2024 NBA Mock Draft: Timberwolves grab seasoned prospect, Wizards reach for center

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Final Four
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13. Sacramento Kings - Reed Sheppard, Kentucky

Other draftniks regard Reed Sheppard much higher than myself. Here, Sheppard *drops* to the Sacramento Kings at 13. For the Kings, it's truly the best available player pick and a potential Malik Monk replacement.

The reason for a late-lottery placement is Sheppard's questionable fit in the NBA. His efficiency was incredible at Kentucky, but he only attempted 8.0 field goals per game. Can Sheppard be a strong scorer is a question many scouts and coaches are likely to pose.

After soaring up draft boards, Sheppard's final collegiate game left a sour taste in several evaluators' mouths. He scored only three points and made just 1-of-5 field goals in the Wildcats' first-round upset.

While small in stature, Sheppard doesn't project as a floor general at the next level. He displayed great passing instincts, averaging 4.5 assists per game, but he's not super shifty off the dribble and can struggle against length.

What makes Sheppard so unique is his defense. It's not every day you witness a 6-foot-3 guard with an equally long wingspan disrupt opposing offenses as consistently as Sheppard. The former Wildcat averaged 2.5 steals and 0.7 blocks per game as a freshman.

He does so in such a nonchalant way. Sheppard's processing time and hands are lightning-quick. One second he's a help defender, standing in the paint, the next, he's intercepting a pass at the 3-point line.