NBA Draft pundit floats Reed Sheppard for Hawks’ No. 1 pick

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 10 Gonzaga at Kentucky

The NBA Draft is a couple of weeks away, and it seems there’s a favorite prospect emerging for the Hawks.

Executives believe that Zaccharie Risacher and Donovan Clingan are the top two prospects on Atlanta’s big board, according to Brett Siegel. However, it’s clear that the UConn big man has fans in the Hawks front office.

“There is a growing belief that the Hawks like Clingan much better than anyone else available at the top of the draft,” Siegel wrote.

However, there’s still plenty of time before draft night, and one prospect that isn’t getting much attention at all is Reed Sheppard. Most pundits believe it’ll be one of Risacher, Clingan, or Alex Sarr to go to Atlanta, but one bold draft personality believes the Kentucky sharpshooter could be in consideration.

“I’m afraid because of the Jokic, Luka, Caitlin Clark, Chet Hanks White Boy Summer, is the world ready for Reed Sheppard to go No. 1 as a 6-foot-1.5 guard from Kentucky? I just don’t know if people are ready for this,” said Ryen Russillo on The Bill Simmons Podcast.

Now, Russillo is disguising a legitimate take inside of a joke, but I love Reed Sheppard, so I figured I’d talk about the prospect of the Hawks taking him with their top pick or trading down.

During his freshman campaign, he averaged 12.5 points through 33 games on 53.6% shooting from the field and an eye-popping 52.1% from beyond the arc. He’s not big, but he’s a tenacious defender that can thrive off the ball. On-ball defense and off-ball offense are a perfect complement for Trae Young.

He just contributes to winning basketball, and Russillo had a very impressive thing to say about the Kentucky product.

“I’m just telling you, he’s probably one of the best shooting prospects I’ve seen in 20 years of doing the draft,” Russillo added.

For a Hawks team that needs to be worried about getting bigger, Reed Sheppard doesn’t make much sense, but I’m just a fan of his game, even if the fit doesn’t make a ton of sense right now.

Photographer: Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire

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