Grizzlies with the No. 7 overall pick.

Sheppard was the National Freshman of the Year during his lone season at Kentucky, averaging 12.5 points, 4.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.5 steals in 28.9 minutes per outing. He suited up for all 33 of the Wildcats’ games in 2023-24, starting five of them. He was also tabbed SEC Freshman of the Year and received All-SEC Second Team honors.

The Bluegrass native produced incredible shooting splits while at UK. Sheppard finished the season shooting 53.6 percent from the floor, 52.1 percent from long range, and 83.1 percent from the line.

Dillingham, Edwards also projected as first-round picks

Sheppard isn’t the only Wildcat expected to hear his name called by Adam Silver in a couple of months though. Fellow Kentucky freshmen Rob Dillingham and Justin Edwards are also headed off to the league.

Dillingham is actually projected to go higher than Sheppard. ESPN has him landing at No. 4 to the Charlotte Hornets. The flashy 6-foot-2 guard was second on Kentucky in scoring this past season at 15.2 points per outing. Dillingham also averaged 3.9 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and one steal in only 23.3 minutes per outing for the ‘Cats. He started just one of his 32 games played, which helped him win SEC Sixth Man of the Year.

As for Edwards, a significant bump in his production down the stretch of his rookie campaign has him just inside the first-round projections. ESPN has the 6-foot-6 going to the Utah Jazz with the 29th overall pick in the draft.

After a surprisingly rough start to the 2023-24 season, Edwards picked up his play in February. Over his final 13 games at Kentucky, the former five-star recruit averaged 10.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in 21 minutes per contest on shooting splits of 54.5/45/84.

Finally, ESPN has one more former Wildcat as a projected draft pick. Sophomore center Ugonna Onyenso checks in as a second-round selection, falling to the Orlando Magic with the 48th pick. Onyenso averaged 3.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in 18.8 minutes per game in 2023-24 for Kentucky.