Houston Rockets' Ime Udoka thinks Reed Sheppard is the perfect fit

Did the Houston Rockets find their perfect prospect in Reed Sheppard?
Did the Houston Rockets find their perfect prospect in Reed Sheppard? / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

It always felt like the Houston Rockets would select Reed Sheppard, didn't it?

The Rockets badly needed shooting. Sheppard was the best shooter in this class. Nearly every advanced metric suggests that he's going to be an impactful NBA player.

Moreover, it seems like the Rockets love Sheppard - as a player, and, as a person.

Houston Rockets shower Sheppard with praise

That was certainly the feeling during Sheppard's introductory press conference.

"(Sheppard) has a great background lineage with his parents, and if you know about their story, you know he's raised well and raised in a basketball family and huge community in Kentucky. So all those things stood out, and then you get to know the person, and it was a perfect match."

Ime Udoka

That matters. The Rockets are trying to build a culture. It's important they feel like Sheppard can embody that culture along with the rest of this roster.

Luckily, he's a good fit on the basketball end as well.

"“A lot of things Reed does obviously stood out. The shooting, the IQ.”"

Ime Udoka

When asked what advice his parents gave him, Sheppard replied with "you can't be soft".

We know that was music to Udoka's ears.

Houston Rockets' future gets even brighter

We don't know what Sheppard's long-term role with the Rockets will be.

If Jalen Green has a breakout 2024-25 season, he could be relegated to a long-term reserve role. On the other hand, the Rockets could eventually decide that Amen Thompson is a wing. As a combo guard, Sheppard could be Fred VanVleet's replacement.

Let's not put the cart before the horse. The Rockets don't need to know where Sheppard is going to fit in. All they need to know is that they drafted a kid who fits with their vision of the team:

They already know Sheppard won't be soft.