NBA Mock Draft: Final lottery and first-round predictions before the big night

Exploring a few first-round predictions and a final lottery NBA Mock Draft.
SEC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals
SEC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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3. Houston Rockets (via BK) - Reed Sheppard, G, Kentucky

In an ideal world, the Houston Rockets wouldn't be making a selection with this pick. They'd be trading it as part of a package for an impactful player that could help the team win now. However, I have a hard time believing that the Rockets are going to be able to strike a deal for Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Kevin Durant, or any other big-name wing that they could be targeting in the days leading up to the NBA Draft. And if they do end up keeping this pick, Reed Sheppard is one prospect that could end up making a ton of sense for the team.

He's a two-way difference-maker who would fit next to Fred VanVleet in the backcourt and a player who could be more ready to contribute than perhaps some are willing to believe. If nothing else, Sheppard could contribute as a defensive-minded asset for the team.

If the Rockets do end up making a selection with this pick with the intention of keeping the player, Sheppard seems like a safe move for the team. And if they wanted, he's also a player the Rockets could end up moving in a package down the line.