Former Kentucky basketball standout Reed Sheppard is projected to be a top pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Sheppard's excellent 3-and-D ability has earned him high praise, but something else has caught the eye of Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George. George made a big Dunk Contest proposition for Sheppard after the guard showed his leaping ability at the NBA Draft Combine.

Sheppard stands at roughly 6'2″, 181 pounds, and amassed an insane 42-inch vertical leap during May's Combine. The future NBA guard discussed the exciting experience before being met with a recruitment effort by Paul George.

“It was all fun, and I looked up at the board and when I saw 42, it kind of made me laugh because I wasn’t expecting it. I know no one else was expecting it, so it was a funny time,” Sheppard told Paul George and his crew on Podcast P, presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment.

Then, George made the ultimate Dunk Contest pitch.

“So who knows, is it safe to say we might see you in a future dunk contest? You got to showcase a 42-inch vertical, you got to showcase that,” George proposed.

Sheppard was flattered but was not in a hurry to compete in the contest.

“Yeah, not a chance, not a chance,” Sheppard replied.

The former Kentucky basketball guard wants to capitalize on his shooting ability with whatever team selects him in the summer draft. Although admittedly, it would be pretty cool to see Sheppard toe the line against some of the NBA's highest flyers. It does not seem likely, but perhaps Sheppard will change his mind depending on how his rookie season goes.

Reed Sheppard had an incredible lone season with the Wildcats and looks to help take an NBA team to the next level.

Reed Sheppard will enter the NBA highly touted

During his lone season with the talented Kentucky basketball squad, Sheppard averaged
12.5 points, 4.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.5 steals on blazing 52.1% three-point shooting accuracy. His efforts earned him the SEC Freshman of the Year Award and Second-Team All-Conference honors.

Furthermore, Sheppard's shooting display put him in elite company. He will be the only first-round pick from college to shoot over 50% on threes at his volume since Glen Rice at Michigan during the 1988-89 season.

At just 19 years old, Sheppard has plenty of room to grow. He could have stayed at Kentucky for another year but revealed the “all-in” reason he chose to enter the 2024 NBA Draft.

“I'm going all-in. The opportunity I have is great. I've gotten really good feedback showing where I can be in the draft. I had an unbelievable year at Kentucky. It was such a fun year. It's not easy leaving the fans and the school I dreamed of playing at. I need to do what's best for me, and that's heading to the NBA,” Sheppard explained.

Sheppard's relentlessness on both sides of the ball should see him grow into a fine NBA contributor. Sheppard is projected to be selected as high as third overall in the 2024 Draft, per insight from ClutchPoints' NBA Insider Brett Siegel.

It will be interesting to see which team lands Sheppard after his impressive pre-draft achievements.