NBA Draft Rumors: Could a surprising two-way guard rise to be taken No. 1 overall?

Could Reed Sheppard go No. 1 overall in the 2024 NBA Draft?

Arkansas v Kentucky
Arkansas v Kentucky / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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NBA Draft Rumors: Could Reed Sheppard jump every prospect to go No. 1 overall in the 2024 NBA Draft? There are now whispers of that potentially happening.

At the start of the 2023-24 college basketball season, Reed Sheppard was viewed as an intriguing yet raw NBA Draft prospect that many expected to, at the very least, return to Kentucky for a sophomore season. However, with the way this season has gone for Sheppard and the Wildcats, it would be shocking if he didn't declare for the 2024 NBA Draft.

And it's not just that he's expected to declare for the 2024 NBA Draft, there's also an expectation that he's going to be taken relatively high. In The Ringer's latest NBA Mock Draft, Sheppard is not just taken high, he's taken No. 1 overall. Sheppard is also ranked No. 2 in their latest big board.

This is a stark change from where many projected Sheppard to be as a prospect at the beginning of the season. But he's been so impressive during his freshman season at Kentucky that the hype is beginning to grow around his ability on both ends of the floor.

What is Reed Sheppard's ceiling?

The big question for the Kentucky guard is, what is his realistic ceiling? Sheppard is averaging 13 points, five assists, and four rebounds per game on 54 percent shooting from the field and 53 percent shooting from 3-point range. He's also averaging 2.5 steals per game. Over the last few weeks, though, he's shown some real growth with a few impressive standout performances.

Sheppard finished with 32 points, seven assists, and five rebounds in a win against Mississippi State recently and helped the Wildcats overcome the 4th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers by leading the team with 27 points, six rebounds, and five assists.

As Sheppard continues to impress down the stretch, the hype surrounding him heading into the NBA Draft is only going to rise. At this point, it's almost impossible to predict what his ceiling can be. And that can be both a good and bad thing as teams begin to evaluate his value heading into the NBA Draft.

Even though there is still much that needs to be settled and determined about the 2024 NBA Draft class, we know that Sheppard is likely going to be taken relatively high. If he continues to rise at the current rate that he has been, it also shouldn't be surprising if he's taken in the top 3.

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