Rob Dillingham could slip down draft boards after the NBA Draft Combine

Both Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham entered the 2024 NBA Draft process as projected lottery picks, but Dillingham's stock could begin to fall after his measurables at the combine in Chicago.
SEC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals
SEC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

There isn’t much doubt that Rob Dillingham will be able to score at the NBA level. As a freshman at Kentucky, he shot 44.4% from three and with his explosive first step, he got to the rim at will. While Dillingham was a huge component of the Wildcats’ elite offense in John Calipari’s final season in Lexington, he was also a big part of the 340th-ranked scoring defense. 

Dillingham struggled to hold up on that end in the SEC and at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, scouts found out why. The Hickory, North Carolina native measured at 6-foot-1 and weighed in at 164 pounds. There just aren’t many players in the league who have been able to excel at that size. Even Jalen Brunson who just carried the Knicks to Round 2 of the NBA playoffs is about 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds. 

The 2024 NBA Draft could be the worst since 2013 when Anthony Bennett was the No. 1 overall pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers, so Dillingham will still be valued for his immense offensive potential and was seen as a potential option for the Atlanta Hawks at No. 1 overall. However, his size limitations will relegate him from a possible lead-initiator who projects to close out games with his shot-making ability, to a third or fourth guard off the bench who can control the offense in short bursts to limit his deficiencies on the other end. 

Currently, Isaiah Joe of the Oklahoma City Thunder is the slightest player in the NBA, his 6-foot-3 frame weighing in at 165 pounds, four pounds less than 6-foot-2 Bones Hyland of the LA Clippers. Mike Conley of the Minnesota Timberwolves is just 6-foot and 175 pounds, but throughout his career has played on elite defense teams first in Memphis with Tony Allen and Marc Gasol and now with a Wolves team that is anchored by four-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. 

A team will still take a chance on Dillingham’s scoring upside in the first round, but he is at risk of slipping out of the lottery.

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