Trail Blazers bet on the upside with Sharpe selection

Trail Blazers bet on the upside with Sharpe selection

The Trail Blazers selected Kentucky commitment Shaedon Sharpe with the No. 7 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Sharpe, who did not play in a game with Kentucky last season, is one of the most great lottery-selected mysteries in recent memory. Despite this uncertainty, Sharpe is considered one of the most gifted athletes in the entire 2022 draft class.

If you’re looking for a traditional scouting report, I featured Sharpe in a preliminary profile in April. Given the extremely small sample size of Sharpe’s gaming action, I am unable to expand on this analysis. Instead, let’s look at what was said about Sharpe by a pair of draft pundits.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony detailed Sharpe’s performance on his pro day last month. According to Givony, talent evaluators struggled to form a consensus on Sharpe’s advantages after this screening.

Feedback from training was varied. Several top 10 teams said they were blown away by Sharpe’s overall level of talent, while others said they hoped to see other parts of his game, namely his first step and point shooting ability. , because they still do not know enough. on him to make an accurate assessment of what his career might look like. Teams in Sharpe’s lineup will be taking a closer look at him in the coming weeks during private workouts, which should provide more clarity on exactly how he’s ready to help an NBA team and where he can. expect to hear his name called on draft night.

In February, before joining the Blazers, Mike Schimtz teamed up with Givony to detail Sharpe’s NBA potential in a feature for ESPN. It was clear that Schimtz and Givony believed in Sharpe’s talent.

Sharpe’s size, frame, explosiveness, dynamic shooting and overall instinct make him one of the most talented wing prospects in this draft class, as he has everything teams in the NBA are looking for his position, with considerable star power to develop. long term. There’s a reason he was considered the consensus No. 1 player in his high school class before he chose to reclassify and enroll early at Kentucky. In the past 15 years, no #1 recruit on the Recruiting Services Consensus Index (RSCI) has ever been drafted outside the top 10, with most being selected from the top three. Nothing about Sharpe suggests his case should be any different. NBA teams consider him a surefire lottery pick, and potentially even a top-five pick depending on how the rest of this class performs over the next four months.

After the pick, SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell explained that Sharpe is a high-potential player with many unknowns and a penchant for contested shots.

Sharpe is the mystery man for this class after signing up in Kentucky’s midseason as a next year No. 1 and decides not to play. He has a great frame for a shooting guard at almost 6’6 with a wingspan of 7 feet. He has ridiculous jumping ability and can make plays way over the edge. It also has a soft touch from three points. What else does Sharpe do? Who knows. His NBA debut will mark a full year since his last game. There will be major questions about Sharpe’s feel for the game, how he translates defensively and what kind of passer he is. It sure seemed like he was settling for hard shots against high school level too often, even though those shots came in often. Still, we’re giving this pick a high rating because of Sharpe’s toolset. With the right amount of patience and development, Sharpe can eventually be a really good player who does things you can’t teach. It’s a nice upside swing by the Blazers even if it’s a risky move.

Based on the pre-draft rankings, it certainly looks like the Blazers picked the best player available at No. 7. Sharpe and Dyson Daniels trained in Portland before the draft. In the end, the Blazers decided to roll the dice on Sharpe.

With Sharpe in the fold, Summer League will be must-watch television. Hopefully these outings will provide some insight into Sharpe’s benefits and potential timeline going forward.

Second Round Hidden Value

After trading the Nuggets’ No. 46 pick for a second-round pick in 2024, the Blazers added to their draft by selecting Colorado forward Jabari Walker. Walker, son of 10-year NBA veteran Samaki Walker, filled in the stat sheet during his time in the Pac-12.

Walker is listed at 6’8″ with a wingspan of 6’11” after measuring at the combine last month. He used this frame inside the arc during his sophomore year in college. Walker is an elite rebounder on both the offensive and defensive side of the floor. According to KenPom’s ratings, Walker’s defensive rebound percentage finished 11th in the nation.

Along with his work on the boards, Walker averaged 14.6 points per game on 46.1% shooting from the field. Walker is a serviceable floor spacer with a soft feel that indicates he could make gains in this area to the next level. Last season, he made 34.6% of his three-point attempts last season. Buoyed by that production, Walker earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 First Team as a sophomore.

Moving forward, Walker is an interesting two-way draft with clear skills that translate to the NBA.

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