The 2024 NBA Draft is widely considered to have limited star power, but one potential future superstar is Rob Dillingham, a young guard out of the University of Kentucky.

Dillingham is a dynamic shooting guard who can break down opponents off the dribble with ease or hit pull up shots from the logo consistently.

Rob Dillingham overview

Dillingham is a superstar at the college level, an electric playmaker at the guard position who possesses the best offensive creation talent in this year’s draft class.

The former Wildcat is a relatively small guard, but he has remarkable speed and agility and his handles are reminiscent of stars such as Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.

He is a dynamic shooter who can consistently hit open threes and he has unlimited range, having proven his ability to hit shots from the logo during his lone season at Kentucky.

The young guard still has work to do to grow as a playmaker, but he has shown flashes of excellent court vision that hint he’ll be able to develop into a premier playmaker who can create for others, as opposed to just for himself.

This is a skill that is required of lead guards at the NBA level, and the former Wildcat can use his gravity to find open looks for others. If he’s able to reach his full potential as a playmaker, and not just a scorer, the sky is the limit for Dillingham.

With all that being said, it’s time to take a look at the three best fits for the dynamic Kentucky guard in this year’s draft.

Miami Heat

Dillingham comes from a winning culture at Kentucky, and there is no better way for him to continue to grow in his career than by joining an NBA team with a winning culture as well. The Miami Heat match that description perfectly, and Dillingham should be thrilled if he lands in Miami.

The Heat have the 15th overall pick, but they have ammunition to trade up. This year features what is considered to be a fairly weak draft class, which means the Heat should be able to move up for a reasonable price. One future first rounder, one or two second rounders, and possibly a young player should be enough to move into the top five in this year‘s class.

Miami needs to add an impact player at the guard position, and Dillingham fits that role. His ability to create for himself and his potential to create for others gives him a future as the lead guard in Miami. He also has the mental toughness and clutch abilities to thrive in this role.

San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs forward Victor Wembanyama (1) reacts after drawing a foul during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at Frost Bank Center.
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs might not even need to trade up to get Dillingham, or if they do they’ll only need to move up slightly since they currently hold the fourth overall pick. Dillingham would fit perfectly in San Antonio, forming a lethal one-two combination with All-World center Victor Wembanyama that can provide the core foundation for the team‘s next championship court.

It isn’t hyperbole to say that Dillingham and Wemby could be the next Kobe and Shaq, a dynamic inside-outside duo that puts relentless pressure on opposing defenses and stretches the defense past its limit.

Houston Rockets

If the Rockets draft Rob Dillingham, it would allow them to go in one of two directions. First, they would have the option of building a high-powered backorder around Dillingham and star shooting guard Jalen Green. The 2021 second-overall pick is a dynamic scorer and high flyer who continues to progress as a shooter. His game would pair well with Dillingham, a smaller guard and elite shooter who can stretch the floor with his unlimited range and break down defenders off the dribble to get to the rim.

If the Rockets take this approach, it could lead to them trading Fred VanVleet. Alternatively, there have been rumors that Houston is willing to listen to offers for Green, who would undoubtedly command a Godfather offer on the trade market. If Houston were to pursue this route, they could potentially build around Dillingham and Vanvleet in the backcourt while adding a wing such as Brooklyn’s Mikal Bridges.

While that backcourt would be severely lacking in size, the opportunity to add a star wing such as Bridges to Houston’s young core might be something the Rockets find too tempting to pass up.

Overall thoughts

No matter which team Dillingham ends up with, he’ll find an immediate role as a microwave scorer, whether that is off the bench or as a starter. It will likely take some time for the rookie out of Kentucky to develop into an efficient scorer at the NBA level, and even longer for him to become a playmaker.

Based on his production and growth of Kentucky, it’s reasonable to expect the former Wildcat to figure out the scoring aspect of the game midway through his rookie year, and to take a leap as a playmaker early in his second season in the NBA.

Dillingham would fit great with any of the above teams, but the Spurs are the best choice. This is because he would have a clear path to becoming a key contributor in San Antonio along with Wembanyama and the team's path to success with these two stars rests primarily on factors within their control.

The Spurs are closer to contention than the Heat would be, and Dillingham’s fit in Houston relies on several external factors outside of the team's control, primarily other organizations' willingness to participate in trade negotiations with the Rockets and take the other side of deals that will likely be favourable to Houston. If other teams around the league don’t see value for themselves,this will be a hard sell.

If the Rockets add Dillingham and can’t move Green or VanVleet, they’ll likely end up with a severe logjam in the backcourt. Too much talent is never a bad thing, but the cleanest fit for Dillingham is with Victor Wembanyama in San Antonio.