Reed Sheppard is widely considered to be a top prospect in the 2024 NBA Draft, but at least one prominent analyst has him at the top of this class.

ESPN’s Kevin Pelton released his projections for the 2024 NBA Draft this weekend, and Sheppard was at the top of the list. Pelton’s projections are largely based on data and analytics, but also include rankings from ESPN’s official big board.

Here is Pelton’s analysis on Sheppard ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft:

Already the top player in my stats-only projections, Sheppard moved atop the consensus model as well, from No. 7 in ESPN’s top 100 in April to No. 4 now. Sheppard’s projected 39% 3-point shooting as a rookie is the highlight. No other player in this year’s draft is projected to shoot better than 37%.

Beyond that, Sheppard’s accumulation of steals and blocks also stands out — particularly relative to his wingspan, measured at 6-foot-3¼ at the draft combine. Yet Sheppard has the best projected steal rate of any player in the top 100 and a better projected block rate than 6-9 post Tristan da Silva. His closest NBA-bound comps in steals and blocks are long-limbed guards Kent Bazemore and Delon Wright.

Because of his production at Kentucky, Sheppard projects to be a solid defender at the NBA level despite his smaller-than-ideal frame. However, it’s his 3-point shooting and connective passing that have NBA teams excited to select Sheppard in the top-5 of this class.

Sheppard is believed to be in the picture as high as No. 3 overall to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. Alex Sarr, Donovan Clingan and Zaccharie Risacher are other prospects who are expected to be selected in the top-5.

Sheppard is currently -115 to be selected No. 3 overall, per the latest odds from FanDuel. He’s also +350 (second-best odds) to be the No. 4 overall pick.

Over at DraftKings, fans can bet on whether or not certain prospects will be selected in the top-5 or top-5. Sheppard is currently -500 to be a top-5 pick, per that book. DraftKings has also his draft position over/under at 3.5, with the under being -125 and the over being -105.

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The first round of the 2024 NBA Draft will be conducted on Wednesday night.

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