Rockets Projected to Stay at No. 3, Select SEC Guard in Latest Mock Draft

Jun 23, 2022; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks before the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 23, 2022; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks before the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2024 NBA Draft is less than two weeks away and it's still unknown what the Houston Rockets will do with the third overall pick. Furthermore, we aren't closer to knowing what the franchise wants to do with their pick (originally owned by the Brooklyn Nets).

The early chatter was that the Rockets were going to be selecting Connecticut big man Donovan Clingan, the two-time national champion. However, the more recent buzz has the franchise leaning in on Kentucky's Reed Sheppard, the sharpshooting guard. 

The latest draft by Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press also has the Rockets staying put and selecting Sheppard. Sankofa cites Sheppard’s ability to shoot from anywhere, in addition to his ability to anchor down and defend.

"The freshman guard’s numbers jump off the page — he’s not only a red-hot shooter from just about everywhere on the floor, but a high-effort defender who averaged 3.2 combined steals and blocks per game."

Sheppard's collegiate averages at the University of Kentucky jump off the page, as he averaged 12.5 points, 4.5 assists, 2.5 steals, 53.6% overall, and 52.1% from 3.

Sankofa has Clingan dropping to the Memphis Grizzlies at number nine and has the top three picks going as follows.

1. Atlanta Hawks- French forward Zaccharie Risacher 
2. Washington Wizards- Perth center Alex Sarr
3. Houston Rockets- Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard 

Sheppard has been compared to Golden State Warriors all-time great Stephen Curry, due to his shooting ability, although that's an incredibly lofty bar that he likely won't reach. He's also been compared to Kirk Hinrich and New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo, which seems more realistic and reasonable.

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Anthony Duckett

ANTHONY DUCKETT