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2024 NBA Draft Combine: Reed Sheppard, Zach Edey among biggest stock-risers

Written by on May 17, 2024

CHICAGO — After the combine measurements and testing on Monday and two days of scrimmages on Tuesday and Wednesday, the competitive portion of the 2024 NBA Draft Combine has wrapped up at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. 

That doesn’t mean the combine is over quite yet. Various agencies will hold their pro days over the next two days and player interviews with NBA teams will continue to take place through the rest of the week. 

For the most part though, we now have a good idea of who helped themselves the most between the various on-court activities.  Here are the players whose stock moved up from the combine. 

Reed Sheppard, Kentucky

He was arguably the most pleasant surprise in all of college basketball this year, and certainly in the national freshman class. This weekend, Sheppard surprised us yet again when he recorded the highest vertical leap in the entire NBA Combine. Given the shooting splits and defensive metrics he showed for Kentucky this year, and the undeniable intangibles, this most recent data point is just the latest in a suddenly long line of evidence that Sheppard is continuing to trend up boards.

Devin Carter, Providence

Carter is known as one of the most competitive players in this draft and a high-upside defensive prospect. This week he utilized the athletic testing to add more credence to those descriptives. 

Carter recorded a 42-inch max vertical (tying Sheppard for best in the field), a 35-inch standing vertical, and then reportedly tied the combine record for the three-quarter sprint at 2.87 seconds. The only negative was that he measured in at 6-foot-2.25 without shoes, but his massive +6.5-inch wingspan more than helps compensate. In short, the vast majority of the data only helps a prospect who is hoping to keep pushing towards the lottery.

Zach Edey, Purdue

Much of the conversation in the NCAA Tournament was about Edey vs. Donovan Clingan. The narrative was that Clingan was more mobile and thus a better defender. Even if I still personally subscribe to that theory, the numbers didn’t necessarily back it up here in Chicago. In fact, Edey ranked ahead of him in lane agility time, three-quarter sprint, max vertical leap, and standing vertical leap while measuring an absolutely massive 7-foot-3.75 without shoes with a 7-foot-10.75 wingspan and a 9-foot-7 standing reach. 

Last but not least, Edey showed some real touch here this week which left scouts wondering if he had more long-term shooting potential than we saw at Purdue. Before the week began, I had Edey going No. 25 overall in my mock draft

KJ Simpson, Colorado

When the games began and most of the projected first-rounders opted out, Simpson was the first player to really separate himself from the field. He went for 16 points on Day 1, showing the same aggressive attack we saw this year at Colorado, and followed that up with 11 points, seven rebounds, and four assists on Wednesday. Simpson is also drawing rave reviews in the interview process. Overall, his size is a concern and scouts are also intrigued to see if the massive shooting gains he showed this year are sustainable, but his pace, aggression, and ability to assert himself were all talking points.

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Jamal Shead is knocking on the door of the first round after a great week in Chicago.  USATSI

Jamal Shead, Houston

Shead is viewed as in a similar player archetype to Simpson. He’s undersized, and the shooting is even more of a question mark, but Shead is a warrior who set the tone with his approach, defense, and leadership. All of that came through in the NBA Draft Combine setting. Shead went for 14 points and four assists in the first game and 13 points and six assists in the second, albeit on only 3-for-11 shooting from the floor. 

Right now, Shead is viewed as a probable second-round pick, but if he can convince teams in private workouts that he is going to be able to make spot-up shots, he could knock on the doorstep of the first round.

Baylor Scheierman, Creighton

Scheierman was not going to win the day on Monday when it was about athletic testing and measurements. But when the actual basketball play started on Tuesday, that was his time. Scheierman went for 17 points and showed both the spot-up shooting and decision-making that could make him ideally suited to be a complementary court-spacer and smart force against a scrambling defense. Scheierman could thrive if he is asked to not be the primary domino. 

The biggest questions are on the defensive end, and he looked determined to address those. Scheierman was active, went to the glass, and consistently was around the ball. 

Jonathan Mogbo, San Francisco

Mogbo was one of the most physically dominant big men in mid-major basketball this year, but questions about his ability to translate his style to the NBA level only intensified when he measured in at 6-foot-6.25 to start the week. But things have only gotten better from there. He has a massive +6.5 wingspan and an even more glaring 9-foot-0.5 standing reach. While he was a monster in the paint during the college season, he showed some intriguing skill in this setting, taking the ball off the glass to start the break and even putting it on the floor effectively in the half-court at times.

Adem Bona, UCLA

Bona may be undersized for a center (6-foot-8.25 without shoes), but he showed deceptive functional size thanks to his massive 7-foot-3.75 wingspan and 9-foot-0 standing reach. On top of that, he was measured as one of the most complete and impressive athletes in the entire field. When the five-on-five began, while many players gravitated toward the style the played in college, Bona showed an awareness of what his translatable role would be in the NBA. He sprinted the floor, rebounded out of his area with two hands, contested plays at the rim defensively, and put a ton of pressure on the rim as a finisher. 

The post 2024 NBA Draft Combine: Reed Sheppard, Zach Edey among biggest stock-risers first appeared on CBS Sports.


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