The Portland Trail Blazers surprised many by using the seventh pick last night and signing Kentucky Shaedon Sharpe.
Pundits have weighed in on young general manager Joe Cronin’s selection of the inexperienced 19-year-old who carries a number of question marks.
Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor thought about Sharpe’s pick the most, giving the Blazers an A+, which correlates with the young Canadian’s ceiling.
Sharpe could be risky in the short term, but that’s a huge advantage for the Blazers. Portland is rumored to buy this pick and could still move Sharpe, but he offers a huge upside bet for Portland. He has an extremely high ceiling and could have been in the running for the No. 1 pick if he hadn’t sat last season at Kentucky. He may not help the Blazers win games in 2022-23, but in the long run he could be the top scorer in this draft.
CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish gave the Blazers a B+ for the selection, highlighting Sharpe’s perceived high potential.
This pick is interesting because it seems with the Jerami Grant trade that the Blazers are trying to get now. And Sharpe is an interesting fit from that perspective. But few players in this class have higher caps than him. He’s an explosive goalscorer with ridiculous size for the wing and the athleticism, and he could one day be a more defender with those tools. He’s probably not ready to do it right away after not playing last season at Kentucky.
Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek scored Cronin a B, asking how long it will be before Sharpe can actually contribute.
Sharpe is the biggest question mark in the draft and will need more time to adjust to NBA pace and spacing after not registering a single minute at Kentucky. If the Trail Blazers are patient, Sharpe could have found himself in the perfect situation playing alongside Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons in the backcourt.
Kyle Irving of The Sporting News said the Blazers’ effort deserved a B+ for Sharpe and Jabari Walker’s draft pick 57.
The day before the draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported that All-Star guard Damian Lillard liked Sharpe’s potential. And who did the Blazers take with their lottery pick? Sharpe. The Kentucky guard is a prolific scorer who will receive invaluable mentorship from Lillard. Portland added a player who can provide instant attack off the bench from day one.
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley gave Portland a B for the pick, wondering what schedule the Blazers were working on.
Interesting. The Blazers, who need as much game-winning talent as anyone as they try to quickly reorganize around 31-year-old Damian Lillard, just passed a top 10 on someone who didn’t play a game since a year. Then again they also caught someone with a very high ceiling on both ends so it’s hard to complain. The mystery man of this draft, Sharpe has never played a game for the Wildcats. It’s forced scouts and analysts to pull footage from his high school days, where he dazzled as a dunker, shot-maker and effortless shooter.
Still, he could face a steep learning curve in the league, as his grip and shot selection both require copious amounts of seasoning. If all goes well with his development, however, he could become a go-to goalscorer who keeps his teammates involved and defends defensively. The boldness of the Blazers here is commendable. If there was a way to spend this pick and not have it lose commercial value, that was probably the way, since Sharpe has massive potential.
SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell acknowledged Sharpe’s unknowns but gave Portland a B+ on his physical ability.
Sharpe is the mystery man in this class after signing up midseason from Kentucky as next year’s No. 1 recruit and deciding 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.
Now that we’ve heard from everyone, how do you rate the Sharpe pick?