Trail Blazers Bank Upside Down with Sharpe Selection

The Trail Blazers, selected from Kentucky, pledge Shaedon Sharpe as No. 7 in the 2022 NBA Draft. Sharpe, who did not play in a game with Kentucky last season, is one of the biggest mysteries to be selected in the lottery of late. Despite that uncertainty, Sharpe is considered one of the most gifted athletes in the entire 2022 draw class.

If you’re looking for a traditional scout report, I showed Sharpe in a pre-draft profile back in April. Given Sharpe’s extremely small sample size of game action, I can’t extend that analysis. Instead, let’s take a look at what has been said about Sharpe by a few concept experts.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony detailed Sharpe’s performance on his pro day last month. According to Givony, talent evaluators struggled to reach a consensus on Sharpe’s benefits after that showing.

The feedback from the training was varied. Several teams in the top 10 said they were blown away by Sharpe’s overall talent level, while others said they hoped to see other parts of his game, namely his first step and spot-up shooting skill, as they still weren’t enough. know about him to make an accurate assessment of what his career might look like. Teams in Sharpe’s range will be getting a closer look at him in private workouts in the coming weeks, which should shed more light on how ready he is to help an NBA team and where to expect his name 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 both Schimtz and Givony believed in Sharpe’s talent.

Sharpe’s size, frame, explosiveness, dynamic shot-making and overall scoring instinct make him one of the most talented wing prospects in this draft class, as he has everything NBA teams look for in his position, with significant star power to sustain him over the long term. . There’s a reason he was considered the consensus No. 1 player in his high school class before choosing to reclassify and enroll early in Kentucky. In the past 15 years, there has never been a No. 1 Recruiting Services Consensus Index (RSCI) recruit lined up outside of the top 10, with most chosen in the top three. Nothing about Sharpe suggests his case should be any different. NBA teams see him as a surefire lottery pick, and possibly even a top-five pick, depending on how the rest of this league develops over the next four months.

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

Sharpe is the mystery man of this class after enrolling in Kentucky mid-season as Next Years No. 1 and decide not to play. He has a great frame for a nearly 6’6 shooting guard with a 7 foot wingspan. He has a ridiculous jumping ability and can play way above the rim. He also has a soft touch from the three-point range. What else does Sharpe do? Who knows. His NBA debut marks a full year since his most recent game. There will be big questions about Sharpe’s feel for the game, how he translates defensively, and what kind of passer he is. He seemed to settle for tough shots at high school level too often, even if those shots went in a lot. Still, we give this choice a high rating because of Sharpe’s tools. With the right amount of patience and development, Sharpe can eventually become a really good player doing things you can’t learn. This is a nice upward swing from the Blazers, even if it is a risky choice.

Based on pre-draft rankings, it certainly looks like the Blazers have selected the best player available at number 7. Both Sharpe and Dyson Daniels trained in Portland leading up to the draft. Finally, the Blazers decided to roll the dice on Sharpe.

With Sharpe in the fold, Summer League is becoming must-watch television. Hopefully those forays will give glimpses of Sharpe’s advantage and potential timeline going forward.

Hidden value in the second round

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

Walker is listed at 6’8” with a wingspan of 6’11” after measurements at last month’s combine. He put that frame in the arc during his sophomore year in college. Walker is an elite rebounder on both the offensive and defensive parts of the floor. According to KenPom’s ratings, Walker’s defensive recovery rate finished at number 11 in the country.

In addition to his work on the boards, Walker averaged 14.6 points per game on 46.1 percent shooting from the field. Walker is a serviceable floor spacer with a soft touch that shows he can take next-level gains in this area. Last season, he made 34.6 percent 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.

Going forward, Walker is an interesting two-way project that possesses clear skills that translate to the NBA.

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