Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard were both expected to be lottery picks going into the 2024 NBA Draft; however, Dillingham’s value may start to decline following his performance at the Chicago Combine.

There’s little doubt that Rob Dillingham can score at the NBA level. As a freshman at Kentucky, he shot 44.4% from three-point range and used his explosive first step to drive to the basket with ease. Although Dillingham was a key player in the Wildcats’ top-tier offense during John Calipari’s final season in Lexington, he also contributed to their 340th-ranked scoring defense.


Rob Dillingham declares for the 2024 NBA Draft | FOX 56 News


Dillingham struggled defensively in the SEC, and scouts at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago discovered why. The Hickory, North Carolina native measured 6-foot-1 and weighed 164 pounds. Few players of that size have excelled in the league. For instance, Jalen Brunson, who led the Knicks to the second round of the NBA playoffs, is about 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds.

The 2024 NBA Draft is shaping up to be the weakest since 2013, when Anthony Bennett was the No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite this, Dillingham’s impressive offensive potential has made him a potential No. 1 pick for the Atlanta Hawks. However, his size limitations may reduce his role from a potential lead initiator to a third or fourth guard off the bench, tasked with controlling the offense in short bursts to minimize his defensive weaknesses.


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Currently, Isaiah Joe of the Oklahoma City Thunder is the lightest player in the NBA at 6-foot-3 and 165 pounds, just four pounds heavier than the 6-foot-2 Bones Hyland of the LA Clippers. Mike Conley of the Minnesota Timberwolves is 6 feet tall and 175 pounds, but has played on elite defensive teams, first in Memphis with Tony Allen and Marc Gasol, and now with Rudy Gobert, a four-time Defensive Player of the Year, in Minnesota.

Despite his defensive shortcomings, a team will likely take a chance on Dillingham’s scoring potential in the first round, though he risks falling out of the lottery.

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